Chilli Plants Interesting Facts

It all started with a little seed somewhere in South America ... Who would have thought that that little seed would have started a fire that’s still burning strong almost 7,000 years later!

Say hello then to the ubiquitous capsicum - the Americans call it ‘chili’, the Spaniards prefer ‘chile’ and to the British, it is ‘chilli’. Despite the raging debate over its nomenclature, the undisputable fact is the capsicum remains a hot favourite across the world!
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Introducing the Capsicum to the World

Originating in southern Brazil and eastern Bolivia, the seeds of the wild capsicum were first scattered and spread across the Americas by birds.

Fascinated by the plant and its fruit, Christopher Columbus and his crew collected the seeds and plants and brought them back to Europe where they got popular very quickly and spread rapidly across the world through colonial trade networks.

Fast forward to today and capsicum plants are grown all over the world across a wide range of temperatures and under the most diverse growing conditions.

In fact, this is one of the most widely cultivated crops today and is grown from Mexico and Africa to countries in the Far East including Thailand, India, Japan, Indonesia and China. Growing capsicum is such a fad that some ingenious cultures have developed creative ways to grow this plant.

Starting with 25 recognized wild varieties, there are almost 2,000 – 3,000 different cultivars grown across the world today. Some of the more common of these are Habanero, jalapeño, cayenne, Serrano, birds eye, and poblano. These are just a few. The complete list is exhaustive.

All of these cultivated chilli peppers are variations of 5 main species – C. Annuum, C. Chinense, C. Pubescens, C. Baccatum and C. Frutescens.

The hybridized varieties come in a dizzying array of shapes, sizes, colours and degree of pungency, making the nomenclature and classification a complex and confusing undertaking, especially for the amateur botanist or gardener. The hottest chillies are the Capsicum Chinense varieties.
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Things To Know Before You Grow (a brief introduction)

Getting started with growing capsicums is easy and more importantly, cost effective, especially when you consider the range of varieties you can choose to grow and the amount of chilli pods you will get throughout the growing season.

While there are several different methods that you can use to grow capsicum depending upon the weather and soil conditions, there are a few basic rules that remain the same no matter what the prevailing conditions. Knowing these basics is the key to enjoying a bumper harvest and making the whole process worthwhile.

Temperature is the single most important factor that you need to take into consideration when planning your capsicum garden. Capsicum is a warm weather plant. It grows best at temperatures between the upper 70s to the lower 80s. At lower temperatures the pods will freeze and die and at temperatures that are consistently in the 90s or more, the pods can drop out too early, before they get a chance to mature properly.

These plants love nitrogen and a well-drained soil.

Capsicum should ideally be planted in mid-spring only when there is no more danger of overnight frost or freezing.

When planting, choose a location that receives the direct rays of the sun for at least 6 hours a day.

If you are planting seeds, start off in a pot, hot bed or in a greenhouse at least 6 weeks before the first frost-free date and then transplant at the appropriate time. Seeds should never be planted directly into the soil outdoors.

Never sow the seeds too deep. When the seeds are sowed too deep they use up all of their stored energy and will more likely than not die before they even break the surface of the soil.

Soaking the seeds in water a few minutes before sowing, helps soften the seeds and facilitates germination. Do not soak for too long or else they could rot.

When watering the seeds, water carefully from the top to avoid dislodging the seed. Water prudently. Capsicum plants love water but too much can cause the seeds to rot.

Always use fresh compost as that is more nutrient-rich. Old compost is more likely to have lost its nutrients and could contain harmful bugs and pests that will destroy your crop.

The hotter varieties, such as the habanero have longer growing periods and take longer to ripen.

The easier varieties to try when you are just starting out with capsicum growing include the Cherry Bomb, the Ring of Fire and Hungarian Hot Wax.

No soil? No worries. Capsicums can also be grown hydroponically. Hydroponics is essentially a soil-free plant growing system, where the plant are generally placed in a substratum such as rock wool and then nourished with a nutrient solution. The benefits of using this method are that it produces bigger yields of larger sized peppers without having to deal with pests or diseases.

Capsicum plants love marjoram, basil and tomato and will thrive when grown alongside these plants.

In Quest Of The Perfect Capsicum

So we have thousands of capsicum varieties and numerous different ways of growing the plants but are we satisfied? Oh no! Diehard capsicum lovers around the world are pushing the boundaries in their relentless quest for creating new and improved pepper varieties.

Breeders are using advanced and highly complex techniques to create DNA maps of the different species in an attempt to identify specific genes that help develop favourable traits such as pungency and disease tolerance.

If you are tempted to try and develop some interesting varieties, here’s an easy way you can do it. Save the seeds from the chillies you have grown or even bought and plant them during the next growing season.

If your plants have cross pollinated, it can result in some different and interesting varieties!
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1. Get Ahead of the Game
Dispatched a month ahead of most mainland British suppliers of plants this size, our chilli plants come in 8cm pots ready to be potted on. (approx height 10-12cm)
2. Big & Bushy
We supply strong, healthy plants with a good root structure and bushy foliage that are more disease resistant when moved outside.
3. Super Harvest
Our plants are started early to give the best chance of a bumper crop that will ripen before winter. With British summers being hit & miss, this can make the difference between a bumper crop and unripened fruit.
4. Cheap Postage & Top Quality Packaging
Postage for one trio - £3.50. Two trios - £5.50. Three or more - just £5.95. All plants are well packed in dedicated horticultural packaging.
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6. Free Little Book of Chillies
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About Us
Founded by Sarah Hunt in 2008, World of Chillies is an online chilli shop specialising in chilli plants, seeds, gifts, dried chillies and sauces.

We are dedicated to the pursuit of everything that is hot and great.

We stock an extensive range of chilli plugs and plants varieties from around the world. VAT reg 223 1269 42


Hastings, East Sussex, U.K.
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