Chili Pepper 'Cayenne Long Slim' - SeedCapsicum frutescens 'Cayenne Long Slim'
Make your food even tastier!
Chilli pepper 'Cayenne Long Slim' (Caspicum annuum) is the best known hot Chilli pepper, much used for flavouring exotic meat dishes and sauces. The fruit ripens to a bright red. Chilli peppers can be preserved. Perfect for deep freezing and for pickling.Show more
Show moreChilli Pepper seeds require no prior treatment although steeping them in lukewarm water for 12 hours will encourage germination.
How to SowChilli Peppers love the sun and in early March they can be started off indoors in a room or in a miniature greenhouse, using small cultivation pots or simply sown in a seed tray covered with plastic held up by long cocktail sticks.
Using cultivation pots filled with good potting compost and a miniature greenhouse is the simplest way of starting your Chilli Peppers. Try and arrange that the underside of the tray or greenhouse has some form of heating. Sow one seed per pot, poke it into the compost with a pencil or stick to a max. depth of 0.5 cm and cover lightly with more potting compost. Sprinkle with water and stand the tray or mini greenhouse on a sunny windowsill. The seeds will germinate in a week to 10 days depending on the temperatures. Temper the humidity after germination by opening the slides on the lid or pricking holes in the plastic over the tray.
When seedlings reach 10 cm, acclimatise them to normal humidity levels by removing the lid (or plastic) for an hour longer every day. After 5 days they will be hardened off and can be potted up.
Show moreWhen there is no longer a risk of frost and night temps are above 12°C, the plants can go outdoors - but not before they are hardened off. This means slowly acclimatising them to outside by standing them in the shade, one hour longer every day. Pot up after a week - 3 plants can easily thrive in a large pot. Now they can be stood in the sun. Or, you can plant them directly into the garden in a sheltered, sunny spot. Plant them in a row, spaced out at 35 cm apart with about 70 cm between each row to allow the Chilli Peppers space to grow well. Pinch out the growing tips to promote stronger branches for fruit bearing. The side shoots must also be removed. Chillies grown outdoors need all the energy they can get so that the top shoots can grow and form flower buds.
Chilli Peppers will easily pollinate themselves but (bumble) bees will help too. Fruiting will be no problem. Chilli Peppers react positively to the same fertiliser used for flowering pot plants. If cultivating in a greenhouse, your Chilli Peppers will grow taller so will require support from either canes or vertical strings.
Give extra water in periods of drought. Keep the bed free of weeds. This will help the plants to develop and grow well.
HarvestingThe fruit grows from the flowers - as the flowers fall away it leaves the green centre which is the beginning of the growth of the pepper. When the Chilli Peppers are growing there will be a darkening of the green chillies, which indicates that they are beginning to ripen. Harvesting regularly encourages more flowers and eventually more fruit. They need to be picked once they are ripe as they do dot ripen after picking. To avoid damaging the fruit, simply cut off the Chilli Pepper at the stem with a sharp knife or scatters. Allow the Chilli Pepper to hang and they will turn red (or one of the other colours you can expect).
Show moreChilli Peppers love heat and thrive best in a greenhouse. But that is not to say that it is impossible to grow them outdoors - just choose the warmest and most sheltered spot for growing your Chilli Peppers.
Chillies are biological family of Paprikas - just cultivated differently from the same stock. Peppers are packed with vitamins but more importantly the ingredient Capsaicin which is what gives peppers their bite. The more Capsaicin a pepper contains, the hotter the bite.
How to useChilli Peppers can be kept in the fridge for a couple of weeks; also, both raw and cooked peppers can be frozen.
Chillies will add heat to any recipe! They are often used in various Asian, African, South and Central American as well as Chinese kitchens (think wok!). Delicious with onions, meat or mushrooms. The green ones can be eaten raw but they have a stronger flavour.
To clean the chillies it is easiest if you cut them in half and remove the seeds and veins. They are edible but it is actually the seeds and the veins that cause the heat of the flavour. Then rinse the pepper under the tap and cut the pepper into the small pieces. Be very careful when handling them as the inside of the pepper contains capsaicin and if you accidentally rub your eyes it can be very painful. Some people wear rubber gloves when handling peppers.