Hot Pepper F1 Hybrid OS-12 - Seeds
The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without "pepper".
Common name: chilli pepper, bell pepper, paprika, cayenne, halapenos, chitlepin, Christmas pepper
Height: 1.5 to 3 feet
Difficulty level: Easy
Planting & Care
Plan to set out home grown or purchased transplants after the last spring frost date. Start plants indoors in flats or pots 8 to 10 weeks before the average last frost date. Set hot pepper plants 12 to 15 inches apart, larger bell types 15 to 18 inches apart. Provide windbreaks to minimize transplant shock.
Sunlight: Grows best in a site that receives full sun.
Soil: Your hot peppers need to have a seed-starting soil mixture that supports their nutrition and hydration needs so that pepper seeds turn into seedlings.
Water: The soil needs to have a moist texture to a 6-inch depth. Enthusiastic watering may backfire and cause waterlogged soil. Using a container with multiple drainage holes and well-drained soil combats any form of being waterlogged. This open ecosystem allows excess water to escape from the container while nourishing the pepper plant. Over-watering, the lack of drainage holes and compacted soil contribute to root rot, which causes slow die-back of the entire plant.
Temprature: 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit
Fertilizer: Peppers are light feeders. If you work 5-10-10 fertilizer into the soil prior to transplanting, that s probably sufficient. You can also side-dress the plants with a light sprinkling of 5-10-10 when blossoming starts, just to give them a boost if needed.
- Preparing Chilli SeedsGermination of chilli seeds is known to be difficult but if you follow these instructions carefully, you should have a good success rate.
- Soaking your chilli seeds overnight in warm water overnight will increase your germination rate.
- Tie each packet of seeds in a piece of muslin using different colour wool or cotton to tie around the top, making a careful note of which colour relates to which seed.
- Fill a pre-warmed thermal flask with warm water at the temperature of 45-48 degrees centigrade and pop in the chilli bags overnight.
- Planting Chilli SeedsPlant into small pots or preferably into Jiffy compost pellets.
- If you are using Jiffy compost pellets, soak them until they have swollen to size and put two seeds into each one, just below the surface.
- If you are planting into pots, fill one pot per seed type to about 2 cm below the rim, firm down the compost and soak thoroughly.
- Place the seeds with a good space between them so that you do not harm the roots when you come to potting on and cover them with a fine layer of sieved compost.
- Use separate pots or trays for each variety and don’t forget to label them or you will spend several frustrated months not knowing which plant is which.
- Propagating Chilli SeedsFor best results, place in a heated propagator or a seed tray with clear lid in a warm place.
- Warmth is especially important for Chinese chilli varieties such as Habaneros, Nagas and Scotch Bonnets.
- Ideally you should keep soil temperature at 26 to 32 degrees centigrade.
- Keep the compost moist but not too wet or the seed will rot.
- Germination takes between two and four weeks and can be very erratic, so do not be too concerned if your seeds do not germinate immediately or if only some of them seem to germinate.
- SeedlingsWhen the seedlings start to appear, introduce some ventilation to your propagator or seed tray.
- Be careful not to let the temperature drop too much at night, as plants are very vulnerable to the cold at this stage.
- Once your plants have a few leaves, you should start to feed them on a weekly basis using a quarter strength fertilizer such as Chilli Focus or seaweed extract.
- Four to six weeks after germination, plants can be potted on very carefully, avoiding disturbing the roots too much as well as any germinating seeds that may be awakening in the pot.
- Growing onChilli plants do well is warm, sunny places so a greenhouse or conservatory is the ideal place for them.
- They can also be placed outside on a sheltered spot or warm patio but acclimatize them slowly, bringing them in at night for the first week or whenever the temperature threatens to drop.
- Use a cane to support the plants as they grow.
- Carry on feeding chillies with a dedicated chilli feed or seaweed extract at the suggested rate.
- Never exceed the suggested rate as this can actually have a detrimental effect on your plants.
- Encouraging fruitYour chilli plants will produce flowers and then chillies on each of its side-stems so the more side-stems you have, the more fruit your plant will produce.
- If you want to increase the number of chillies your plant produces, you need to increase the number of side-stems.
- You can do this by tipping your plant onto its side once it is a substantial size.
- The chilli plant will try to grow upright by throwing out a number of side-stems.
- Once it has done this, turn the pot around so that the new side-stems are facing down and it will throw out another series of side-stems, reaching for the light.
- Give the pot a quarter turn and once another set of side-stems have been started, turn another half turn.
- You can then return your plant to an upright position and wait for a bumper harvest of chillies.
- Chillies can be pollinated by bees but failing that, they are also self-pollinating so a gentle shake of flowers will help ensure that they set.
- Once your chillies start to flower, start to feed with a tomato feed at the rate suggested by manufacturers to encourage fruit to set.
- OverwinteringChilli plants are perennials and are generally more productive in their second year than their first although most people grow them as half-hardy annuals.
- It is worth overwintering them if you have the space on a sunny windowsill or heated greenhouse.
- Don’t let the temperature fall below 10 degrees Centigrade.
- Don’t be too concerned if your plants start losing leaves as low light levels can cause chilli plants to go into dormancy, looking for all intents and purpose dead but come spring, they will burst back into life again.
- Unless you really have killed them that is!
Harvesting: Most peppers, except for a few varieties like Sweet Banana, are green when young. Though bell peppers come in many colours, such as red, yellow, and purple, you can eat any of them in the green stage. However, they are sweeter if you let them ripen until the colour is fully developed. Harvest by cutting through the stem of each fruit with a knife or with pruners. You can have an almost-continuous harvest from your pepper plants by cutting often, as this encourages the plant to keep blossoming, especially in the beginning of the summer.
- Provide deep watering weekly for pepper plants.
- Support bushy, heavy-yielding plants with 2-foot-high cages, or stake them.
- Apply heavy organic mulches when summer heat begins to peak.
- Temperatures over 90 degrees F can cause buds and blossoms to drop; the condition is more serious if humidity is low also.
- Chilli pepper contains an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.
Chillies contain health benefiting an alkaloid compound in them, capsaicin, which gives strong spicy pungent character.
- Early laboratory studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties.
- It also found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals.
Fresh chilli peppers, red and green, are rich source of vitamin-C.
- 100 g fresh chillies provide about 143.
- 7 µg or about 240% of RDA.
- Vitamin C is a potent water-soluble antioxidant.
- It is required for the collagen synthesis in the body.
- Collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.
- Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body protect from scurvy; develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
They are also good in other antioxidants like vitamin A, and flavonoids like ß-carotene, a-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and cryptoxanthin.
- These antioxidant substances in capsicum help to protect the body from injurious effects of free radicals generated during stress, diseases conditions.
Chillies contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.
- Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
- Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Chillies are also good in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1).
- These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.
- Chilli pepper pods, which are berries, are used fresh or dried.
- Chillies are dried to preserve them for long periods of time, which may also be done by pickling.
Dried chillies are often ground into powders, although many Mexican dishes including variations on chillies rellenos use the entire chilli.
Dried whole chillies may be reconstituted before grinding to a paste.
- The chipotle is the smoked, dried, ripe jalapeño.
- Many fresh chillies such as poblano have a tough outer skin that does not break down on cooking.
Chillies are sometimes used whole or in large slices, by roasting, or other means of blistering or charring the skin, so as not to entirely cook the flesh beneath.
- When cooled, the skins will usually slip off easily.
- Ornamental varieties of Capsicum annuum (the fruits of which are also edible) are grown primarily for the decorative value of their fruit, often displaying fruits of four or five colours simultaneously on one plant.
- The popular ‘Christmas peppers’ were originally available at Christmas time and had green and red fruits.