Archive for December, 2010

Revive Wilted or Dehydrated Chili Plants

Chili Plants are like people they will grow weak if not given enough of the basic necessities such as sun, water, air and nutrients. The tell tale signs of a sick looking chilli plant is when it starts to wilt. When your chili plant starts to wilt you must act fast to revive the suffering plant.

Chili plants in pots and particularly prone to dehydration and wilting. When you do not water your potted chillie plants enough, the soil tends to harden and clings closer to the roots and away from the pot’s sides. This creates gaps in which water can run off and out of the pot through the drainage holes, effectively starving the roots of your potted chillie plants.

First aid for sick Chili Plants

1. Fill a bucket, sink, container or basin halfway with water. Make sure the container is large enough to fit the entire pot, all the way to and over the rim.

2. Plunge the whole pot and plant into the water filled container. The water must cover the whole plant even over the pots rim. It’s all right if water covers some of the foliage. You may need to weigh down the pot with a brick or a stone to keep it from floating in the water.

3. Keep the plant in the container until bubbles stop rising from the soil. Bubbles indicate air pockets in soil and roots.

4. Keep the plant in the water for at least a half hour after the bubbles stop, to ensure that the soil is completely saturated.

5. Remove the pot from the container and allow the plant to drain.

6. Place the potted plant in a plastic bag and close it tightly. This step will provide much needed humidity to the foliage while the roots go back into action. Keep the bagged plant in a shady area so that the moisture doesn’t dry out.

7. Remove the plant from the bag and move it back to its original location once it has revived. This could take as little as a few hours, or several days. Do not put the plant back into the sun till its looks healthy and green again as the sun will extract water from the plant.

8. Give the post some mulch that will hold moisture and humidity. Remember to water your growing chillie plants regularly. Once a day is ideal.

Other Tips for Dehydrated Chili Plants

– Any brown leaves or stems will been to be cut off, they are dead and we cannot save them.

– Plants in the ground or in pots too big to shift can be treated by pushing the hose as far into the soil around the roots as possible so that it can soak the roots and eliminate any air pockets or dry root balls.

– Moisten the leaves when watering as it increases humidity around the plants leaves keeping them moist and reducing dehydration.

The reason i wrote this article was because i went on holidays for 8 days and my plants got dehydrated. I was so upset to come home and find 6 wilted chili plants. Luckily doing these steps revived all but 2 of the chili plants.

Mild Chili Plants – Growing Bell Peppers

The most common pepper species is the bell pepper named appropriately from the physical shape of the fruit. In British English, the fruit is simply referred to as a “pepper“, or additionally by colour eg. Green pepper. In many Commonwealth Nations, such as Australia, India, Malaysia and New Zealand, they are called “capsicums“. Another name is the sweet pepper because of the sweet taste. Bell peppers are the mildest form of chili’s. They are listed as zero on the scoville scale and don’t emit any heat at all.

Bell Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Pepper seeds were later carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread to other European, African and Asian countries. Today, Mexico remains one of the major pepper producers in the world.

Bell pepper plants are vigorous upright plants producing green ,yellow, orange, red and even purple fruit. Bell pepper skins are glossy and deeply colored, with the flesh being crisp and succulent. Bell pepper plants measure 18-30 inches in height and are generally very productive. The ‘Jingle Bell’ pepper plant produces miniature bell peppers measuring less than 1 inch long. This variety is excellent for container growing. A tray of stuffed miniature bell peppers is delightful.

Growing Peppers

– Plant seeds eight weeks before the last frost indoor using a pot that is at least 2 inches or slightly larger.

– Transplant young seedlings in the ground or a pot outdoors after the last chance of frost. If the weather is still cool, delay transplanting for a few days. Wait until the soil is 70 to 85 degrees before setting the seedlings out.

– Space the seedlings 9 to 12 inches apart and in rows 12 to 24 inches apart.

– Water the plants regularly, especially in the hot, dry summer months. Pepper plants like moist soil. If you do not water enough, the bell peppers will acquire a bitter taste or even worse get frail and die.

– Surround the peppers with mulch to keep weeds from growing and to retain moisture.

– Harvest the bell pepper at any point after they reach an edible size. Most bell pepper peppers are green when immature and can be harvested at that time. Mature bell peppers can be red, orange, yellow, green or purple depending on the variety. Continue to harvest bell peppers by clipping them off the plant. Bell peppers will continue to grow until the first frost.

Bell peppers are delicious eaten fresh in green and pasta salads, and make a wonderful addition to spaghetti sauce. The fruit is also frequently consumed in its unripe form, when the fruit is still green. Green peppers are less sweet and slightly more bitter than red, yellow or orange peppers. The taste of ripe peppers can also vary with growing conditions and post-harvest storage treatment. The sweetest are fruit allowed to ripen fully on the plant in full sunshine, while fruit harvested green and after-ripened in storage are less sweet. Compared to green peppers, red peppers have more vitamins and nutrients and contain the antioxidant lycopene. The level of carotene, another antioxidant, is nine times higher in red peppers. Red peppers have twice the vitamin C content of green peppers

Stuffed Bell Peppers

One of the most common bell pepper recipes Stuffed Bell Peppers. Dad’s Stuffed Bell Peppers is a very good post detailing how easy and great this disk is to make. I would highly recommend give it a crack.

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Grow Chillies Cherry Chili

The Cherry Pepper also known as a chili tomato, or Hungarian cherry pepper is a fantastic chili to grow. This mild to hot pepper is commercially grown in the USA, Euproe and Mexixo. The Cherry Pepper has been documented as far back as 1543.

The peppers produced by these plants are small and round, they resemble a cherry tomato. Peppers range from mild to hot and register 5000-8000 scoville scale units. The cherry peppers grow a dark green colour and as they ripen they will change to a very vibrant red. Truly a spectacular plant to have.

The chilli tomato is commonly used in Asian, Southwestern, Mediterranean, Portuguese, African and Mexican cuisine because of the size and shape. This chilli is a great garnish and really puts some colour into food especially salads. These chilies are also great for stuffing or picking because of the thick fruit walls and round shape. Due to the thick walls this chilli cannot be dried.

As with most chili’s this plant enjoys hot climates, well drained soil and generous amounts of water. Maturity takes approximately 120 days. These plants can mature and fruit at a small size so they are great for a small bench or windowsill.

We have a Chilli tomato plant in our inner city apartment and we get one full ripe fruit each week from the plant. We bought it at a mature age at a local hardware store for $6AU and it only stands 40cm tall. We would highly recommend the cherry pepper to anyone wanting a small but very colorful chili tree.

Seeds available here.


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