Gardening Guide on Growing Bell Peppers in Container

Growing Bell Peppers in Container

Bell pepper, also known as Capsicum anuum, is a must have vegetable crop in your garden if you live in a place with warmer climate. Bell peppers have a crispy sweet flavor which makes it a great addition to a variety of dishes. It does not taste hot like its relatives the chili hot peppers because it does not contain the capsaicin compound.

There are several varieties of bell peppers. The green bell pepper is the most common and cheapest in the supermarket. Next to green peppers on the aisle are the red, yellow, and purple peppers. Green pepper are often cheaper because they are picked early. All colors of peppers keep their colors when cooked except the purple peppers which turned to dark muddy color when cooked. You can buy bell pepper seeds at your local nurseries or online from amazon. You should always look for varieties that can ripen fast. Some of the recommended varieties are lady bell, gypsy, orange sun, and Golden California Wonder.

When to Sow Bell Peppers

Bell peppers like cool temperature in between 21 – 25 degrees. It will not grow well if it is too hot or too cold. Therefore, the best time to plant it is a few weeks before Spring in February or in the Fall time in September.

Sowing the Seed

A good pot of seeding mix will consist of cocopeat, vermicompost, and sand. When you plant the seed, make sure you don’t bury it too deep. You only need to bury the seed about 1 cm deep. If the seed is sown too deep, you will not be able to see the leaf when it germinate. The birds always like to eat new seeds that are just sown so you should cover your pot with a polyethylene cloth.

The pot with the newly sown seeds should be exposed to at least 4 hours of sun in order for germination to take place effectively. Bell peppers is like a small tree and it will produce lots of small branches with leaves when mature. So, if you plant in a big pot, you can at most plant only 2 seeds. The seeds should be planted about 6 – 8 inches apart.

Preparing the Soil for Transplanting Bell Peppers


Bell pepper likes loamy soil that is well drained. You can make the soil well drained by lining it with porous landscape fabric or plastic. If you use plastic, makes sure to punch holes on the locations where the drainage holes are. The soil should not be too wet and muddy or else the root will become rotten. It also should not be too dry until it show cracked lines as it will result in blossoms drop.

Prior to transplanting, you can add aged compost into the soil. The aged compost will work as fertilizer and as mulch to assist in the retaining of the water. It is recommended to continue adding other fertilizers for maintaining the bell pepper plant. For example, you can add compost tea or fish emulsion solution every 10 days or so.

High nitrogen fertilizer can prevent the plant from bearing fruits so it should be avoided. Many people also like to add plastic mulch to increase the yields. On the other hand, organic compost mulch can lower the amount of weeds and reduce the need for watering. Organic compost mulch does not help in any way in the fruit yield.

Caring for the Young Bell Pepper Plants

After the young plants are successfully transplanted, you must keep watch for weeds that will spring up every now and then in the planting beds. In addition, you should also don’t forget to water 1 – 2 inches of water every week. You need to keep in mind that pepper is a heat sensitive plant which means you must water daily if you live in an area with warm climate. You can apply a solution that consists of a mixture of detergent and water on your pepper plant to keep away the aphids and whiteflies. It is important to keep the bell pepper plant in a place with the suitable temperature otherwise it will not bear fruits.

Harvesting and Storage

Usually, it takes around 2 months for the bell pepper plant to grow to full size. It is best to harvest the peppers when it has changed to the color you want. For example, if you want to use green pepper in your cooking, then you can pluck it when it is green. However, if you want to use yellow pepper, you should ideally wait until it has changed to yellow color. It will also work if you pluck it green and then keep in place that has sunlight so that it can change to red and then yellow. However, it will not taste as sweet as when you pluck it in yellow color from the plant.

You can store bell peppers in plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to 1 – 2 weeks. You can also store peppers in dried forms. To dry the peppers, you must first remove the seeds and then cut into strips. The strips are to be spread out on a baking sheet and baked for 10 minutes in the oven. After that, you can remove the peppers from the oven and let it cool down. Once cooled, you can put the pepper in bags and store them in the refrigerator.



Check out our great range of chili seeds and products!!

How to Grow Bell Peppers with Mild Flavor

bell peppers

Sweet bell pepper enriched with vitamin C and vitamin A is an ingredient that you don’t want to miss in your cooking. The fruit with a smooth skin, crunchy flesh and white membrane can give a delicious mild flavor. Bell pepper is not difficult to grow. Many people have successfully grown it inbell peppers their backyard whether in garden soil or in container gardening.

Sowing Bell Peppers

The right way of sowing bell pepper seeds is to start them indoor instead of directly sowing them into the ground outside. You can start the germination of the seeds about 5 – 8 weeks before the last frost. You are to fill a seedling tray with well drained potting mix. The seeds are sown at about 1/4 depth in the soil. Soil should be kept moist with a temperature around 70 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is not hot enough, you can put heating mat under the seedling tray or near the window.

After it sprout, you must watch for the first true leaves to emerge. The cotyledons, the seed leaves, which appear before the first true leaves are to be vibrant and green. If it is yellow, it means that it is not getting enough nitrogen. You can add fertilizers like fish emulsion and kelp mixture into the seedling potting mix to ensure that it grow the true leaves successfully.

Selecting a Plot in Your Garden

 You can first plot the area in your garden where you want to transplant the young bell pepper plants. Ideally, the site you choose should not have been grown with tomatoes or potatoes as they share the same pests with bell peppers. The soil on the site should be well drained and heavy as well as rich in all the essential nutrients including phosphorus, potassium, and calcium. You can aim for a pH around 6.5.


 You can transplant the young bell pepper plant into the garden plot after it has developed 1 – 2 true leaves. To allow the plants to adapt to the new environment, you may want to slowly expose the young plants to the sun by placing the pots outside for a short period of time daily.

When it is time to transplant the peppers, first check and see if the temperature has already reached 60 degrees with no danger of frost. The transplanting day should be a cloudy day with some sun. You are to plant the pepper plants at a distance of about 12 – 20 inches apart.

You can stake or cage the plant if there are lots of wind and you are afraid that they break the stem.

Bell pepper plants usually need a consistent addition of nitrogen on the soil until it successfully develop the fruits. For this reason, you may want to add nitrogen fertilizer into the soil. You will want to be careful not to add too much nitrogen as it can reduce the fruit and increase the leaves growth.


 You only need to water at least 1 inch of water every week. If the weather is hot, you can add mulch to help retain the moisture. Early blossoms can be pinched off to help direct the energy of the plant so that you get a heavy harvest afterwards. If you keep your bell pepper plant fed and water well, it will have lower chances of developing diseases.

Dealing with Bell Pepper Pests

Bell pepper plants get attacked by different types of pests including cut worms, corn earworms, caterpillars and weevils. To avoid pest infestation, you should avoid using water soluble fertilizer that contains a high level of nitrogen. Using this type of fertilizer can cause the plant to become soft and easier for the insect pests to penetrate.

Whenever you spot weeds, be sure to pull them out. Weeds are habitats to insect pests. You can apply pesticides to prevent the pests population from infesting your plant up to a damaging level. The pesticides should be applied thoroughly including underneath the leaves. If there is too much damage, you will have to discard away the pest infested plant.

Harvest and Storage

A well grown bell pepper plant will produce 5 – 10 large fruits. Bell pepper can be harvested when it is green or purple color. If you want sweeter flavor, you can wait until it ripens to red or yellow or orange. The sweetness and vitamin C will increase as the color changes. Picking the fruits when they are green will encourage more new blossoms and fruits to develop. If the fruit set after late August, it usually will not ripen.

When harvesting the peppers, remember to use hand pruners or small knife to avoid damaging the plant. This is because it can still continue to yield more fruits for you in the next few years. You can keep the fruits in a humid place with a temperature range in between 68 – 77 Fahrenheit degrees in the event that they are picked early because of the cold season. They will change color but they will not grow sweeter. Refrigerating bell peppers can help to retain the firmness and flavor for 3 – 5 weeks.



Check out our great range of chili seeds and products!!

Anatomy of a Chili Pepper

Growing Chillies

Chili is derived from the term chil given by the Arawak Indians who were the ones that first cultivated it. When Columbus first discovered the chili, he brought it back to Spain where they add the ‘e’ to it. Chili is the oldest spice in the world with archaeological specimens being found that dated to as far back to 7,000 B.C. in New Mexico.

Chili Pepper

Today, there are many variety of chili peppers including color, degree of spiciness, and shapes. Chili not only add spiciness to the food but it is also rich in antioxidant and rich in vitamin A and C. The anatomy of a chili pepper is comprises of many parts including peduncle, calyx, capsaicin glands, placenta, exocarp, mesocarp, endocarp, seed and apex.

Peduncle is the short branch on top of the pepper that remains when you harvest it from the plant.

Calyx is the green crown on top of the fruit where the penduncle is attach to. It is the remnant of the flower that has already transformed into the fruit. Preserving the calyx can keep the fruit fresher for a longer time.

Capsaicin glands is the central seed stem inside of the pepper that is joined to the placenta near the top. It is located in between the placenta and endocarp. Many people wrongly presumed that the seeds are responsible for producing the capsaicin glands.

Placenta is the round part on top where the seeds are attached to.

Exocarp is the outermost layer of the pepper which comprises the skin.

Mesocarp is the fleshy part under the skin of the pepper which is also called exocarp.

Endocarp is the inner membrane layer that surrounds the seeds.

The seed inside the pepper has low level of moisture but a high level of lecithin. Chili pepper seeds are edible. However, most people will prefer to discard the seeds as they are hard to chew and do not add any spicy flavor to the cooking.

The seeds are hot but they are not the hottest part. The white pith or rib that hold the seeds and the part that connect to the shoulder are believed to be the hottest part. The white pith is about 100 times hotter that the pepper flesh.

Apex is the bottom tip of the pepper fruit. The apex and peduncle are two areas that have the least capsaicin so biting these areas first will be less hotter.

When preparing chili pepper, you may want to wear a pair of glove to prevent the capsaicin oil from coming in contact to your skin. The capsaicin oil in the pepper can burn your skin and cause blistering.

If your skin get burned, you can apply some white vinegar to sooth it. Skin burn can occur especially when you are preparing a pepper with high Scoville scale such as Habanero.

How to Grow Chilies Indoors with LED Grow Lights

Grow Chilies Indoors

Many people like to have some organic chilies to add to their cooking.Grow Chilies Indoors

However, lets face it, you can’t keep spending money on organic chilies as they are expensive.

Growing chilies yourself means you will be able to save a lot of money. The problem is that there is the lack of sunlight in North America and parts of Europe and chillies require a lot of sunlight to grow healthily.

The good news is that you can overcome the problem and grow chilies indoors under LED grow lights.



Chili needs a hot temperature around 80F – 90F plus in day time and  at least 70F at night. It has to get at least 6 hours of sun to grow healthily.

The 6 hours of sunlight is equal to 16 hours of LED lights. So, if you have limited space, LED grow light is the best option. You can put it near to the plant without burning the leaves. It is cooler because it releases lesser infrared radiation and uses lesser watts.

LED grow light is a long lasting investment as it can last for up to 50,000 hours which is equivalent to 10 years of use. It offers longer lifespan compared to HID lights which can last in between 10,000 – 18,000 hours.

With LED grow lights, you can expect to save up to 50%-60% of energy. Best of all, it is safe to use and environmentally friendly. It does not contain any mercury, lead or gas.

It doesn’t have any fragile glass bulb and will not shatter like glass.



The most common chili varieties that are grown indoor are chiltepins, habaneros and other small varieties.

Small chili varieties have long growing season. This means they take longer time to flower and bear crops. The plant will grow up to a height of 6 – 12 inches. In harvest time, you can easily notice the chili crops from among the leaves.

Chili plant can also make a nice decorative ornament for the house apart from tasting spicy in the mouth.


How Many LED Lights to Install

The amount of LED lights you use depends on your chili grow space. Ideally, you should install 32 watts LED lights for per square foot.

So, if you have 6 square foot of grow space, you should install around 200 watts of LED lights. You can buy a LED light block designated for a specific amount of grow space for convenience.

Because chili comes from places with long hours of sunlight, you will need to let the grow light turn on for many hours at least 12 – 16 hours per day. You can get programmable LED grow lights to help you achieve this.

Programmable lights allows you to schedule the light to turn on and off at a specific time. If it doesn’t have any schedule control, you will have to remember to manually turn on the light every day to ensure you reap a heavy harvest of chili crop.


What Colors of LED Lights to Choose

LED lighting is usually installed in small blocks in the indoor growing spaces.

They come in a variety of colors including red, blue, white, green, indigo, and yellow. Red and blue LED lights are the most important lights. Red light which imitate the heat of the sun enhances stem growth, flowering and fruit.

Blue light is necessary for artificial photosynthesis, and development of strong roots. Green light is not that important and you can exclude it in your LED lighting installment if you want.

You have the option of buying a full cycle LED light or only install a specific color of LED light for enhancing the development of certain aspects.

Many chili growers recommend the use of LSR 865 with a light color of 6500 Kelvin.


How to Set Up an Indoor Growing Area

Firstly, you will need to look for a vacant space where you can use as a growing area. It can be a shelf that you are not using, or the basement or garage.

First, you germinate the seeds in a pot on the window sill. When the seeds sprouts, you can move them to the grow light area. As the chili plan grow bigger, you will have to transplant them to bigger pots. Usually, you only need a pot that is 10 – 12 inches in size for transplantation.

Bigger varieties may need pots that are 16 – 18 inches in size.

You will have to keep watering the chilies plants. Lesser watering is needed as the plants grow bigger.

It takes about 60 – 150 days for the peppers to mature before they start to produce crops. On the seed packet, you can find information on how long the chili plant take to mature.

This refer to the time it takes the plant to mature after it has been transplanted to a pot. It takes about 8 – 10 weeks for a seedling to grow into a plant that is suitable for transplanting.

You can harvest the chili green, orange or red as you like.

There you have it, now get out there and grow chilies indoors.

How To Grow Chillies From Seeds The Eco-Friendly Way

how to grow chillies from seeds

Do you want to know how to grow chillies from seeds whilst also keeping the planet in mind?
how to grow chillies from seeds

That’s great news! You’ve come to the right place, because we have all the tips on growing these spicy, yummy veggies whilst keeping things as green as possible:


Why Grow Chillies From Seeds?

When you learn how to grow chillies from seed you are creating your very own produce, which has a ton of benefits that go far beyond creating many a yummy dish with the fruits of your labour.

For you, learning how to grow chillies from seed is beneficial for your health in multiple ways.

As well as the physical demand of growing any plant giving you a healthy boost, the mental health benefits are quite far-reaching.

Gardening is thought to reduce stress, boost confidence, and it can even help people who are recovering from illness and accidents.

Let’s not also forget that chillies themselves are super-nutritious and contain many vitamins and minerals, including capsanthin, which some studies have suggested could be powerful enough to help fight cancer!

When it comes to the planet, learning how to grow chillies from seeds is actually pretty great before you even adjust how you grow them to be more eco-friendly.

There might be a third of our global population cutting down on meat to help the environment, but it is important to stay mindful that vegetables and fruits can be impactful too, when it comes to the planet.

For every chilli you buy at the store there is an environmental cost for the water, plastic, pesticide, land cultivation and human labour used to grow it, not to mention the air miles it took to get it to your local store.

By understanding how to grow chillies from seeds rather than buying chillies from the store, you reduce the environmental impact of your chilli consumption hugely.

Lastly, there are some practical benefits to getting to grips with how to grow chillies from seeds. Those who live in flats, small homes or apartments can grow chillies from seed in a small space.

As long as you have a bright, warm, sunny spot, you’re good to go. By starting to learn how to grow chillies from seed, you can also create many chilli plants cheaply, giving you a few to sell or give away in the local community.


How To Grow Chillies From Seeds

Once you have the basics of how to grow chillies from seed down, you can make the right adjustments to keep it as eco-friendly as possible. Here is an easy overview of how to grow your chillies from seeds:

  • Step One – Choose The Chilli

To learn how to grow chilli from seeds, you have to have some chilli seeds, but which type will you grow?

You can grow chillies from seeds creating plants that come in many different colours, shapes, sizes and heat levels on the Scoville Scale. The most fun thing to do is choose a mixture of types you like to eat, and types that look fun to grow.

This video has some really great tips on chilli types and the growing conditions they need.

  • Step Two – Prepare Your Trays

You will want to plant your seeds in seed trays indoors with some seeding soil. Leave enough room for watering, and place the trays in a warm, bright spot indoors.

  • Step Three – Sow Your Seeds

When chilli planting season has started (usually January or February) sprinkle your seeds on top of the soil and cover with a thin layer of soil before watering gently to moisten the soil.

  • Step Four – Propagate the seeds if you can or want to, or cover the trays in plastic wrap until they germinate.
  • Step Five – When the seeds have germinated remove any plastic covering.
  • Step Six – Continue to keep the compost moist without soaking it.

As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot to grow chillies from seeds successfully.

If you want some tips on the next stage of growing after chilli planting season has begun, this video has some handy tips on what to do with your newly germinated seedlings to create strong, healthy chilli plants.

Growing Chillies From Seed The Eco-Friendly Way

77% of people want to know how to live more sustainably, which is pretty awesome. If all of us do a little bit, the world will be a lot better off. Today, your eco-friendly efforts are focused on how to grow chillies from seeds.

There are some easy adjustments you can make to reduce your environmental impact, and grow your chillies from seeds as ethically and greenly as possible, here’s how:

Buy Organic Seeds

If you buy your chilli seeds, buy them organic. This means they were grown without harsh pesticides or other chemicals. They are also bred well to create strong, healthy plants that boost the ecosystem.

If you are going to take seeds from chilli peppers when you learn how to grow chillies from seeds, buy organic chilli peppers to harvest the seeds from.

Avoid Peat Compost

Compost, unless it has a peat-free label, contains up to 100% peat. Peat is not an eco-friendly ingredient because the bogs that it comes from contain all kinds of plants and animals unique to that environment.

Harvesting the peat for compost destroys that environment. Luckily, there is a lot of peat-free compost around to use instead when you start to grow chillies from seeds.

Reuse Your Plant Pots

Usually plant pots are made from plastic, especially seed trays and other smaller pots used for growing. Reusing those pots year on year and giving them away/ selling them when you’re done (or recycling them if possible) is much better for the environment than throwing them away, like 91% of all plastic that our society consumes.

You could also reduce more of your single use plastic like water bottles and yogurt pots by cutting them to size and using them as plant pots, rather than throwing them away.

To help you when you grow chillies from seeds, this handy video shows you how to make a completely self enclosed propagation pot using a water bottle.

Catch Rainwater

Rather than using tap water to water your chilli plants, you can save water by catching rain water in a water butt, bucket or tub. Not only will doing this save water, but it will probably boost your plants health as it is more pure than tap water.

Think Carefully About Pest Control

When you grow chillies from seed, they become vulnerable to pests and disease as soon as they germinate. There are lots of different sprays and products you can use to deal with those problems but many of them could be harmful to the environment.

Whilst they may be labelled as safe to use on plants grown for food, certain chemical pesticides and products contaminate the air, ground and water either immediately or eventually.

Some organic, natural pest products have also been called into question, so they can’t always be relied on. Neem oil, for example, is commonly used to kill pests on plants.

It is, however, considered by many studies as toxic to all insects, including bees and other pollinators, which is bad news for the environment.

The best thing to do to grow your chillies from seeds in a way that is eco-friendly is to do your best to avoid any pests and diseases by:

  • Keep soil moist, but not wet
  • Remove dead leaves and detritus from the plant and soil
  • Always disinfect plant pots and tools between uses
  • Rinse your plants down regularly to remove any pests by water pressure

If you have an issue with pests, you might want to look into biological pest control. Alternatively, do your research on sprays and options you have and use the least harmful product available to you.


Are You Ready For Chilli Planting Season?

Now you know how to grow chilli plants in a way that helps you and the planet, it’s time to use our tips and prepare for chilli planting season!

Soon enough you’ll master how to grow chillies from seeds for crop upon crop of tasty, spicy chillies this season.

A Beginners Guide On How To Grow Banana Peppers

banana peppers

It’s fun to grow any kind of chilli pepper, but we have a soft spot in our heart for banana peppers. They are known to have various health benefits,banana peppers they are totally delicious and yep, you’ve guessed it, they’re also really easy to grow.

So if you’re thinking of growing any chilli pepper, banana peppers are the way to go.

Ready to get started? Let’s take a look at how to grow these delicious, spicy yellow fruits:

Banana Peppers – Appearance & Varieties

Banana peppers are a yellow pepper with waxy skin and they come from the chili pepper family. It is named a banana pepper not because of a banana flavour, but because of its color and shape which looks like the tropical fruit from a banana tree.

Most of the time, the fruit banana peppers yield are a deep yellow color when fully mature, but they can also be red or orange in color sometimes.

There are many varieties of banana peppers including mild and hot varieties. Mild banana pepper varieties can be harvested faster than the hot banana pepper varieties, although there’s not too much in it in regards to cultivation time.

Banana Peppers – Culinary Uses

Banana peppers are extremely mild and only sit at 0-500 on the Scoville Scale, so if you only like very mild spice and maximum flavour, you’ll get that with these fruits.

Because banana peppers are so mild you can include them in a huge range of dishes. You can pickle them, chop them and have them in salad, include them in salsa, put them on pizza, fry them off and have them in pasta dishes – the list is endless.

We love stuffing banana peppers with homemade chilli, topping them with cheese and roasting them for a warming family meal.

How To Grow Banana Peppers

Growing banana peppers is really easy if you follow these steps:

Step One – Germination

You can germinate banana pepper plants indoors during the spring or summer when the temperature is warm. The young plant is ready for transplant when it has outgrown the seedling tray. It should be spaced about 18cm – 24 cm apart and each row should be about 24 cm apart.

It is important at this stage of growth that you do not waterlog the seedlings and only water them when the top layer of soil is dry. It is also important to use potting soil as compost is too nutrient rich and can inhibit growth.

Step Two – Transplanting

The temperature should be above 60 degree Fahrenheit outdoors when you transplant the seedlings. They should be transplanted to an area of your garden that is not exposed to too much wind and that receives full sun. In order for them to grow healthily, they need a minimum of 6 hours of sunshine daily and should have around 20 inches of space between each plant.

If you do not have the ideal growing conditions outdoors banana peppers grow really well indoors in a sunny spot. Just make sure that each plant has a whole pot to itself.

Within 60-80 days of good care you should find that you have lots of delicious banana peppers to harvest and enjoy.

Extra tips

To help you get the very best banana peppers from your growing efforts, here are some extra tips to help you:


If your soil is not fertile, you can mix in compost to increase the nutrients. Nitrogen fertilizer should not be used as it only causes more leaves to grow without increasing the fruit yield. If you do need to add fertiliser to the soil at any point you can use a chilli pepper fertiliser, seaweed and fish emulsion or horse manure.


The banana pepper plant will become thirsty quickly so you must regularly water it. When watering, just water enough to keep the soil slightly moist. Lack of watering can cause the fruit to taste bitter. Heavy watering can cause the soil to become waterlogged which can eventually destroy the roots.

In addition, adding ingredients like gravel or perlite to your soil mix will encourage better drainage, which can prevent water logging or root rot of your banana peppers.


If the plant grows too tall and becomes lanky, you can set up a trellis or wooden sticks to provide support for it.


Peppers do best when the temperature is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature reaches beyond 90 degree Fahrenheit, the blossoms of banana peppers can wither away. To protect your plant from the scorching sun, you can set up a shelter to provide some shade.


Pruning and topping chilli pepper plants is good practise if you want bushy plants with good ventilation and lots of fruit. You can watch this Youtube video to see a demonstration of how to prune and top your banana peppers to nurture them into the healthiest plants.


You can harvest the banana peppers when they reach full size and the skin is thick and firm. As soon as they become yellow in color you can harvest them or you can wait for them to turn red or orange in color depending on your preference.

When harvesting, use a pair of scissors to nip it off rather than pulling it off the plant by hand.

When Will You Start Growing Your Own Banana Peppers?

It’s so much fun to grow any chilli peppers but banana peppers are so delicious, healthy and easy to grow they really do top the list of growing favourites!

Now you have our tips above and all the information you need to get growing yourself, soon enough you’ll be enjoying multiple banana peppers from your very own plants – how exciting!



How To: Everything You Need To Know About Growing Peter Peppers

Peter Peppers

Peter Peppers are a cutely named pepper that have a phallic shape, so they can be appreciated for both novelty value and flavour. Whether you wantPeter Peppers to grow these cool looking fruits, try them, or you’re just interested in knowing more, we’ve put everything together so you can get the complete lowdown on Peter Peppers.

Let’s take a closer look at these phallic fruits:

 What Is A Peter Pepper Chilli?

A Peter Pepper Chilli is also known by its Latin name – Capsicum Annuum Var. Annuum, or as the penis pepper or willy pepper. It is a Capsicum Annuum chilli type, although it hasn’t been given that official status as of yet as a cultivar of the Capsicum Annuum family.

You can find the pepper growing in Texas and Mexico commonly, as well as some parts of Asia. You can also grow your own Peter Peppers if you want to either in your garden (if you live in a hot climate), in a greenhouse or indoors in a sunny spot.

Peter Pepper Appearance

The Peter Pepper is most known for its appearance, rather than its flavour. It looks like a penis, which gives it a really interesting, and novel look. It is so detailed, in its penile features that it has won an award for being the ‘Most Pornographic Pepper’.

For that reason, the Peter Pepper is often recommended as a plant for display rather than for culinary uses, although you can pickle the fruits.

Pickling Peter Peppers

Pickling peter peppers sounds more like a nursery rhyme than an activity, but it really is possible if you want to make the most of these phallic fruits. You can find easy directions on pickling your chilli peppers in this Youtube video. You can also enjoy Peter Peppers in multiple cooking applications like hot sauce or marinades.

It sits at about 6 times hotter than the average jalapeño, somewhere around the 5-30,000 mark on the Scoville Scale depending on the type. It is similar to the Serrano in that respect but is less meaty and dense in texture making it a great choice for drying, as well as using it freshly prepared.

How To Grow Peter Peppers

You can grow your own peter peppers for fun or for use in cooking. As it is so rare, you may wish to grow this type of pepper if you have prior experience with growing peppers, or if you have the seeds or starter plants at a good price.

Otherwise, cheaper plants or easier-to-come by chilli peppers like jalapeños or serrano chillies could be a better choice.

If you are growing your own peter peppers there are some easy steps to follow to get a great fruit yield:

  1. Around two months before the last frost in your area, plant seeds in potting soil that has been moistened, and keep temperatures above 75 degrees but no higher than around 95 degrees. It is best to keep your seed starts indoors at this point.
  2. Water the soil whenever the surface seems dry and ensure good circulation around your containers particularly when the seeds have germinated.
  3. Once around four leaves have grown you can transplant your starts into larger containers. You’ll want to expose plants going outside to filtered sunlight for a couple of weeks before they go completely out. If growing in pots indoors, plants can be placed in their ‘forever home’ right away.
  4. Create enough space outdoors to plant the chilli pepper plants around 50 centimetres apart. Alternatively they can be placed in individual pots as single plants.

Extra Growing Tips

To grow your peter peppers effectively it is important to grow it in the best soil for chilli peppers. The soil has to be loose, because hot peppers have shallow root systems.

Plenty of perlite (about 10%) in the mixture will help with this, although it is important not to add too much otherwise the water will drain too quickly through the soil and the plant won’t get the nutrients it needs. Vermiculite (about 10%) can help with this issue as it helps to retain nutrients in soil.

If you mix compost into the soil you grow your chillies in they should have plenty of nutrients to help you grow lots of delicious peter peppers. However, if you cannot add compost there is always fertiliser to do the same job.

Magnesium surface and bone meal are a great option to add to the soil when you plant the peppers out from their germination pots. You could also add these nutrients again when the plants show signs of fruiting. Otherwise, you shouldn’t need to add fertiliser more regularly than this.

Lastly, you’ll want to master pruning your peter pepper bushes to make sure they grow as bushy and fruitful as possible. We recommend checking out this pruning video so that you can follow step by step instructions to get your plants in great shape for the growing season.

Will You Be Growing Your Own Peter Peppers This Growing Season?

Now you know everything there is to know about these wonderful willy shaped peppers.

Whether you want to eat them or just marvel at their novelty appearance, peter peppers sure are unique as a table piece, gift or growing project.


The Ultimate Guide To Drying Chillies

drying chillies

Thinking of drying chillies? You’ve come to the right place!drying chillies

In this article we have everything you need to know about what dried chillies are, why to dry them, which chillies work well when dried and how to dry them.

By the end, you’ll be an expert at preserving these spicy fruits.

Here’s your complete guide to drying chillies:



Dried chillies are a type of fruit that is produced and prepared commercially through many different methods. In hot places like India – where 1.74 million tons of dried chillies and peppers are produced – they can often be dried in the sunshine.

Commercial factories might also dry them in large ovens, heat racks and freeze-drying units.

When we talk about dried chillies in this article, we are talking about drying chillies that are fresh. This can be done with many different types of chilli, although some are more suited to drying than others.

For example; jalapeños are better pickled or frozen because the texture is very juicy and succulent, and that juice can be lost during the drying process.

Drying chilies like bird’s eye, cayenne and poblano chili peppers are really great contenders for drying, so if you have a glut that you have grown or been given, it is word considering drying them for use.



There are many different reasons that you should give drying chillies a go including the following:


To Intensify The Heat

One of the key reasons that people choose to start drying chillies is to intensify the heat. Chillies are hotter once they have been dried and so, you need less in a recipe for the same amount of heat as a fresh chili.


To Avoid Food Waste

Globally we get rid of 900 million tonnes of food of which 17% available to consumers goes in the bin and 60% of that comes from domestic waste. Using methods like pickling, freezing and drying of products like chili helps to avoid food wastage, prolonging the usable time of the produce.


To Create A Beautiful Aesthetic

Dried chillies fall very well into the cottagecore decor trend along with jars of preserves, baking apparatus and dried flowers. Some people like to dry chillies as decorations that add a splash of colour to a neutral aesthetic.


For Convenience

You can use dried chillies in all kinds of recipes, like those in this handy Youtube video.The great thing is, when you have a string of dried chillies you can just take one and use it. No need to get fresh chillies from the store. Just a quick bit of spice right from your store cupboard with minimal effort.


To Make The Most Of A Glut

If you grow chillies you probably already know that you can get a glut, which is loads of chillies at the same time, too much to use. Although you can give those chillies away, it makes good sense to try drying chillies so that you can also store them for yourself for future use. That way your fruit harvest goes way beyond growing season.


To Grind

Dried chili peppers can be ground down to make chili powder, which is a fantastic store cupboard item or gift. You can also use the dried flakes in lots of recipes to add instant heat. We particularly love them sprinkled on top of a salad for a bit of yummy warmth to contrast with the cool, crunch of the produce.

Lastly, it is worth noting that drying chillies is fun. The same as making jam, or baking bread, drying chillies is a little bit of wholesome fun to have with natural produce and your hands.



Drying chillies is really easy, and there are multiple ways to do it. Let’s take a closer look:


Plate Drying In A Polytunnel/ Greenhouse

If you grow your own chillies in a polytunnel or greenhouse you can simply leave the chillies to dry on a plate or rack inside those places.

The only thing you might want to do first is rinse them off if you have used any pesticides on the produce as they have been growing.

It is also important not to leave the drying chillies within reach of areas where water could splash on them, as the chillies will spoil and rot if they are constantly left warm and moist.


Oven Drying

To oven dry your chili peppers you simply need to cut them in half (lengthwise) and then arrange them onto a clean baking tray allowing them to bake in around 120 degree heat for as long as they need to dry out.

If you leave the oven open a bit it will enable the moisture to escape the oven but it isn’t 100% necessary.

Oven door open or not drying the peppers does not have a set time, you simply need to keep checking on them until they are totally free of moisture.



Using a dehydrator at 145 degrees for about 8-10 hours you can dehydrate chillies easily. Just make sure that the chillies are evenly spread out so that they can dry out fully.


Natural Air Drying

You can dry your chili peppers whole by tying up your chili peppers by the stalk and then leaving a few inches between each one until they are all tied up.

You then need to hang them up so they are totally separate and allow them to dry in direct sunlight (kitchen windows are a great choice).

This will take weeks for the chillies to fully dry but they will look great in the meantime. Some people also string their peppers in a way that they are touching, a bit like garlic.

This method can work well too, and you can learn how to do it in this Youtube video.


You’re Ready To Start Drying Chillies!

Hopefully, with all the information above you are completely setup to start drying chillies.

As soon as they’re ready to go you can start making yummy, delicious recipes with these spicy fruits day after day, all whilst enjoying their bright and beautiful aesthetic in your family kitchen.

It’s a win, win!


Troubleshooting: Pepper Plant Problems & How To Fix Them

Pepper Plant Problems

Pepper plant problems are common and they can really scupper your growing efforts.Pepper Plant Problems

Once you get your pepper plants in the ground or a pot, as long as they have sun and water they usually do OK. However, as with all plants, sometimes there are issues.

The good news is, that there are actually as many common fixes as there are common pepper plant problems.

There are lots of ways that you can rescue your pepper plant from completely going over the rainbow bridge.

To help you fix a multitude of pepper plant problems, here’s a lowdown of the most common issues and how to fix them:



Underwatering is usually noticeable by the chilli plant having very droopy leaves that may appear lacklustre. Chronic dehydration in chilli plants can lead to reduced crop quality and yield.

It happens mostly when the days are long and hot, which can be surprising because chilli plants love direct sun. Every plant has its limits though, and sometimes more watering is needed for the plant to keep itself cool and properly hydrate itself.

The best way to avoid common pepper plant problems like underwatering is to never let your chilli plants dry out until the soil is so dry, there is a gap between the substrate and the pot.

You should also water at sunrise, or early morning and dusk which avoids the water getting evaporated before the plant has had a chance to absorb it.

If the plant is showing very droopy leaves midday, water it right near the plant stem and that should help it recover.

If dehydration continues to be a problem you need to create shade for the plant, water it with more water, or water it more often overall.



Overwatering chilli plants presents by it having yellow, floppy leaves. This is usually too much water being given to the plant, and not enough ability for the water to drain away.

To prevent pepper plant problems like this happening when the plant is exposed to lots of natural watering from the rain, provide more aerated soil and better drainage overall.

You should also do this so that there is no salt and water build up from your watering.

It is also important to allow the soil to properly dry out and then continue with a watering regime that allows the soil to be dry for the first few inches before watering each time.


Slugs and Snails

Slugs and snails love a juicy pepper plant and they will get through succulent little pepper shoots at speed if they are not controlled.

When controlling these little critters it is important not to use slug pellets or similar toxic products because they are very bad for the environment.

A slug can eat one, pass away and then get eaten by a garden bird which is eaten by a bird of prey which will die from exposure to the product.

The same chain of issues occurs in all kinds of different ways, as well as family pets getting poisoned by these nasty garden products.

Instead, avoid pepper plant problems like slugs by using more organic methods of slug control such as:

  • Barriers
  • Beer traps
  • Shell pot topper (crush any shells to make a sharp soil topper)
  • Cinnamon
  • Increase garden biodiversity for natural predators



Hornworm caterpillars will present themselves in pepper plants by munching holes in the leaves often from the outside in. These caterpillars can simply be moved off to a more suitable plant that they feed on.


Scalding From The Sun

Scalding from the sun shows up in chilli plants by giving them white leaves that are also a bit droopy. This happens most often when you put a new pepper plant that has been growing in the shade, into a sunny spot.

This can be lethal for the plant if it is very young which is why it is important to prevent this happening. It also happens to pepper plants that have been protected over winter.

To prevent pepper plant problems like scalding happening it is important to gradually introduce the pepper to the new conditions it will be living in, which should stop this scalding occurring.

Simply putting the pots in the sunshine for more and more time everyday until transplanting should help the transition run smoothly.


Calcium Deficiency

The pepper plant will get leaves that are very wrinkly and lacklustre if it gets a calcium deficiency. You can easily rectify this by slowly adding more calcium to the soil.

Clam, oyster or egg shells are cheap and easy ways to do this. You can also work lime, wood ash, calcium nitrate or bone meal into the soil, depending on what you have.

If it is provided in the right amounts then the plant should look better in about a week or so.



You can easily see aphids as they are quite large and obvious walking around the underside of the leaves of the chilli plant. They slowly kill the plant by sucking fluid out of it which is why the leaves start to curl or die off with a big infestation.

This is unlikely to be one of the common pepper plant problems you see with pepper plants outside because ladybirds and other bugs will take care of the issue for you.

Indoors though, in the house or a greenhouse, there are no natural predators so if you don’t spot the issue the plants will eventually die.

Even worse, the aphids can also give other plants diseases such as mosaic virus, which is very bad news.

To prevent common pepper plant problems such as plants getting aphid infestations, you need to make them as healthy as possible as a first port of call. Try to make sure the plants you put indoors over winter are properly pruned, are not stressed and properly watered.

A little insecticide wouldn’t go amiss a few days before moving them indoors too. If you do get an infestation, quarantine affected plants and then spray the aphids off before adding more insecticide.

You can try some of the homemade insecticides here and here but do research the use of different products on pepper plants so you feel comfortable with how they work, and any precautions that need to be taken.


Mosaic Virus

Mosaic virus was discovered in the 1800’s and can infect over 350 plant species. It presents in pepper plants by giving them yellow splodges and wrinkly leaves that are not quite crispy, but not soft like a leaf usually is.

This disease stunts the growth of the plants and affects the fruit they produce. If your plant has mosaic virus you need to get rid of it and any surrounding weeds or plants, ensuring that those plants are not composted.

You will also need to dispose of the soil as the virus can live in the soil for over a year. Once that is done, disinfect your pots and tools before using them for other plants, as shown in this video.

Lastly, the virus can be transmitted through your hands and clothes too. Whilst dealing with mosaic virus plants you need to avoid touching any other plants. You should also wash your clothes before wearing them again for gardening.


You’re Ready To Battle All Of The Pepper Plant Problems

The fact is that every plant has its problems and pepper plants are no different.

Most pepper plant problems do have multiple solutions though and if they don’t, there’s a lesson learnt to boost future pepper growing plans. A mistake made I the garden is never a wasted experience.

Hopefully, with more practice, trials and tribulations you will be able to grow healthy, strong pepper plants next season for lots of yummy, sumptuous fruits to use in your family kitchen day after day.

Pickling Chilli: What, Why & How

pickling chilli

If you’re topping up your storage cupboard, or you simply fancy a fun and wholesome afternoon kitchen activity, you’ve come to the right place.pickling chilli

We’ve got all you need to know about pickling chilli like a pro for perfectly preserved spicy treats made to last.

In this article we will look at what pickled chillies are, why you should pickle them and how to get the job done.

By the end, you’ll be ready to get your spicy glut pickled up and ready for using in all kinds of yummy recipes.

Here’s everything you need to know about pickling chilli:



You may have heard about pickled items like gherkins and cucumbers, which account for nearly 60 thousand metric tons of vegetable production coming out of Canada alone.

What you may not have heard of is pickled chillies, which are not as common, but they are just as tasty!

A pickled chilli can be any chilli that is put into a sterilised container with vinegar (different types are used) and then sometimes spices and seasonings are added.

They can be pickled roughly chopped, sliced or whole depending on your preference and the size of the chilli/ receptacle.



Why try pickling chilli when you can buy pickled chilli?

Firstly, you can save money. If you like to have a larder full of tasty preserves and pickled foods, pickling chilli makes sense.

Globally, the sales of naturally healthy food and drink is worth nearly $260 billion USD, but you can save those dollars for yourself! At least with pickling chilli, which you can do yourself easily.

Secondly, it makes the most of your chilli harvests. We have been pickling our veg pals for 4,000 years to avoid food wastage and to build stocks between harvests. If you grow your own chillies or you get a few at a great price, pickling them stretches out the time that you have to enjoy those hot, spicy, tasty treats.

Another great reason to pickle chillies is for the health benefits. Pickled vegetables lose some nutrition when they are preserved, but they gain really helpful bacteria that boost gut health.

Chillies themselves are also healthful, and although they lose some nutrition when they are pickled, they don’t lose all of it. They contain vitamin C, B6, K1, potassium, copper and vitamin A as well as bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants.

All the benefits above give you an extra bonus of creating great preserves for yourself and to give as gifts to friends and family.

Pickled chilli look great, have a great shelf life and they give your loved one tons of healthy benefits too.



Pickling chillies is really easy and best done if you have a glut of homegrown chillies, or you’ve been lucky enough to have been given a big batch.

To prepare pickle chillies, you should give them a good wash, and you can then either leave them whole or slice them.

Unless you tend to serve them up whole, usually it’s best to slice them and pickle them so they’re ready for use right out of the jar. They can be used in all kinds of yummy dishes like pasta arrabiata, chilli, guacamole and pizza.


Instructions –



We’ll give you instructions for the yummy pickling mixture below. First, here’s how to ensure that you keep the results nice and sterile. This process is essential to stop bacteria being introduced to the pickled chillies, which will then lead them to degrade and deteriorate.

By sterilising them you protect the items inside until you’re ready to open the jar and get stuck in to your tasty spicy treats.

To sterilise you need to:

  • Wash the jars in hot soapy water, rinse them and then leave them to dry naturally on a clean surface
  • Put the jars in the oven at about 175 degrees c for 15 minutes
  • Place your hot pickling mixture into a receptacle that is very easy to pour without spillage, like a spouted kitchen jug
  • Fill the jars leaving around ¼ an inch at the top taking care not to get any mixture on the rim
  • Do not allow the mixture to cool, and instead put the lids onto the jars (with a wax paper seal if preferred) when the mixture is still hot and seal tightly. You can also use a wax paper and cellophane seal secured with an elastic band
  • The mixtures will keep for about 6 months on average if kept in a dark and cool larder if jarred in this way. They should also last about four months in a fridge (once jarred and cooled) unopened



To make the pickled chillies please follow these instructions:


Ingredients –

*Adjust according to the amount of chillies/ weight of chillies you are using*

  • One pound of chillies
  • ½ cup of vinegar (usually white or cider vinegar works best)
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp high quality salt
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • ½ cup of water



  • Place the prepared chillies into jars along with a couple of bay leaves
  • In a saucepan mix together vinegar, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, salt and sugar and bring to a boil (open the windows as the mixture can smell really strong!)
  • Follow the instructions above to add the mixture to the jars


Which Peppers Are The Best To Use When Pickling Chilli?

When you are pickling chilli you can choose any chilli pepper you like, there are no restrictions on the veggies that you store.

Jalapeños lend themselves to the process as they are naturally juicy but not too hot, so they go with everything.

If you want to make more of an impact with a jarred gift, pickle some Carolina reapers or ghost peppers for a super hot addition to any meal. Just be sure to warn the recipient of the absolute fire contained in the jar!


You’re Ready To Pickle Chillies!

With all the tips above you are ready to start pickling chilli. Yummy meals and recipes are in your future with this brand new preserving skill!