For any beginner starting out growing chilis i would definitely recommend the Birds Eye Chili.
Birds eye chillies originated in South East Asia. Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore. Now this popular chili is found all over the world. They may appear small but they pack a burning punch and can contain between 50,000-100,000 Scoville Units, almost as hot as a Habanero.
Some sources state that the name birds eye comes from these chili bushes being started by birds picking and dropping the chilis. Birds don’t feel any effects from chilli oil therefore they don’t get the burning sensation humans do.
Birds Eye chillies are one of the easiest species to grow and maintain. They are a thick bush with lightweight fruit and are very forgiving. They can grow in sandy soil conditions to rich soil conditions. As with every other chillie they enjoy humid climates and moisture.
These chillies can withstand cold climates too even down to -20deg C. They will lose all their leaves but when spring comes they will re-shoot and fruit. Birds Eye bushes will mature and fruit very quickly, it takes about between 90-120 days and the bushes are known to last several years.
Characteristics of the Birds Eye Chili plant
Plant height up to 2meters
Stem color Green
Leaf color Green
Leaf size 3-8cm by 2-4cm
Fruit color at maturity green, orange and red
Fruit shape conical
Fruit length 2–3 cm
Fruit width at shoulder .5 cm
Fruit weight 2-3 grams
Fruit surface smooth
Seed color Light tan
Seeds per chillie 10-20
Birds eyes are used mostly for cooking but they can also be used as a natural insect repellent or pesticide when mixed with water.
I live in a inner city apartment building and have 1 birds eye chillie in a pot.
It is only 3 months old and i harvest about a dozen chillies a week. I water it once a day and make sure it gets lots of morning sunshine. I’m very proud on my plant.
Would love to see other readers birds eye chili bushes and story’s. Drop us a line if you have one.