Archive for ‘Recommendations’

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Flower and fruit development

‘The key to the formation of fruit is nighttime temperature, which ideally should be between 18 and 27 °C. Fruit set is enhanced by increased sunlight, however fruit will not set when night temperatures are above 30 °C.’ – Chile Pepper Institute

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Soil acidity/alkalinity

Soil pH should be 6.5” – Chile Pepper Institute

pH is a scale used to measure acidity or alkalinity. The scale goes from 1 to 14 with a reading of 7 indicating a neutral balance, neither being acid nor alkaline. A pH of 6.5 is just slightly on the acidic side of the scale.

This is one of those recommendations for “optimal” results. As noted in other posts, capsicum plants will grow in a variety of soils, so no point worrying excessively.

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Harvesting

A couple of tips about the picking/harvesting of chili pepper pods:

  • ChillisGalore:
    • Check your variety for the mature pod size and then as they reach full size, the pod should feel firm and look fairly glossy, if it still feels soft to the touch it is still immature.
    • Pods can be picked early but they really need to be fully developed to develop their full flavor and heat.
    • The best time to pick chilis for drying is just when they start to change color. This picking will stimulate the plant to produce more flowers and, eventually, more chilis, and the picked chilis will continue to ripen as they dry, even totally green chilis may ripen to completely red after being picked.
  • TropicalPermaculture:
    • To harvest fresh chilis cut or pull off the mature fruit while it’s still shiny and plump. If you pull it off, pull it upwards, exactly opposite to the direction in which it bends down. Then it should snap off at the joint, without breaking off the whole branch. Otherwise just snip them off.
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Fertilizer

What kind (if any) fertilizer to use?

  • “Use of a balanced fertilizer is recommended (5-10-5 or 10-10-10*). Go easy on the Nitrogen.” – Chile Pepper Institute
    • * Note: these numbers refer to amounts/proportions of Nitrogen (N) – Phosphorus (P) – Potassium (K), respectively.
  • ‘When fertilizing chili pepper plants keep in mind that, like their relatives (and indeed most fruiting plants), capsicum plants like potassium (K). Too much nitrogen (N) will make them grow lots of soft leaves and no fruit.’ – TropicalPermaculture
  • You don’t need to worry about fertilizer if you don’t want to. The correct balance of light, water are really all that the plant needs. As long as your soil is half way decent the plant will be able to get all the nutrients it needs from that.TheChileMan
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Indoor growing

‘While you can keep a chili pepper plant in a pot (and it will survive year round), it will not continue to produce unless you provide some supplemental lighting. Without extra hours of lighting it will not continue to produce new buds, flowers and fruits; it will only mature those pods already on the plant.’ – ChilePlants

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