Plant Preview

Welcome to Plant Preview, a blog dedicated to helping gardeners learn about gardening techniques and preview new plant cultivars. Read about new plants here first and hear how your "comrades in compost" are making use of new plant introductions in their gardens and landscapes. Blog author Geri Laufer is a life-long dirt gardener, degreed horticulturist, author and former County Extension Agent. Plant Preview is copyrighted by Geri Laufer.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quick Note: Growing Hot Peppers in the Kitchen Garden

Now that the season is drawing to a close, I've decided I love the look of red fruit pods on pepper plants in the kitchen garden. There’s a website called Ring of Fire that links 500 pepper-oriented websites together. and you can find anything on peppers (and much you never thought of) there. 

As for me, I planted a couple of unlabeled hot pepper plants last spring and they did well in the high light intensity abundant in Atlanta. They went along fine until our heat wave (most of the summer) and the night temperatures got so high that they prevented fruit set, just as it did with their “cousins,” tomatoes. Then my uneven watering, exacerbated by our extended drought, caused misshapen peppers, and also made them hotter, but they still looked pretty and bright. 

Although I don’t ever plan to grow peppers indoors, Richard K posted some great stats that apply to outdoor growing that he ‘found in a book on Annums’. You can find them as a comment on this blog from last year:

No Fruit Set (assuming flowers haven’t dropped or been aborted):
Temperatures lower  than 60.8F or greater than 89.6F

Flower Drop:
Nighttime temperatures greater than 75.2F

Best Fruit Set:
Day and Night temperatures between  60.8F and 69.8F

Pollen Germination:
Optimal temps between 68F and 77F
Pollen is harmed at temperatures above 86F
Pollen is sterile if temps are above 86F 15 days prior to anthesis (before bloom) 

Lately I’ve take the first baby steps experimenting in the kitchen. I’ve added slivers of red pepper to the leftovers of homemade chicken soup, with favorable comments from 2/3 of my family.  I added a little more ground cayenne powder for additional zing in my cheese straw recipe. And I now order 2-pepper dishes at our favorite Thai restaurant; enough to make my eyes water and my nose run. Yum. 

Late Breaking Addition:
In India, chili-pepper stems are used as the source for yogurt cultures! Wow! 


  1. Hi. Greetings. This post is really good and blog is really interesting. It gives good details.

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  2. Thanks, Victoryperfect! It's time to plant seeds for hot pepper plants this summer.