How to Grow Chiles (Hot Peppers)

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Botanical Information

Taxonomy

History

Physical Description

Varieties & Cultivars

Categories or Types of Chiles

Colors Available

Varieties (link to ../category/cultivars/tag/Chiles)

Growth Requirements

Climate & Temperature Requirements

Air Temperature

Soil Temperature

Humidity

Day Length or Light Requirements

Site Conditions Favored

Soil Requirements

Soil Texture

pH

Nutrient Requirements

Propagation

Methods of propagation

Seed

Division

Cuttings

Transplanting or Potting Up

Seed Saving

Planting Out

Bed Prep & Soil Amendments

Bed Spacing

Row Spacing

Planting Depth

Alternative Bed Methods

Container Gardening

Routine Cultivation & Maintenance

Water Requirements

Fertilization Recommendations

Mulching & Weeding

Pinching or Pruning & Dividing

Support

Winterizing

Companion Planting

Helpful Companions

Harmful Companions

Companion to..

Pests, Diseases & Problems

Common Pests

Common Diseases

Symptoms

Whole Plant

Leaves

Stem/Trunk

Flowers

Fruit

Roots

Harvesting & Storage

Edible Parts of the Plant

Yield

Days to Harvest / Harvest Timing

  • Hot peppers are ready for harvest when they become bright red VG

Harvest Methods

  • Cut them from the plant and hang them up, if drying VG

Storage of harvest

Fresh

Canned

Frozen

Pickled

Dried

Cooking with Chiles

About the Heat in Chiles…

There’s no general rule as to which chile is hotter or less hot than another chile. Typically jalapeno types are less hot than serrano, which are less hot than habanero types, but I have had jalapenos that were hotter than some serranos…although I can’t think of a habanero that wasn’t hotter than the other two… 🙂 But really, even within the same variety, even when they come from the same plant (!), they can be varying degrees of hotness.

The heat-causing compounds, capsaicinoids (capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, etc), are at the highest concentrations in the pith of the pepper. These are the whitish ribs which hold on to the seeds. Seeds hold the second highest concentration, and the flesh of the pepper has the lowest amount of capsaicin compounds. To control the amount of heat in your cooking, remove the pith and seeds to be conservative.

As far as growing hot chiles, it seems that stress increases the amount of capsaicin a plant produces. This means that chiles grown in dry, hot conditions should result in hotter peppers. I am not sure as to how the ripeness affects the heat level, but do know that the riper the chile, the more developed the sugars are, so I usually like the taste of them better when ripe. Some people don’t pick them until they “cork”, which is when little cracks develop longitudinally on the pepper, thinking they are hotter at this point, but Cooks Illustrated did some testing on this theory and couldn’t back up the hypothesis.

Cooling the Heat in Chiles…

If you’ve gone too far in the hot zone, the only thing that will bring down the heat level is to add fat. Sour cream, milk, oil, or cheese will bring it down. This goes for your mouth, too. Water & beer or alcohol will increase the sensation; and sugar, salt, are all not effective.

If you’ve got the burn going on your hands, definitely don’t rub your eyes! Right when you are done chopping or preparing the peppers, wash hands with hot water & lots of good grease-cutting soap. I then pour some oil on my hands and rub it in well. Add soap to the oil on your hands and rub it all in again, then rinse. Apparently rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide also work. Haven’t tried those, though.

Nutritional Benefits & Values

Toxicity

Cooking

Preparation

Cooking Methods

Recipes (link to …/category/recipes/tag/Chiles)

Resources

Information for this article was taken from these sources. (link to …/category/resources/tag/Chiles)

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