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Chilli Pepper Seed for Sale - (or Chili, Chile, Chillie)

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Chilli Pepper Seeds
Half hardy annual - but can be overwintered as a perennial


Chilli Pepper 'Cayennetta' F1 Hybrid - 1 packet (8 chilli pepper seeds)
£2.99

Up to 300 bayonet-shaped cayenne peppers per plant Britishbred for its compact habit and ideal for baskets or containers, Cayennetta is an eye-catching 'ornamental edible' providing a non-stop supply of flavoursome fruits, ripening from green to red throughout the summer more...

Chilli Pepper 'Cheyenne' F1 Hybrid (Hot) - 1 packet (10 chilli pepper seeds)
£0.99

A compact, bushy, early ripening variety, Chili Pepper Cheyenne grows to a height of 45cm '18in'. Ideal grown in growbags or containers, making an attractive feature on the patio. Chili Pepper Cheyenne produces masses of medium sized green, turning orange fruits throughout the summer more...

Chilli Pepper 'Demon Red' (Very Hot) - 1 packet (8 chilli pepper seeds)
£3.69

Bred for growing on a windowsill or in patio containers. Chili Pepper Demon Red produces attractive, very dwarf plants, for edible and ornamental use. The flowers and upward pointing fruits of Chili Pepper Demon Red start green and turn bright red, are produced throughout the season. Prolific yields throughout the season, indoors or outside more...

Chilli Pepper 'Fuego' F1 Hybrid (Hot) - Vita Sementi Italian Seeds - 1 packet (20 chilli pepper seeds)
£2.69

A Cayenne type of hot pepper, Peperone Fuego has 15cm long, tapering fruits, which turn from green to fiery red. The compact, upright plant habit of Peperone Fuego produces fruits in abundance on short internodes. Pick regularly throughout the summer. more...

Chilli Pepper 'Heatwave' (Hot) - 1 packet (25 chilli pepper seeds)
£2.99

Thanks to Columbus who is credited with discovering the cayenne pepper, gardeners and cooks can enjoy the pleasure of this mixture containing red, yellow and orange. Beautifully ornamental and offering a 'mind blowinghot flavour experience. Most suitable for greenhouse culture. 'Capsicum annuum' more...

Chilli Pepper 'Inferno' F1 Hybrid (Moderately Hot) - 1 packet (10 chilli pepper seeds)
£3.99

Hungarian Hot Wax hybrid, Chili Pepper Inferno produces an early bumper crops over a long season on compact plants. Fruits are large, smooth skinned, pale lime green turning red. Chili Pepper Inferno is ideal for roasting and frying more...

Chilli Pepper 'Joe's Long' (Hot) - 1 packet (10 chilli pepper seeds)
£2.49

Chili Pepper Joe's Long produces unbelievably long, slender, cayenne-style fruits with strong pungency, excellent for hot sauces or for drying to make powders. Fruits ripen dark bottle-green to red. High yielding, Chili Pepper Joe's Long produces fruits up to 25cm '10 inches' long. Bushy plants for indoor or outdoor growing more...

Chilli Pepper 'Krakatoa' F1 Hybrid (Hot) - 1 packet (6 chilli pepper seeds)
£2.99

Capsicum annuum. Compact 'ornamental edibleon the windowsill or outside in a sunny spot, producing masses of upright pale green, turning vivid red chillies throughout the summer. Chili Pepper Krakatoa makes an attractive and edible feature on a windowsill or sunny patio more...

Chilli Pepper 'Naga Jolokia' (Very hot) - 1 packet (6 chilli pepper seeds)
£3.99

Officially recognised as the world's hottest chilli pepper, measured at just over one million scoville heat units 'SHU'. Extensively cultivated in Assam region of India. Best grown in a container under glass as needs a long growing season. Fruits pale lime green turning an orangey red. Use sparingly and with care more...

Chilli Pepper 'Numex Twilight' - 1 packet (10 chilli pepper seeds)
£1.99

Simply stunning as an 'ornamental edible'; fruits ripen from purple to yellow to orange to red, providing colour as well as hundreds of small, upright 20mm '0.75in' peppers. Superb in a container on the patio, the attractive dark leaves will show off the vivid colours of the fruits more...

Chilli Pepper 'Padron' (Medium - The Tapas Pepper) - 1 packet (10 chilli pepper seeds)
£2.09

Enjoy this Spanish culinary experience fresh from your own garden. Chili Pepper Padro is ieal picked when small and green for low levels of heat, as the heat increases as the fruits get larger and continue to mature to red. Also known as the Tapas Pepper, Chili Pepper Padro is excellent added to stirfries. Padron is from the Pimientos de Padron, brought to northern Spain by Mexican monks in the 18th century more...

Chilli Pepper 'Poblana Ancho' (Mild) - 1 packet (10 chilli pepper seeds)
£1.99

The mildest chili, ideal for more delicate tastebuds The large, shiny, bottle-green fruits of Chili Pepper Poblana Ancho are mildly pungent with a tinge of sweetness and ideal for stuffing and roasting. Fully ripe red fruits are ideal for powders and sauces. Chili Pepper Poblana Ancho produces generous yields throughout the season. Suitable for greenhouse, conservatory or outdoors more...

Chilli Pepper 'Pot Black' - 1 packet (5 chilli pepper seeds)
£2.99

Stunning British-bred 'ornamental edible' - a very attractive chili pepper which looks great in a pot on the windowsill or on the patio. Lush dark leaves and a lovely display of purple flowers are followed by 3-4cm '1-1.5in' black fruits which ripen to red over time. Peppers are medium hot with a wonderful intense flavour and will pack a punch in a variety of dishes. more...

Chilli Pepper 'Prairie Fire' (Hot) - 1 packet (20 chilli pepper seeds)
£2.69

These peppers might look small, but they certainly make up for size when it comes to flavour One bushy plant will give you a non-stop summer crop of literally hundreds of mini, extremely hot peppers. 'Capsicum annuum' more...

Chilli Pepper 'Summer Heat' F1 Hybrid (Hot - Jalapeno) - 1 packet (10 chilli pepper seeds)
£2.49

The Pizza Pepper. An earlier ripening Jalapeno with longer, slightly tapered, 9cm '3.5in' fruits. Traditionally the fruits are picked green, but can be left to ripen red. The unusual 'scarredskin of Jalapeno Summer Heat is a desired trait of Mexican Jalapenos. Jalapeno Summer Heat is suitable for growing in a greenhouse or outdoors. Prefers a moist, rich, well drained soil in warm conditions. Flavour guide: Hot pungency. Ideal for Pizzas more...

Chilli Pepper 'Super Chili' (Hot) - 1 packet (10 chilli pepper seeds)
£2.69

Superb Thai variety with a very compact habit, Chili Super Chili is ideal for growing in pots on the windowsill or in containers on a sunny patio. Each highly decorative plant of Chili Super Chili carries a huge number of slender, pointed lime-green fruits which turn red, increasing their potency. Ideal grown on a windowsill, in a greenhouse or on the patio. Seeds are in the RHS Vegetable Collection more...

Chilli Pepper 'Tabasco' (Very Hot) - 1 packet (15 chilli pepper seeds)
£2.49

Small, upright yellow-green fruits about 1in. long turning scarlet when ripe. Chili Pepper 'Tabascois extremely hot more...

Chilli Pepper 'Tropical Heat' (Atomic) - 1 packet (20 chilli pepper seeds)
£2.99

Chili Pepper Tropical Heat is a tantalising mix of Caribbean Habenero red and orange plus the yellow and red Scotch Bonnets. All fruits are green prior to ripening and have a very hot, fiery pungency at maturity more...

Chillis can be easily grown from seed
and cultivated at home


Why grow chillies at home?

   Cost -
you'll won't want to pay 99p for a supermarket bag of 3-4 again once you realise how easy it is to grow them.

  
Flavour - as with any home-grown produce, they will be better than anything you get from the supermarket.

  
Satisfaction - the intangible joy of cutting a chilli or two from your own plant immediately before adding it to your food instead of taking it from the packet in the fridge. You don't need many plants to be self-sufficient all year round, the first year I grew chillies I had them in the freezer until May the following year, just a couple of months before the next crop were ready, and I get through quite a lot!

Sowing - They should be sown on new seed compost (yes it does make a difference, don't use multi-purpose compost) ideally in a propagator at 18-21C (65-70F), but in a warm position otherwise. They should be sown fairly early in the season, March or April, though February isn't too early as long as you are able to accommodate them once growing and keep them sheltered. Cover the seeds very lightly (their own depth) with compost or vermiculite and provide light as this helps germination.

Cover the pot or seed tray with cling film to keep the compost moist, the compost itself doesn't need to be very deep, 1" (2.5cm) max is fine as long as you prick them out fairly soon after germination which will take 7-14 days.

1st transplantation - Prick out the seedlings when they are big enough for you to handle into individual 3" (7.5cm) pots. Keep them in a bright frost-free place, a greenhouse or conservatory is ideal, early in the year excess heat will make them grow weak and spindly without the light to bring them on, so not a warm room.

Final positions - Give them enough space so they get lots of light and make sure the leaves of adjacent plants don't over-lap. When they have filled the small pot (check the roots) they can be put into larger pots I use 2L or preferably 3L, though you can put three into a grow-bag. A thin cane for support helps here, tie the plant loosely to the cane.

Chilli plants like sheltered conditions more than they like loads of sunlight, sheltered and bright is better than not-sheltered and sunny. Of course sheltered and sunny is even better (though watch for overheating and scorching). A sunny windowsill will suffice if it's all you've got and you'll get a reasonable crop of chillies from this position, though as the light only comes from one direction, it won't be as good as somewhere that the light comes from all directions.

You may be able to grow them outdoors depending on where you live, if you do, then put them in the most sheltered bright spot you have. I've had them grow tall with loads of foliage outdoors but hardly set any fruit, whereas under shelter with less light they don't grow as large but have lots of peppers.

Feed them like you would tomato plants when they start to set fruit with a high potash fertiliser.

They will start to fruit from mid-summer onwards and well into the autumn. Like sweet peppers there aren't green and coloured varieties, the green ones are just unripe coloured ones. To some extent the strength of the chilli builds up with time, it is also dependent on how much light the plant gets (light = energy to make flavour). I suggest you cut and try a green one when it's grown for a while to see what yours are like, though I think that all chillies benefit from being allowed to ripen properly.

Storage - I like to leave the peppers on the plants until I need them and cut them for use, though even if you are moderately unsuccessful you will have more than you can use immediately. They can be left on the plants for a long time, I finally cut all mine off last year just before Christmas, they will start to shrivel and dry out eventually though.

You could dry them but I find that
freezing works better. Put them into a sealable plastic container and just take out what you need, they thaw quickly and are easier to cut than when dried.

Drying is the traditional way of storing chillis and you will see many recipes (especially Mexican) that call specifically for dried chillis. I suspect the reason is of convenience rather than anything else. In a hot climate without refrigeration it works well and there really is no alternative. You can try drying easily enough, make sure the peppers are kept whole with a bit of stalk attached so that all the oils and flavours don't escape, don't chop them before storing them. Store them in an air tight jar or similar and ideally use within 6 or 12 months. Cut them up as needed from dry or soak them in water for 30 mins or so before using them.

Overwintering the plants - Though they are often grown as half hardy annuals, chilli plants are actually perennials and so can be overwintered successfully to grow again next season. They are very sensitive not only to frost, but also to cold temperatures. Keep your best flavoured and most productive plants at or above 7-8C ideally (5C might be ok, but be prepared to learn as you go!) a bright windowsill in a cool room if you don't have a frost-free greenhouse will do nicely. Keep them fairly dry but don't let them wilt and start to water them more when they start to show new growth which will start in late winter / early spring. Too much warmth with weak winter light will make them grow weak and leggy.



Using home grown whole chillis and chilli sauces

I'm not claiming to be an expert here, but I do have a life-long love of chillis and have consumed an awful lot over the last few decades, frequently on a daily basis. What I find is that the best way to use them is (shock horror!) fresh off the plant, next is out of the freezer and then coming up last is the array of sauces. Sauces  however are very convenient and can be given away as gifts to chilli-loving friends and family. I don't use dried chillis myself.

There is a bit of a macho thing that some people have about chillis (usually from young males unsurprisingly enough). The way I see it is that I would rather have a lot of flavour as well as heat and would like to be able to control the heat by adding more chillis if I want to rather than accidentally making my dish inedible as I underestimated the power of the chillis involved. It's easy enough to make a dish stronger by adding more.

Whole

Take care when chopping chillis, the scotch bonnets I grow are significantly hotter than any I've bought in a supermarket for example, if this is what you are used to, then go carefully at first until you know what you have. Don't touch your face with your hands after chopping them and be aware that the heat can stay on your fingers even after you've rinsed them under the tap.

You could wear disposable gloves for this, I tend to go slowly and use another small knife and a fork so that I don't touch the chilli any more than necessary, put the knife between the prongs of the fork when you've finished to wipe the pieces of chilli stuck to it off and wash the chopping board before you forget about it. Touching the outside of the intact pepper is usually fine, but once cut, the heat is released from the oils.

The hottest part is the placenta, the white or pale part inside the pepper that the seeds are attached to, the second hottest part are the seeds themselves. If you want the flavour of the pepper without all of the heat, you could discard these parts, though I suggest you keep them to one side so that you can add them later in case you want more heat after all.

Cooking doesn't affect the heat of chillies, though it does help to spread the heat through the food and avoid biting on an uncomfortably hot piece. Add chillis right at the start of the cooking process so their flavour and heat can dissipate through the dish and avoid hot-spots. Chilli con carne is best prepared the day before and kept in the fridge over-night for example, likewise curries also benefit from this.

If you do over-do it, drinking water won't help, though dairy does, drink milk or have something like an Indian raita or Mexican sour cream along with your chilli dish.

Sauces

There are a million and one chilli sauces available many with humorous and silly names and a it seems a bit of a cult for some that claim to cause actual pain on the way in or out where you need only the tiniest amount to make a dish almost inedibly powerful. I have yet to understand the point of these.

I use my chillis to make a a sweet sauce which can be used for dipping if you wish and another hotter sauce that I use to add to things like cheese on toast, stir fry etc. where chilli heat and flavour is needed without too much taste from other ingredients.

These two recipes are simple enough to make and work for me and the people I've given the sauces to. The most readily changeable ingredient is the amount of chilli and type of chilli. I suggest you make a small amount to start with and write down what you add so you know next time. It's not that difficult to make sauces that will be declared at least the equivalent of those you can buy. If you really want to impress you could even make your own labels!

Sweet sauce / chilli jam - this is Lorraine Pascal's recipe from her tv programme it worked well for me and there's lots of commentary on the web about how easy and successful it is for others.
  • 450gms tomatoes
  • 2 chillis (minimum - more if you like it warmer)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 60ml balsamic vinegar
  • 250gm granulated sugar
Blitz everything in a food processor then boil 25-30mins until the consistency is right, it may take longer. I have a blender I can use in the pan rather than a food processor, so let everything soften up a bit first in the pan before blitzing it all.

I use home-grown tomatoes when they are available so it can also be a very cheap recipe too. The sauce can separate out in the jar somewhat, it won't harm it, just give it a shake before you use it.

Hot chilli sauce
  • 3-6 oz (170 g) fresh chilli peppers (I used less as mine were very hot)
  • 6 oz (170 g) onion
  • 4 oz (112 g) cooking apple
  • 2 teaspoons of mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a quarter of a pint (145 ml) of rice wine vinegar

Chop the onion fairly finely, peel and chop the apple, add everything to a pan until it boils, blend together in the pan at this point and leave to simmer until it gets to the right consistency (20-40 mins) remember it will be thicker when cold than when hot.

I avoided chopping the pile of very hot chillis by just adding them to the pan and letting the blender do its job (watch for splashes!). I used rice wine vinegar as it's what was in the cupboard, large relatively inexpensive bottles are available in many supermarkets "ethnic" foods aisle, otherwise white malt vinegar could be used.

Bottling
You can use almost any small glass bottles/jars that had sauces, jam etc. in, anything in the 200-400ml range is good as long as it still has a good airtight lid and is sterilizeable. Add the very hot sauce straight off the ring into the hot sterile jars (a small funnel is invaluable here), seal and leave to cool. Use as soon as you can, keeping the jar in the fridge once opened. I've no idea how long it lasts other than at least 3 months which is as long as any has lasted so far before being eaten.

Capsaicin

Capsaicin is the chemical in chillies that makes them hot
Chillies belong to the genus Capsicum which gives the chemical its name.

Like lots of plant chemicals that we find tasty, it is actually produced as a deterrent against organisms that may eat the plant, particularly fungi and insects.

Birds canít taste capsaicin
Birds spread the seeds of chillies, they pass through their digestive system intact and therefore viable, mammals often have teeth that crush and so destroy the seeds, so it makes sense for the plant to be palatable to animals that will aid its spread. Capsicum seeds are predominantly spread by birds.

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