Chilli Pepper Seeds
Half hardy annual -
but can be overwintered as a perennial
|Chilli Pepper 'Basket of Fire' F1 - 1 packet (8 seeds)|
Grow a wonderfully productive - and decorative - chilli pepper. The unique plant habit of 'Basket of Fire' makes it a perfect choice for hanging baskets or containers - it will become smothered with small hot chilis which mature from deep purple through yellow and orange to a bright red, creating a fabulous display. Plants show good tolerance to cool weather and will continue to fruit outside well into the autumn and even longer under glass. Harvested peppers can easily be dried as well as used more...
|Chilli Pepper 'Cayennetta' F1 Hybrid - 1 packet (8 seeds)|
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 seeds)|
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 seeds)|
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 seeds)|
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 seeds)|
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 blowing' hot flavour experience. Most suitable for greenhouse culture. (Capsicum annuum) more...
|Chilli Pepper 'Inferno' F1 Hybrid (Moderately Hot) - 1 packet (10 seeds)|
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 seeds)|
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 seeds)|
Capsicum annuum. Compact 'ornamental edible' on 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 seeds)|
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 seeds)|
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 ( 3/4in) 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 seeds)|
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 seeds)|
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 'Prairie Fire' (Hot) - 1 packet (20 seeds)|
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 seeds)|
The Pizza Pepper. An earlier ripening Jalapeno with longer, slightly tapered, 9cm (3 1/2 in) fruits. Traditionally the fruits are picked green, but can be left to ripen red.The unusual 'scarred' skin 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 seeds)|
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 seeds)|
Small, upright yellow-green fruits about 1in. long turning scarlet when ripe. Chili Pepper 'Tabasco' is extremely hot. more...
|Chilli Pepper 'Tropical Heat' (Atomic) - 1 packet (20 seeds)|
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
and cultivated at home
Why grow chillies at
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.
as with any home-grown produce, they will be better
than anything you get from the supermarket.
- 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!
- They should be sown on new
(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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
could dry them but I find that
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
- 450gms tomatoes
- 2 chillis (minimum - more if you like it
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 inch ginger
- 60ml balsamic vinegar
- 250gm granulated sugar
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
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
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.
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 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
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.