Chile pequin (Capsicum annuum L. 'Chili Pequin') is a hot pepper typically used to season foods. They are also eaten raw, dehydrated, pickled, cooked and canned. Chile pequin is easy to grow and attractive when planted in a group. This hot pepper is winter hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 to 11, and grown as an annual outside those zones.
Due to the spicy heat on the tongue when tasted, plant chile pequin in areas not accessible to children.
Soil and Sun
Chili pequin does not mind poor soil conditions, however, it does require good drainage. It grows in clay, heavy clay, sandy loam or loam. Do not plant chili pequin in garden beds where eggplant, tobacco, peppers or Irish potato previously grew.
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Chili pequin is tolerant of full sun, full shade or part shade.
Prepare to Plant
A soil test provides detailed information about the nutrient and pH levels of your garden plot. Chili pequin thrives when the soil's pH is between 5.8 and 6.5. In place of a soil test, sprinkle 5-10-10 fertilizer granules in each planting hole. As a general rule, for each planting hole, mix a ¼ cup of fertilizer with the top 6 to 8 inches of soil, but follow label directions.
Start seeds indoors six to eight weeks prior to the last predicted frost date of spring for your area. Optimal temperatures for germination are between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Plant chili pequin seedlings once the last chance of frost has passed. In preparation for planting, mix a 3-10-3 starter solution fertilizer. Add 4 tablespoons of fertilizer to 1 gallon of water. Shake or stir until dissolved.
Things You'll Need
Chili pequin seedlings
Starter solution fertilizer 3-10-3
1 pint container
Watering can or hose
Tape measure (optional)
Step 1: Dig Furrows
With garden gloves on, use a hoe to create furrows in the soil that are 36 inches apart. Dig planting holes every 12 inches down the furrow that are 1 to 2 inches deeper and wider than the root ball of the seedlings.
Step 2: Plant Seedlings
Place seedlings into planting holes. Pour 1 pint of the starter solution into the planting hole. Fill hole with soil around root ball and mound soil up 1 inch on the stem. Press firmly around seedling to pack soil.
Step 3: Water
With the watering can or hose, lightly moisten the top 2 inches of soil around each plant. Water at the soil level and not from above.
It is critical the seedlings receive consistent moisture during the blooming and fruit development stages. When the top 2 inches of soil are dry, water sufficiently to a depth of 6 inches.
When the first fruit sets and reaches the size of a dime, side dress each plant with 1 teaspoon of 33-0-0 granular fertilizer. Sprinkle a thin line of fertilizer 4 inches away from the plant. Activate the fertilizer by watering over it down to the top 1 inch of soil.
Mulching helps retain moisture and block weeds. Grass clippings, wood chips and shredded leaves are excellent mulching materials.
Peppers are green and turn red as they mature. Harvest the peppers in about 70 to 85 days if the seedlings came from a commercial grower and in 100 to 120 days if started from seed.
When harvesting peppers, cut the stem 1 inch above the fruit rather than pulling the pepper from the plant.
- University of Florida Extension: Pepper, Chili — Capsicum annuum L. and Capsicum frutescens L.1
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Capsicum annuum
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Ask Mr. Smarty Plants
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Pepper
- Alabama Cooperative Extension: The Alabama Vegetable Gardener