Pepper plant

The pepper plant: cultivation

The scientific name of the pepper is Capsicum annum L. and it is an annual plant if grown in a Mediterranean climate; while in its place of origin, South America, it is a perennial plant. During cultivation it is necessary to pay particular attention to sudden changes in temperature; in fact the pepper plant cannot stand the frost. The sowing takes place in February, in a heated box. The dwelling must instead be carried out in mid-spring, around the month of May, when temperatures are already milder. The seedlings should be positioned at 40-60 cm with a distance of about 90 cm from each other. The soil must be quite fertile, of medium texture and well drained. The waterings must be abundant, preferably every 3-4 days. The harvest is staggered, on average twice a week, and takes place during the summer season.

Chilli plant: cultivation

The chilli, whose scientific name is Caspicum annuum, is well suited to being grown in pots, for example on our balconies. The soil it prefers is soft with a slight acidity. However, the chili pepper plant fears water stagnation, which is why clayey substrates are not recommended. If you have to place the plant in a pot, therefore, avoid placing the saucer; choose a vase of about 25 cm in diameter with a depth of at least 30 cm. You can sow the chilli pepper in the days of the waxing moon, germination will take place around 28 degrees centigrade; therefore if the climate is rather cool, place the plant in a sheltered place. It is advisable to water the plant continuously until the first fruits begin to appear.

The pepper: variety

There are numerous varieties of pepper; let’s see the main ones. The square pepper is a very fleshy fruit with a rather sweet flavor; it has no spiciness and has the characteristic red color. It lends itself well to cooking on the grill or in the oven. It ripens in August. The main square peppers are: the Magnum pepper, which has a thick pulp and has an average weight of about 400 grams; the Magnigold pepper, yellow in color; the Jolly pepper, with a slightly more elongated shape, has two color variations: yellow and red. Elongated peppers are ideal for risottos and for flavoring meats and side dishes. They reach maturity earlier and are: the grilled pepper, which has a smooth skin and a very bright red color; Costadoro pepper, with very thick pulp, of an intense yellow color. Finally, there are peppers in the shape of a bull’s horn such as: the red pepper diablo; ringo pepper, yellow in color; and the friggitello pepper, usually green in color.

Pepper plant: The hot pepper: variety

There are also numerous varieties of the chili pepper plant. Acapulco chilli has three different colors: orange, purple and yellow; the plant has small dimensions which generally do not exceed 40 cm and has a medium spiciness. It can be used not only in food but also as a decorative element. The Cayambe variety produces red chillies in bunches of about 7 cm long. The level of spiciness is medium and it is advisable to use it fresh, just picked. The Chupetinho pepper plant, on the other hand, can exceed 70 cm in height; this pepper has a very particular shape: it is spherical with a tip, in the final part, defined as a peduncle. It is one of the hottest species. The Habanero one of the most famous varieties; in fact its level of spiciness is very high. It must therefore be used with extreme care. The habanero comes from Mexico and has a very special and spicy taste.

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