Chile Pepper

Growing Thai Hot Peppers

Growing Thai Hot Peppers means you’re growing a delight.  The low-growing plant blossoms profusely and produces a bounty of bright red peppers, pointing upwards.

A Little About the Peppers

Thai Hot PepperThai Hot is equally at home in a container or in the ground.  A three-gallon container will suit this pretty little pepper just fine.  You might even be able to get away with a 1-gallon container, if you keep it well-watered and fertilized.

I have the plant in the photo (and by the way, you can click on the photo to see a larger picture) growing in the ground, and it’s about 8-inches tall.  It’s also spread about 7 inches in diameter.

Now in the photo you only see 3 red peppers, but see all those blossoms and blossom buds?  In a couple of weeks, the plant will be covered with peppers.

Can You Eat the Peppers?

Sure you can, but be warned –they aren’t called “Thai Hot” for nothing!  One chopped pepper (with seeds) can easily season a large bowl of chili.

Speaking of the peppers, they are only about 3/4″ tall.  They aren’t large, but they are potent.

But the charm of these peppers is ornamental.  They make a great garden border, looking like bright red flowers.  And of course, you could each day pick a few of the peppers in the border and you’d never see a difference.

Growing Thai Hot Peppers

My pepper plant survived some very chilly weather early this season, with temperatures down in the 30’s.  It was a little sad-looking until the cold weather passed, but then came back admirably.

As with all chile peppers, they like warm weather and plenty of sunshine.  I mentioned that you can grow these in containers easily, and Thai Hot could certainly be grown indoors under lights.

An an FYI, there is a larger variety, called Giant Thai Hot.  I haven’t tried it yet, but the peppers get to about 2″ long, instead of the normal 1/2 to 3/4 inches.  There’s also a version that has orange peppers instead of red.


Chile Pepper Seeds

It’s been quite cool here in South Florida during January, and now we’re set to get more near-freezing weather this week — it doesn’t bode well for chile peppers!  I’ve got one out in the garden already — Thai Hot — but none of my other chile seeds (except for Pretty Purple Pepper) have germinated.  My sweet peppers, on the other hand, have pretty much all germinated fine.

Hmm.

The Need for Heat

Thinking that warmth may be the issue (it’s been awfully cool inside the house as well), I decided to spring for a new [nmslink:seedling heat, seed germination heating pad].  If you’re not familiar with them, they provide a gentle heat to the bottom of the seed tray.  Think of these as heating pads for seeds!

Note:  you cannot use a regular “people” heating pad to warm your seeds — they are not designed to operate 24/7 and the seed germination pads are.  If you use a regular heating pad, you risk starting a fire (or at the very least developing hot spots and give too much heat to the little seeds).

Now my new one is about 20″ x 10″ in size, and I can put two of my 8″ x 8″ trays on it with room to spare.  I generally like only only do smaller trays, in cycles.  That way, while one tray is sprouted and enjoying the grow lights, I can be starting another set.

Today’s Chile Pepper Seeds

Some of today’s seeds are new (I just bought them recently) and some are from 10 years ago — treasured seeds that I can’t help but try and grow again.

The new seeds are:  Cambuci Hot, Jalapeno M, [nmslink:mustard habanero seed, Mustard Habanero], [nmslink:peter pepper seed, Peter Pepper] and [nmslink:bhut jolokia, Bhut Jolokia].

The older seeds are:  Tam Jalapeno, Jaloro, Hot-Banero and Brazillian Rainbow.  The last two especially, since they were both from saved seed in my garden.  Hot-Banero was the absolute hottest pepper I have ever grown and Brazillian Rainbow is rare.  I’d love to see how my Hot-Banero stacks up against Mustard Habanero and Bhut Jolokia!

Unfortunately, it’s going to be awhile before I really can expect any “action” from my plantings.  Chile seeds seem to take quite a bit longer than sweet peppers, so I’m thinking it will be around Valentine’s Day before I see the first of the chiles popping their heads above ground.

Germinating pepper seeds isn’t really hard, except for the waiting part.  But given my weather of late, I’d have to wait to plant them even if they were already sprouted and grown enough.