Introduction

Some might say, chili peppers are a love-it or hate-it kind of plant.

We imagine that, since you found yourself on this page, that you may at least be interested to delve into the world of chili pepper growing. We'd love to help you with that!

So now it might be time to ask: do you know your jalapeno from your habanero? Which peppers are hot, and which ones are not?

It turns out that the 'hot' feeling that comes from eating chili peppers is an activation of human pain receptors! As living organisms, pepper plants produce chemicals called alkaloids as part of their immune systems, and one of these alkaloids, called capsaicin, is largely responsible for that burning sensation. Peppers can be classified by how much capsaicin they contain - the more, the hotter! They can be ranked on the Scoville scale, to help you decide whether you want a pepper that is hot, mild, or harmless. For our rating system, we will classify 0 to 199 Scoville units as harmless, 200 to 4,000 as mild, and above 4,000 as hot.

Detailed Care Instructions

CULTURE: Peppers thrive in a sandier type soil that is slightly acidic. Phosphorus ad calcium are both helpful nutrients the plant needs.

GROWING SEEDLINGS: When in the 4" pots, grow plants at approx. 70°F (21°C) day and 60°F (16°C) nights.

TRANSPLANTING: Transplant out after frost when the soil is warm and weather is settled. In Central Texas, you are very unlikely (less than 10% chance) to get frost after March 20th. Ideal seedlings have buds, but no open flowers. Set plants 12-18" apart in rows 24-36" apart, or 2 rows on poly/paper mulch, 18" between plants.

ROW COVERS: Cold weather is buffered and earliness increased by using black plastic mulch, especially in combination with lightweight fabric row covers supported by wire hoops. Remove row covers in sunny weather above 85°F (29°C) to prevent blossom drop and heat damage.


DISEASES AND PROBLEMS: While pepper plants like full sun, in summer they can benefit from being under tree foliage shade to prevent sunscald. If the soil has too much nitrogen, your plants may look big and bushy but have few peppers.

HARVEST AND STORAGE: Pick the first peppers promptly when they reach full size to encourage further fruit set. After picking, wash and immediately refrigerate peppers. If you prefer greener peppers, pick after the lower number of days has passed. If you like redder ones, wait until the greater number of days has passed.

Adapted from Johnny's Selected Seeds.

Our Varieties - from least to most spicy

Peppers

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Ace

Extra-early, highly productive standard.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Red peppers

High yields quickly, cool weather tolerance

3-4 lobed bell peppers

0 (Harmless)

50 / 70

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Gourmet

Bright orange fruits.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Orange peppers

Adaptability, Virus Resistance

Large, block-shaped bells

0 (Harmless)

65 / 85

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Lilo

Purple fruits - provided you keep night-time temperatures under 64 degrees.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Purple / Red peppers

Virus Resistance

Blocky bell

0 (Harmless)

60 / 80

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Lunchbox

These beautiful, mini-sized peppers are remarkably sweet and flavorful.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Ripe Colored peppers

Sweet Taste

Small-size bell

0 (Harmless)

55-63 / 75-83

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Roulette

Red habanero - without the heat.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Red peppers

Large, sturdy plants

3" fruit

0 (Harmless)

70 / 90

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Snowball

Ivory-colored bell.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest White / Golden peppers

High yield, sturdy plant

4-lobed, blocky

0 (Harmless)

65 / 85

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Sweet Sunrise

Blocky, dark green bell ripens to yellow/orange. Fruity and sweet.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Orange-Yellow peppers

Early Ripening

3- to 4-lobed, elongated

0 (Harmless)

65 / 85

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Goddess

Sweet banana pepper for pickling or fresh eating.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Yellow / Red peppers

Bacteria Resistance

8" long

150 (Harmless)

63 / 83

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Mellow Star

Japanese shishito pepper for cooking or salads.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Red peppers

Good yield, extended harvest periods

3.5", wrinkled

200 (Very Mild)

60 / 80

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Baron

Highly adaptable, large-fruited poblano pepper.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Red peppers

Hardiness

Two-lobed, 5" by 3"

1,200 (Mild)

65 / 85

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Highlander

Early and adaptable Anaheim.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Red peppers

Cold Weather Survivability

Two-lobed, 7" by 2"

1,500 (Mild)

65 / 85

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El Jefe Jalepeno

Best combination of earliness and yield in a jalapeno.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Red peppers

Disease Resistance

3.5" fruit

4,500 (Hot)

67 / 90

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Jalafuego

Big, smooth, dark green fruits.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Red peppers

Bacteria and Virus Resistance

4" fruit

4,500 (Hot)

70 / 93

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Jedi

Continuous set  - best for home gardening

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Re peppers

High yield over time, bacteria resistance

4.5" fruit - largest jalapeno

4,500 (Hot)

72 / 82

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Altiplano

Large-fruited serrano.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Red peppers

Quick harvest

5" long

14,000 (Hot!)

57 / 77

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Red Flame

Higher-yielding 'Red Rocket' cayenne type for ristras.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Red peppers

Large fruit, high yield

6" fruit

30,000 (Very Hot!)

60 / 80

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Helios

Extra-early hybrid habanero.

Bred For

Shape

Scoville Units

Days after Transplant to harvest Green / Orange peppers

Disease Resistance

2.5" by 1.5" fruit

300,000 (WARNING: Extremely Hot)

67 / 87