Different types of Hot Pepper Plants

Different types of Hot Pepper Plants

The five most widely cultivated hot pepper plant species are Capsicum annuum, C. baccatum, C. chinense, C. frutescens and C. pubescens. Although generally hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9b during 11, the plants typically develop as annuals. Most varieties grow up to 2 to 4 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide and produce fruits in the spring and summertime. They prefer full sunlight and well-drained, moist soil with a pH level between 5.8 and 6.5. Pepper plants belong to the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes and raspberries.

Capsicum Annuum

Capsicum annuum is the most frequently cultivated hot pepper species, notes Floridata. Lots of the peppers used in cooking, such as red or green 1 1/2- to 3-inch jalapenos, are varieties of the species. Other illustrations include 4- to 7-inch-long by 3-inch-wide red brown ancho and 5- to 10-inch-long by 1/2-inch-wide red cayenne. The plants usually have inconspicuous white blooms. But ornamental cultivars include “Black Pearl,” which produces showy, purplish black seams and leaves.

Capsicum Baccatum

One of those taller pepper species, Capsicum baccatum pepper crops achieve heights of 5 to 8 feet and develop wild in their native South American habitat. Although less widely cultivated as various other species, this kind of pepper grows to a limited extent in the USA. The white blooms have distinguishing green or yellow spots at the bottom of the petals and create brightly coloured fruits as little as berries or as big as 1 foot long. By way of instance, the variety aji Bolivian produces 4-inch-long by 1/2-inch-wide green to red and orange peppers.

Capsicum Chinense and Capsicum Frutescens

Capsicum chinense plants create some of the hottest peppers, such as box-shaped, orange, white or red habanero and yellowish Scotch bonnet, as stated by the Oregon State University Extension. The crops have wrinkled, green leaves and white blossoms that bear 1- to 2 1/2-inch-long by 2-inch-wide fruit. Horticulturists used to group this species using the similar C. frutescens. Varieties of C. frutescens include 1- to 3-inch-long red tabasco peppers. This species includes a compact, upright growth habit suitable for containers.

Capsicum Pubescens

Native to the South American mountains, Capsicum pubescens prefers cooler temperatures than any other pepper plants. Hardy to USDA plant hardiness zone 9a, this species will not blossom at temperatures above 80 degrees F, according to Floridata. It may grow up to 9 feet tall and has purple flowers and fuzzy leaves and stems. The red, orange or yellow apple-shaped ducts develop upright and have black seeds, unlike the tan seeds of different peppers. The cultivar “Canario” produces purple blooms and 1 1/2-inch-long by 1 1/4-inch-wide yellow peppers.

Pests and Diseases

A number of insect pests and diseases affect hot pepper crops. By way of instance, wilted, curled or yellowish leaves are a indication of aphid or whitefly infestation. Control these very small insects by spraying insecticidal soap on the plant or taking away the insects manually. The white legless larvae of the pepper weevil feed on peppers and induce bud drop. Destroy pepper crops and other nightshade plants after harvest to remove weevil host plants. Another insect, known as thrips, spreads spotted wilt virus, which causes dieback and orange or yellow rings on peppers. Regular weeding destroys the habitat of the pest.

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