Caring Your Cayenne Pepper Plants

Caring Your Cayenne Pepper Plants

Cayenne pepper plants are a popular chili pepper used to spice food in Mexico and the US. Growing cayenne pepper plants requires some heat. Chilies are mostly perennial in their native habitat of sub-tropical and tropical regions. If you live in an area that has a long growing season and a lot of sun, you may directly sow seeds in the garden 10-14 days before the last frost date. In temperate areas, chilies are grown as annuals, so when starting cayenne pepper plants from seed, it’s best to do so indoors or in a greenhouse. They are very delicate and react badly to overly hot or cold weather. Sow the seeds in light, well-drained soil medium and keep in a sunny location at a temperature of at least 60 F. (16 C.) until the seeds sprout in 16-20 days. Moist soil is required in the care of cayenne pepper plants but take care not to overwater. Saturated soil, or overly dry soil for that matter, may cause the foliage to yellow. Organic mulch or plastic sheeting help reduce weeding and conserve water; however, do not apply organic mulch until the soil has warmed to 75 F. (24 C.). Cayenne pepper plants may overwinter if protected from frost or moved inside. Prune the plants as needed. Cayenne peppers will be ready to harvest in about 70-80 days. When ready, cayenne pepper will be 4-6 inches long and easily pull from the stem, although it is really better to snip from the plant so you do not cause any damage. Some fruit will be green, partially green or colored and should be stored at a temperature of 55 F. (13 C.). Harvesting will be ongoing and continue until the first frost of fall.
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