It’s the height of summer in this part of the world and perfect conditions for growing chillies. This year I’m attempting to grow quite a few varieties of chilli, mostly from seed:

  • Cayenne Chilli
  • Jalapeño
  • Capsicum
  • Manzano and
  • A mishmash of others from saved seeds which we didn’t bother to label!

They’re all in various stages of growth (or the lack thereof) at the moment.

The Cayenne chillies are such champions. Bought 6 seedlings from the garden store, and this is what I have now, in the matter of a couple of months:

Cayenne Chilli
Cayenne Chilli

I was looking forward to jalapeno chillies ever since I found the seeds through my mom’s workplace seed-exchange (an awesome idea!). There were about 6 seeds that I initially grew on seedling trays, but only 3 plants have survived (still a good ratio I think!). They’re not growing like crazy, but have started to bear fruit.

Jalapeno plant
Jalapeno plants 1 & 2
Jalapeno plant
Jalapeno plant 3

The capsicum plant is from last summer. Rather than discarding it when it started to die back in the colder weather I just left it. Which I now realise was not a good idea. It is now quite stunted and I don’t think it will produce any usable capsicums – but we’ll see. The right move would’ve been to save the seeds from last summer.

Last summer's capsicum
Last summer’s capsicum

The Manzano Chillies (or Manzano Peppers) give me the most grief. I was fortunate to get my hands on the seeds as well, through my mom’s workplace seed-exchange. They were a dense cluster of black seeds and about 12-15 of these sprouted well in a seedling tray, though not all of the little plants survived our house move. Transplanted what was left on to the ground (well, built-in plant box on the porch), and after surviving through crazy blackbirds constantly digging up the soil, now I am left with 3 adult Manzano chilli plants. They grew beautifully, thriving, almost trees.

Manzano Pepper Plant
Manzano Pepper Plant

And produced tens of their purple and while flowers.

Manzano Pepper Flowers
Manzano Pepper Flowers

But at long last, there are only 2 chillies in these 3 plants combined.

Young Manzano Chilli
Young Manzano Chilli

These are supposed to grown into large orange peppers with black seeds. I’ve been hand-pollinating some of the manzano flowers, so hopefully there will be more manzano this summer!

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