The Second Version

07/08/07

Chillies Rock

Oh boy, it took time and effort and prayers to barbaric pre-colombian divinities, but finally one of my scotch bonnet plants has entered it production phase. And another has flower buds.
This plant is 35 cm tall, and has leaves as big as 15 x 8 cm. I haven't been able to figure out exactly what influences the growth of these plants, but the strongest ones are this - in a deep pot - and another planted in a soft ground. It seems their roots need some depth in order to develop nice and strong. When a scotch bonnet plant gets 20 - 25 cm tall (and the process can be frustratingly slow), it undergoes a change: its trunk becomes thicker and stronger; the leaves much bigger and the plant brances in two at the apex, producing 2 - 4 flower buds at the bifurcation; flowers are at the end of a stalk 1 - 3 cm long and have 6 (though in one case I counted 7) white petals. Both the two new twigs branch again, bearing more flower buds at each bifurcation: the number of flowers becomes rapidly pretty big.
Two open flowers and two young green chillies are clearly visible in the picture; there are two more fruits not visible. These young chillies grow at an astonishing rate; the difference in their size is noticeable from morning to night. The elongated one (scotch bonnets should not be elongated, but their shape is rather irregular) is roughly 3 cm long and it took around 10 days to reach this stage since the flower first blossomed.

Scotch bonnet plants like sunshine, definitely, but not too much; they perform better when not exposed to direct sunlight the whole day and especially around midday. Nitrogen (as ammonium nitrate) fertilization is recommended during the growth phase; also, these plants seem to prefer moderate watering; scarce watering while fruits ripen will increase their capsaicin content.

It's gonna be one hot September...

On a completely unrelated note, the next posts by Dennis are going to be worth a read or two - not if you already have a reserved seat on the rightwing blogosphere bandwagon, of course.


Update 08/08: A great deal of information about Capsicum chinense; it mostly confirms what I observed directly. It will be interesting to grow the next generation from seeds to see if there has been any crossing with the Capsicum annuum (bell peppers) I also have in the garden.

Etichette: , ,

0 Commenti:

Posta un commento

Iscriviti a Commenti sul post [Atom]



Link a questo post:

Crea un link

<< Home page