Capsicum annuum – ‘Cayenne‘
Cayenne is a fiery red chili pepper with a shiny hue whose slim profile tapers to a point. As far as heat is concerned, cayenne pepper is in the middle of the pack. It is rated 30,000 to 50,000 on the Scoville scale or about 12 times hotter than its cousin, the jalapeño. Chef’s love its neutral flavor because it adds heat to a dish without distracting from the other ingredients. Additionally, like most peppers, cayenne is an excellent source of vitamin C and A. A single fresh pepper contains 72% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C and 50% of vitamin A.
Growing Healthy Plants
As with all peppers, cayenne thrives in warm weather conditions and should be planted in the ground after the threat of frost has passed. The soil temperature should remain consistently above 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 18°C) for optimal growth. If necessary, you can warm the soil using black plastic a few weeks prior to planting.
Peppers require a location that receives full sun, meaning an average of at least six hours of sunlight per day.
To ensure healthy growth, peppers require nutrient-rich soil. To prepare the soil, mix in a generous amount of compost and a light application of well-rotted manure. Be cautious not to add too much manure, as too much nitrogen can cause excessive foliage growth at the expense of fruit production.
Before transplanting, it’s best to remove any fruit or flowers that have already developed. Doing so will allow the plant to channel its energy towards root and stem growth and adapt to its new outdoor environment. With a stronger foundation and warmer weather, the plant will produce more flowers and fruit, resulting in a higher yield.
During transplanting, it’s recommended to space pepper plants 12 to 18 inches apart, as they typically perform well when grown in close proximity to each other but not touching.
Pepper plants can become overwhelmed by the weight of their fruit if they are not provided with support. To prevent this, it’s advisable to stake the plants or install tomato cages early, before the plants have grown significantly.
|loamy, rich, well-draining soil
|Late July through August