I had a neighbor when I lived in Daytona, FL who hated anything hot. If he saw just one speck of black pepper on his plate, he wouldn't eat, thinking that the food was too hot and spicy.
That's why I was surprised when he came home one Saturday with a small potted plant that was a hot pepper. He had bought it for $ .50 and thought that it looked pretty cool. The pepper grew, and produced it's fruit. As they started to go from green to orange to red, I mentioned to Charlie that he should pick the peppers, or the plant would stop producing them. Because they were short, had a small diameter, and grew straight up, I knew they were going to be hot.
After Charlie deciding that I could have the peppers, I picked, then tried one. I was right, it was seriously HOT, with a 20 minute, or so after burn.
I stayed there a few more months, and finally decided to come back to Charleston, SC. The day before I left, Charlie gave me the pepper plant as a going away present. I've never really been concerned about what type of pepper it is, I've just called it "Charlie Pepper".
I'll be adding more pictures as this plant gets to the different stages. And, of course I'll have a picture of the plant when the peppers are growing well. It'll only grow 12" - 15" tall, so it's good to have it on the boat. Plus it's a great conversation starter.
- 2, Dried Charlie Peppers, Leftover from last year.
1. Take a paper towel. make damp with water, not wet. Remove the seeds from the pod and place on the paper towel.
Spray the seeds with a couple of squirts of Clorox Cleanup. This, mild bleach solution will insure that the seeds don't get moldy, both now, and after they're planted.
2. Fold up the paper towel, then cover with plastic wrap.
Let this sit for 3 days to let the pepper seeds begin to swell up.
3. When you're ready to plant, you'll notice that the seeds are about double the size they were when you first wrapped them. That's because they've absorbed the moisture from the paper towel.
4. I have a heavy, 6" pot. In the bottom, I've place about 1" of 1" stone, for drainage. On top of that is the potting soil.
Get the soil real wet. This can be difficult to do, so fill with water, let it drain, then do it again, and stir up the potting soil with your hand. Keep doing this until the potting soil is real wet.
Place the seeds, about 12, separate, but within a circle about the size of a 1/2 dollar. and push them into the ground with a pencil. You only want to plant them 1/4" deep or so, just make sure they're covered. Press lightly with you finger to insure that the seed is touching soil all around it.
5. Cover with plastic wrap, then place a rubber band around to hold it on. Set it in a warm place, preferably the morning sun, and forget about it for 6 - 7 days.
6. It will take about a week for it to sprout. If they've come up moldy, you didn't use enough of the Clorox Cleanup.
Take the top off for 1/2 hour or so, and place it back into the sunlight. Again, the morning sun does best.
7. The next day, you should be able to remove any seed pods that have stuck to the leaves that have come out of the ground.
8. This step is the toughest because you've got to remove the weaklings.
9. After another 3 - days, the should be growing nicely, now you'll have to remove the weak ones again, and leave the 2 strongest that are closest to the center of the pot.
Depending on the weather, you might want to place a plastic bag over the top, on cooler days, but be sure to remove it if it's real sunny, or you'll cook the plants.
10. Don't let the plants be in rain until they're about 6" high. They're just too week, and the roots are too shallow to support them.
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