Updated: Oct 12, 2021
Cayenne pepper is an easy to grow plant. It does not demand a lot of effort from you. Just provide a satisfactory environment to these chilies and you will notice that they are growing happily with zero complaints. All you need is a high-quality seed, warm temperature, enough light, and water.
A few basic requirements of this plant are given below. Let’s have a look.
Seed and sowing
A vigorous and healthy seed is the key player in a good harvest. Young seedlings are sensitive to frost, that’s why sowing is done after the last frost of the season. The seeds are planted in fertile soil at 20-24 inches distance. Sporting of seedling occurs in 15 to 20 days. Seeds are sometimes grown inside, and seedlings are transplanted later. However, it demands too much care to recover from transplantation shock.
It must be kept in mind that cayenne is not recommended to be cultivated on soil previously used for the cultivation of potato, tomato, or other species of the Solanaceae family.
Light is the basic requirement of every plant because plants convert light into their food. However, the demand varies among species. Cayenne is a heliophytes (sun-loving). It will grow happily when expose to plenty of suns. Its daily light requirement is at least 8 hours. In the field, it will get the desired amount of sun, however, if you are interested in kitchen gardening, place the container on the windowsill to provide a good sunbath
Soil and Waters
Well, drained, moist, and healthy soils are the ones which is the favorite of almost every plant. Similarly, the cayenne pepper will love it too. Furthermore, the pH of the soil is crucial in determining the flavor of its harvest. Neutral soils yield perfect taste while higher pH gives a more spicey taste to the chili pods. Nitrogen-rich soils can also increase foliage growth, thus reducing the yield.
Irrigation is a delicate process too, over or underwatering both are problematic. Cayenne requires perfectly moist soil neither too dry nor oversaturated. Mulching is also effective in conserving moisture around the plant.
Cayenne pepper is sensitive to weather extremes. It flourishes very well in a warm environment. Temperature fluctuations can create a problem for the cayenne plant and ultimately a problem for you. An extremely hot or cold environment hinders growth and affects the production yield. So, it is better to take care of it for a good harvest.
If you are living in mild areas, it’s better to plant the cayenne peppers when it gets a little warmer or as I mentioned above “right after the last frost of the season”. But if you are native to the northern area indoor cultivation would be a perfect choice. Most of the farmers set up greenhouses to cultivate cayenne peppers. It not only protects the plant from the weather but also yields a good harvest in a short duration.
The crop is ready to harvest in 3 months. Bell-shaped white to purple flowers turned into 5-inch-long tapering shape fruit in just a few weeks. A bright red color, firm touch, and waxy skin is an indication of maturity in pepper. Instead of pulling, clip the fruit without damaging the plant and get multiple harvests from it. Overripe fruit becomes soft and loses its market value.
Uses and benefit of Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a medicinal herb that improves your health as well as enhances the taste of your daily meal. Hot and spicy food is the culture of Asian street food. The red powder and chili flakes, usually noticeable ingredients of hot sauce, soup, or pizza topping. The crimson spices have an impressive nutritional profile too. Capsaicin is present in it which gives the hot flavor and has significant pharmaceutical properties. It boosts metabolic reactions, produces more heat, and burns calories. It also produces the effect that your tummy feels full for longer. It improves stomach health and reduces appetite. It reduces the risk of cancer and boosts immunity against infections. Capsaicin alleviates pain by decrease the efficiency of neuropeptides which are responsible for creating signals of pain to the brain. Antioxidants present is pepper detoxify the body, maintain blood pressure, and maintain cardiovascular health.
Get your hands dirty!
Now, what you are waiting for? Poke the soil and get your hands dirty. You can grow peppers either in your kitchen or garden or field. Just remember this -good quality seed, moist soil, plenty of light, and you will be good to go.
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