Chillis This week in the garden Week 98
Chillis This week in the garden week 9
In particular, Rocoto. Sometimes also sold as Alberto’s Locoto.
I first encountered this chilli pepper last year, and bought it only because the fruit was not standard chilli shape. In addition, it will also grow outside on a warm patio, and it can be overwintered, in the same way as a fuschia for example.
Overwintering gives the plant a head start, producing fruit faster and more of them.
The leaves are unlike the other chillis I grow as well. In fact they look more like a tomato, or deadly nightshade. They are large and hairy, and the flowers are small and purple.
The fruits are shaped like small bell peppers rather than the traditional and expected witches fingers or cones. They turn green to red as the mature, gradually bringing the branches down with their weight.
Rocoto chillis are easy to grow
This year the seed sown was from last years fruit, taken just before Christmas when my daughter used a couple to make chilli chocolate for her friends. I sowed the first of them barely dried out on New years Day. There was 100% germination in heated propagators through the mild January and occasionally frosty February.
Last week I moved the first ones on into individual pots. I want to pot these on quickly as they grow to maximise the outdoor season they will get in one of my suntraps.
The original seeds were from Realseeds, a most helpful and friendly lot with loads of interesting seeds to choose from. The website of the Chileman shows many varieties called Rocoto, with different colours of fruit and degrees of heat.
Mine are very much on the hotter end of tolerable.
And earlier this week I sowed 3 other varieties, some for the greenhouse but another that should grow outdoors. they should be ready to move on by mid-April.