Hot Pepper ‘Long Cayenne Slim’


The Cayenne pepper, also known as the ‘Guinea spice’ or simply ‘red pepper’ (especially in its powdered form), is a hot chili pepper used around the world to flavour food. The name is taken from the city of Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana, and is thought originally to stem from the Caribbean-Indian word kian. Whatever the derivation, today, ‘cayenne’ has become synonymous with hot pepper. Cayenne is generally found in its ground form, either being dried and pounded to a powder or pulped and baked into cakes before being ground. Cayenne peppers have also long been used as a herbal supplement, having been mentioned as far back as the 17th century in Nicholas Culpeper’s book Complete Herbal. Culpeper warned that the chili, with its 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units, ‘might prove dangerous to life’! Although that seems unlikely, a pinch of cayenne will definitely wake you up!

Common name Hot Pepper
Latin name Capsicum annuum
Variety Cayenne Long Slim
Quantity 40 seeds
Plant size Height: 70 cm
Width: 45 cm
Container size Height: 30 cm
Width: 30 cm
Companion plant(s) Basil, okra, onions, radishes, calendula, mint
Planting indoors Feb to Mar
Planting outdoors May to Jun
Germination 15 to 30 days
Harvesting 70 to 90 days
Planting 3 cm to 5 cm apart at 0.5 cm depth
Thinning 30 to 50 cm
Light Full sun
Soil Well-drained, light and moist soil
Watering Regular watering, not overdone
Feeding Heavy feeding
Caring Did you know that container-grown peppers can also grow as perennials in colder climates if you bring them indoors for the winter? This way, a plant can live for up to 10 years!
Beneficial wildlife Although peppers are self-pollinating plants, pollinators will increase fruit set.
Pests Grow companion plants that attract ladybirds to prevent aphid attacks.
Harvesting The more peppers you pick, the more you will harvest! Pick the peppers often – as soon as they are ripe – to ensure a continued harvest.
Eating Medicinal properties: As Culpeper said, cayenne ‘helps digestion, provokes urine, relieves toothache, preserves the teeth from rottenness, comforts a cold stomach, expels stones from the kidney and takes away dimness of sight’. Trust him.

How to eat: Cayenne peppers are used liberally in styles of cooking ranging from Cajun and Mexican to various Asian cuisines. They can be used either in their powdered form or as whole spices, as is the case in Sichuan-style dishes.

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