This perennial pepper variety is also often known as "Bird's Eye Pepper", and is used in a lot of dishes in Kerala and Sri Lanka. The small peppers are often used in chutneys and pickles, and rate around 50,000 to 100,000 SHU on the Scoville heat scale, which makes them between a hot and spicy hot pepper on their scale.
Hot Pepper - Kanthari
- Planting: Plant seedlings in fertile in full, direct sun in well-drained soil (can be amended with compost or worm castings 2 weeks before planting). Wait until nightly temperatures are above 60°F to plant your seedlings out into your garden. Space your plants 12 to 18 inches apart. For greater production, consider growing the peppers under a light row cover or greenhouse plastic, under a garden cloche, or in 5 gallon pots (or larger) inside a greenhouse, as these peppers LOVE hot summers.
Watering: Water seedlings fequently and deeply when first planted to prevent transplant shock. Once plant is well established, stick to a consistent watering schedule.
Harvesting: You can harvest fruits from the plant at any age to get a better feeling for the varying flavor profile of the peppers as they ripen, but for fully developed flavors and heat wait to harvest until the fruit turns red. It is highly recommended to harvest or pinch off the first few fruits or buds you see to encourage greater budding and fruiting.