Chilli Rocoto Tree
Chilli Rocoto Tree comes from the mountains of South America and can tolerate cooler weather. They have a lovely purple flower with black seeds and can grow to 4m tall but it is easy to prune to the desired height. Can tolerate light frost but heavy frost will damage the plant when young.
The Rocoto can survive a Tassie winter and keep going for up to 15 years. Plant in your warmest position and place some protection on frosty nights to get the plant established. Fruits turn from green to red. 50,000 to 250,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units).
Not as hot when green. Perfect in a large pot in the hothouse and provides winter chilies.
Sow – Start on a heat mat or indoors in August, plant out after risk of frost and soils warmed (early November in cool climate). Can start earlier if planting in a hot house. Lay black plastic on ground and plant into an X cut-out if planting outside (This helps establish the plant in its first year.
Spacing – 1m.
Capsicum fruits have been a part of human diets since about 7,500 BC, and are one of the oldest cultivated crops in the Americas, as origins of cultivating chili peppers are traced to east-central Mexico some 6,000 years ago. They were one of the first self-pollinating crops cultivated in Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America.
Germination: Optimal Soil temperature is 24 to 30 C (around 10 to 20 days to germination, longer at lower temps)