~ Some special HOT PEPPER Seed (Chilli or Chile Peppers) ~
Chillies come from a much warmer climate than ours, so we search really hard for special varieties that do well in the UK. Here is our selection of early hot peppers for every taste, in many different colours and shapes! Some are of more unusual species such as Capsicum pubescens and Capsicum baccatum. All these have been chosen from our trials in Wales.
A note about germination rates - beginners may not realise that as a matter of course, chilli and pepper seed doesn't have as high a germination rate as other vegetables, which is why packets contain a few more seed than you might need. However, all our seed is really fresh and we don't send anything out unless at least 80% of the seeds germinate when we test them before packing.
Please order your seeds in time. You really need to plant them by the middle of March
at the very latest to have any chance of a decent crop.
TIP: The biggest cause of problems is lack of moderate heat. An electric propagator is ideal for starting chilli seed,but if you don't have one, you can still get excellent results by improvising with a warm airing cupboard, a radiator shelf or anywhere that is around 25-30C for at least a few hours in each day. Once germinated, the seedlings will grow on at lower temperatures. We find we can grow excellent plants when our propagator is full by starting seed on the counter next to our Rayburn & then growing on in a sunny windowsill.
Nigel's Outdoors Chilli
From Nigel Green of Halesworth, Suffolk, this chilli really will tolerate growing outside in the UK. We were sceptical, but it does indeed ripen outdoors with no protection here in Wales. Indeed, the picture on the far right is from our back garden in Newport, where it has ripened properly red despite being swamped by a trial squash plant.
It makes wedge-shaped 2-inch hot green fruit that later ripen to red if we have a hot summer. They are medium hot, and very sweet, making a fantastic chilli chutney, or we like them sliced on top of pizza.
Although it does fruit outdoors, you will of course get far more chillies if you grow it under cover. It is a medium-sized plant, and can also do well in a container on a sunny patio.
Order HPNO 12 seed £
Yellow Flame SUPER-HOT CHILLI
This is a new pepper that is very decorative - and also really scarily spicy, scoring 70,000 to 90,000 on the scoville heat scale.
The plants are quite compact and suitable for growing in pots on a patio or windowsill, the conical yellow peppers -about 3cm long - are upright and stand out nicely against the leaves.
Very pretty, but eat with great caution.
Order HPYF - Special offer! 20 seed £
'Pyramid' Rainbow chilli pepper
We have here an amazing chilli that we love, and which is always popular.
It make a bush about 20" tall, covered in incredibly purple little peppers. They then ripen to a whole range of pinks, oranges and reds, so you get all the colours at the same time. It is ideal as a patio or conservatory pot plant, and is very hot, too!
Order HPPy - 20 seed £
'Lemon Drop' LEMON FLAVOURED
This favourite of ours is a very rare pepper: large robust bushes (about 2' tall) covered in thin green chillies that ripen to bright yellow.
The fruit are very, very hot, with a strong lemon flavour. When you cut them they really do smell - and taste - strongly of lemons! It makes a fantastic change to your chilli sauce or salsa.
Its not super early, as the fruits ripen in early autumn - but it is very productive and decorative - and can sometimes do well in a big pot on a sunny patio, or of course it will be very happy in your greenhouse or polytunnel.
Note that the Ajís are only semi-domesticated - some of the seed is always dormant, even with good heat - but you should get plenty of plants from 16 seed, which is loads as the plants are really quite big and vigorous.
Lemon-flavoured Aji from Peru.
Order HPLD - 16 seed £
Red Basque Chilli
A fantastic heirloom chilli from the south of France that does really well in the UK. We were delighted with this variety when we trialled it - the plants are vigorous, and produce large numbers of good-sized deep red chillies, with a respectable heat to them and a great flavour.
If you enjoy hot chillies, try roasting and stuffing them with a herby goat's cheese mix - tasty but will definitely give you a warm glow!
Originally given to Felicia by an old couple who have grown them on their family farm in the south of France for years and years.
Order HPBq - 18 seed £
Bartlett's Bonnet' Chilli
Perhaps our most unusual pepper - the fruits are what you might describe as a winged bell shape - a bit like a flying saucer!
The plants are big, up to 4 ft tall in a good year, and make lots of fruit that are very hot indeed when ripe to red. This variety was originally sent to us by Anne Bartlett from Portugal, who now grows the seed for us each year.
Hot hot hot. Greenhouse or Polytunnel only. This variety maintained by, and seed grown for us by Anne Bartlett.
Order HPBB - 18 seed £
Now here's something different. Sometimes known as the Tree Chile or Rocoto, this rare and unusual pepper is unique - it has fuzzy leaves, beautiful purple flowers, and - believe it or not - black seeds. Huge numbers of pretty, 1.5" pendant fruit with thick flesh slowly go from green to deep red.
We grow it as an annual pepper in the usual fashion, and get lots of ripe fruit in October.
(But note you can also grow it as as a perennial, overwintering indoors, & plant can fruit for several years. This is moderately easy - if you can overwinter fuschias or geraniums, you will have no trouble with this beautiful plant. )
We use the fruit to spice up pasta sauces and keep some in vinegar for later in the year. They are pretty hot but it is a warming rather than burning heat, and they have lots of flavour too.
Very, very rare. A different species! Limited stock - order early.
Order HPAL - 12 seed £
Chocolate Locoto NEW
A new early locoto first sent to us by Christine Farbäck, who grows them in Sweden. Unsurprisingly perhaps, it does really well for us here in Wales.
This one has really huge fruit that are a deep chocolate brown colour. Like all locotos, it has furry leaves, purple flowers and black seeds!
Slightly later than Albertos Locoto, but bigger fruit - that's a pound coin for scale in the picture.
Order HPBL -8 seed £
Black Hungarian A TRULY BLACK CHILLI
In 2006 we did a big chilli pepper trial and this old traditional variety from Hungary was one of the real stars. It is a very hot & early chilli pepper that really is truly black.
It is one of our favourites, the productive bushes are covered with small conical peppers that are a proper black colour, and a good strong heat too.
Definitely one for those who want to grow something different! Grown for us this year by Ash Wheeler.
Order HPBH -16 seed £
'Palivec' Medium-hot chilli
This is a new addition from the Czech Republic which has received rave reviews from lots of people, including our friend Ian who runs an organic box scheme and liked them so much he grew a long row of them for his customers.
We also really like this long 'goats horn' style chilli, which starts out pale green and ripens to a dark red. It is unusually productive, making loads of peppers (even in the useless summer of 2012!) with a good flavour.
Because it isn’t stupidly hot, you can actually cook with it without worrying that you will overdo things, and as the heat is mostly concentrated in the seeds, and you can easily adjust its bite by leaving some of them out (or putting them all in if you prefer!)
NOTE: The seed is good but germination of our currently shipping batch is less than we would like - 85% - so we given you extra seed (28 instead of 20) to make up for it. Please plant slightly more than usual.
Order HPPC - 20 seed £
Early Green Jalapeño
Finally, a jalapeño pepper that will mature in the UK! We were really excited to discover this extra-early strain to grow in your greenhouse or polytunnel.
Jalapeño peppers are fleshy with distinctive blunt-tipped, cigar shaped fruit with the traditional 'jalapeño' corky marks on the skin.
It is easy to grow, and quite hot, too. Mmmm!
Early variety - traditional shape, just really quick.
Order HPEJ 18 seed £
Ohnivec VERY HOT
A chance discovery by our seed grower Ian Hearn. This large chilli from the Czech Republic is undoubtedly the biggest hot chilli we have ever had - loaded with fruit, almost a foot long and 2 inches wide, starting out a wonderful pale yellow, and ripening through orange to red.
They are completely mild when yellow, but don't say we didn't warn you - they really are extremely hot once ripened to orange.
Photo taken near Newcastle Emlyn on the west coast of Wales.
Order HPOh - 20 seed £
NOTE: If you can't take the heat of this one, but fancy trying out this type of pepper, then over on the sweet-peppers page we also have its less-evil twin, a very similar but sweet pepper called 'Semaroh' from the same breeding line .
Saving Pepper Seed:
Here Kate is collecting seed from 'Lantern' chillies.
(The rubber gloves only last about an hour before the chilli oil eats through them)
After that we pick out any empty or misshapen seeds.
The left-over seedless fruit are chopped up & made into wickedly hot chutney!
Chillies are great but the effort (and pain!) involved
in seed production
are why we only have limited packets available each year.
Chilli peppers will cross with one another, and also with any sweet peppers growing nearby, so either grow just
one variety or plan to isolate plants/flowers if you have several.
See our seedsaving instructions on the website and with your order for more information.