Chilli pepper for home gardens – uses
All of us are familiar with chilli pepper, that is essential for our daily kitchen needs. In addition to its culinary uses, the fruits as well as the leaves of the plant, are used as home remedies for many ailments.
Owing to the presence of Capsaicin, an active chemical component, chilli peppers are widely used for making medicines. Preferably, for the preparation of certain topical ointments.
However people all over the world, use it for adding the hot and spicy flavour to cuisines.
There are more than forty thousand varieties of plants in the family. These are grouped in to three main categories such as bell pepper, sweet pepper and hot pepper. Among these, Indian people commonly use the hot pepper, that gives a pungent flavour to dishes.
The chilli pepper fruits are rich sources of antioxidants and a lot of vitamins. Usually chilli pepper fruits, in the raw form are used for cooking purpose.
We use the dried and powdered form, also known as paprika, for adding flavour and colour to dishes.
It is really fascinating, that farmers from certain areas of Asia and Africa use chilli pepper, to repel elephants that destroy crops.
Though China is the largest producer of chilli pepper in the world, a lot of Indian varieties are very famous. For example, the Guntur chilli from Andhra Pradesh, the less spicy but colourful Kashmiri chilli etc. Besides, Bhut jolokia one of the hottest Indian varieties, is cultivated widely in the north – eastern states.
Chilli pepper for home gardens as ornamental plant
Above all, it is one of most beautiful ornamental plants for home gardens. Along with other flowering or non flowering plants, bonsai etc. a few chilli pepper plants with fruits can make our gardens really awesome.
The contrast in colours of fruits and leaves, make the plants really attractive. The Black pearl, Aurora, Purple Prince etc. are a few examples of ornamental chilli pepper plants.
Definitely we can grow the chilli pepper plants, either directly in soil or in pots. Using grow bags filled with a good well drained medium, is also fine.
Given below are the simple tips, for growing chilli pepper plants in home gardens.
Surely we can propagate the chilli pepper plants, through the germination of seeds. For this, always remember to collect good quality seeds from mature fruits.
A shallow pot filled with a mixture of river sand and garden soil is good for sowing seeds. It is necessary to protect the seeds from the attack of ants or any other such insects. For this you can soak the seeds in a diluted solution of pseudomonas, for a few minutes. Also it is better, to add small quantities of the liquid to the sprouting medium.
It takes a maximum of about ten days, for the seeds to sprout.
You can transplant the seedlings, after three to four weeks.
For growing the plant directly in soil, prepare the pit by filling with a mixture of dried cow dung, leaf compost and garden soil.
After that, plant your chilli pepper seedling in it, and water regularly. Provide shade for a few days, if the plant is in direct sunlight.
Usually, the chilli pepper plants prefer bright but indirect sunlight.
Pot planting chilli pepper
Generally, we can use a mixture of river sand, garden soil, dried cow dung and leaf compost to fill the pot or grow bag.
It is equally good, adding small quantities of Neem seed powder, which is a natural insect repellent.
After planting the seedlings, keep the pot in shade for a few days, and then move gradually to bright sunlight.
Water the plant moderately on a regular basis, and ensure that the pot is draining well. Never forget to feed the plant, with any diluted organic fertilizer at intervals of ten days.
The time to take for blooming, depends mainly on the species of the plant. As a general case, your plant will produce flowers within a period of four to six weeks.
Surely you can start picking the fruits after eighty to ninety days, from the date of transplanting seedlings.
Commonly, chilli pepper plants are annuals, that needs replanting every year. But, the plant can produce fruits for a period of about two or three years, if you care it properly,
Pests and diseases
In tropical places, one of the most important diseases that affect the plant, is the curling of leaves. We can surely apply certain home remedies for this. For example:
- Spraying a diluted mixture ( 2% ) of garlic paste and Neem seed oil.
2. Spreading a mixture of ash and lime powder, on both sides of the wet leaves, is another effective method.
With the above simple tips, it is really easy for you to grow a few chilli pepper plants. Try it either directly in soil or in pots as well as grow bags, that you can keep in your balconies and terrace gardens.