Pepper - Hot Chenzo
Chenzo is a compact branching Chilli that has a very attractive habit producing a heavy crop of 3-4inch black peppers that matures through green to bright red all over the plant. The compact open branching habit of Chenzo plants make it a very attractive plant in the garden. The fruits are a little Pungent measuring 45,000shu (Scoville heat units) which is similar to Jalapeono type. The habit of Chenzo makes it a superb choice for pots and containers as well as open ground.
The plant bears fruits from mid summer onwards and can be harvested as required (red fruits are most pungent).
Tips and Uses
Chenzo with it’s compact habit, is ideal for pots and containers as well as on a warm sunny windowsill or of course in the garden border. Traditional Chilli plants are usually tall and top heavy requiring staking and protection from even light wind. Chenzo remains compact and only requires at most a little support.
Fresh chilli peppers, red or green, are rich source of vitamin-C. 100gm fresh chilli provides approx.143.7mcg - about 240% of RDA.They are also good in other antioxidants like vitamin A, and flvonoids like beta carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthins. These antioxidant substances in capsicum helps to protect the body from injurious effects of free radicals generated during stress and disease conditions. Chillies contain good amounts of minerals such as potassium, manganese, iron and magnesium. Chillies are also good in B-complex groups of vitamins, such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamine (B-1).
Black maturing through green to bright red.
Not hardy; grow as an annual.
12 inches (30cm apart).
Garden borders, pots and containers.
Compact relaxed habit.
Daily during dry spells.
Full sun to light shade.
Chilli Peppers prefer soil with a pH between 5.5 to 7.0 (you can buy simple test kits from most garden centres). Mixing organic matter (compost or well rotted manure) into the soil helps the soil retain moisture which is perfect for healthy plants. Chillies are happiest planted in a bright sunny spot or light shade which is sheltered from strong wind.
Plant the Chillies at the same depth as the existing soil level in the pot and tease the roots out a little to encourage quick establishment don’t forget to water the plant in well when you are finished. After planting, if possible, mulch each plant to keep the soil temperature constant and moist.
After around 4 weeks Chillies begin flowering and setting fruit, when this happens for best crops it is advisable to start feeding on a weekly basis, this will encourage healthy plant growth and good fruit size and quality.
Avoid, where possible, allowing the plants to wilt by watering regularly. Use of mulches will help retain the moisture in the soil. Erratic watering can cause fruits to suffer.
The first flowers will appear when the plants are quite small. When this happens feed weekly with a liquid feed high in potash, such as tomato fertiliser but at about half the rate of that recommended for tomatoes
Ideal container size is at least 1 gallon (3-4 litres), remember too small a container will stunt the plants development and cause them to dry out very quickly.
Misting the plants daily with a water spray will help to encourage fruit set.
Support the plants with a cane to avoid them falling over in breezy conditions or when the fruits form.
Avoid overwatering, as well as being detrimental to the plant it will also make the fruits less pungent.
Harvesting and Storage
Harvest the fruits when they become mature and store in a cool environment. Regular harvesting will encourage the plants to be more productive throughout the season. Fruits can be dried in a warm space for long term storage.