Everything you need to know about chile pequin plants

Everything you need to know about chile pequin plants

Everything you need to know about chile pequin plants

Chile Pequin is the only pepper native to the United States and is related to the jalapeño but much hotter (rated 49,000 to 60,000 on Scoville’s spiciness scale compared to jalapeños from 2,500 to 10,000). The fruit is edible and great for adding warmth to recipes, but the rest of the plant is poisonous.

Chile Pequin

Chile Pequin is also called “bird pepper” because the seeds are spread by birds that, unlike mammals, are not affected by the heat of the peppers and like to eat the small fruits.


Chile Pequin (also known as “Chile Petin” or “Bird Pepper”) is a medium-sized shrub with an average height of 2`3` with an abundance of small white flowers and green to red fruits from spring to autumn.


Popular for its many edible berries, shade tolerance, and low maintenance requirements.  Pequin’s abundance of brightly colored fruits makes it perfect for massive plantings, accent plantings, native gardens, and Xerian landscapes. Pequin can withstand full sun, but is best in partial shade and with regular watering (it will drop its leaves if it becomes too dry).

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freezing temperatures can kill them down to the ground, but as long as the ground doesn’t freeze, the plant will grow back in the next season. One thing you need to know about chile pequin plants is that chile Pequin is usually open in shape and can be pruned to make a denser and more compact shrub.


Chile Pequin’s home area extends from Central America to southern Texas, west to Arizona, and east to Florida. Although a native of Texas, Pequin can fight the intense summer heat and needs regular watering and light shade to be at its best. Pequin requires little fertilizer and is deer resistant once established. The abundant fruits are a popular food for birds, and the flowers attract bees and other nectar-eating insects. Pequin blooms and bears fruit from spring to fall.

 Retail Availability:

plants are commercially available, typically 1-5 gallon size. One thing you need to know about chile pequin plants is that Pequin can also be grown from seed, but the seeds must be scarified (the seed coat must be scratched) or soaked in a weak acid to aid germination.

 Don’t forget:

Plant Pequin in partial shade, water regularly, protect yourself from frost and enjoy the peppers.

How to grow

How to grow Pequin peppers In northern climates, Pequin peppers can be grown as an annual garden plant. One thing you need to know about chile pequin plants is that like other bell pepper varieties, these bell pepper seeds can be started indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date.


Seedlings must be hardened before planting in the garden. Choose a sunny to semi-sunny location and transplant if there is a risk of frost. In southern climates, where winter temperatures rarely drop below freezing, Pequin can be grown as a perennial throughout the year. Both the leaves and the fruit can suffer sunburn, so shading from strong sunlight is recommended. Regular fertilization with bone meal can provide the extra calcium and phosphorus your bell pepper plant needs.


As a container plant, this pepper can be grown as a perennial in climates where it is not winter hardy. A 3 gallon pot is big enough for these compact peppers. A wide pot is preferred to a tall one because paprika does not have deep roots. Aphids are often a problem when pepper plants overwinter indoors. Using insecticidal soap or a compost tea spray can help control them.

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Chilli Seeds

Be careful when harvesting chilli peppers to avoid damaging the plants. Once harvested, fresh chilies can add warmth to culinary dishes. Pequins can also be dried and crushed and then used as paprika flakes to flavor dishes. Capsaicin is the chemical in peppers that heats them up. It is contained in the white veins around the seeds and can be transferred to the seeds.

Prequin pepper seeds

To reduce the intense heat, this gritty material and the Pequin pepper seeds can be removed before adding to recipes. When handling and chopping hot peppers, capsaicin can irritate and inflame the skin on the hands, and from there it can transfer to other parts of the body. Disposable gloves are highly recommended and take extra care not to touch your face or eyes when preparing hot peppers.

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