With the onset of cold weather, we begin to miss the rich colors of nature and the rustling of foliage in the wind. Some gardeners in this case grow decorative peppers at home. A green hat dotted with multi-colored fruits on the windowsill contrasts with the winter landscape, raising your spirits great.
What is a decorative pepper?
Capsicum is the botanical name for pepper. It is also called Vegetable Pepper or Capsicum. These are unpretentious, annual and perennial shrubs and shrubs of the Solanaceae family. He comes from the subtropics of Central America.
Capsicum should not be confused with black pepper, a plant of the Pepper genus belonging to the Pepper family.
Capsicum is grown all over the world as an ornamental or vegetable crop. Varieties are divided into sweet and bitter varieties. The latter contain an increased amount of the alkaloid capsacin. The Aztecs used this substance as a chemical weapon. It gives the pepper a hot taste. Most of the capsacin is found in fruits, especially cayenne pepper.
It is customary to call decorative compact, branched varieties with a height of 20-40 cm, with dense foliage and an abundance of fruits. They are grown indoors, in pots. In the summer, it is not a sin to take it out to the balcony or in the garden, or plant it in the open ground. Before the onset of cold weather, the pepper can be transplanted back into the pot.
Can decorative peppers be eaten?
The fruit of Capsicum is a false berry, a hollow seed capsule, often eaten or used as a spice. The word box in Latin means capsa, hence the Latin name of the plant - Capsicum. Fruit shape, color, size and position on the plant may vary from variety to variety. Some ornamental varieties may not be edible. The tops, greens, roots of the plant are toxic, like all nightshades.
Most popular varieties
Many varieties have been bred, the most popular of which are:
The classic of peppers. Serves as the main component for the famous sauce. The fruits are about 5 cm long, they are collected in bunches and stick up. Their color ranges from orange to red.
A wild variety with particularly pungent red fruits, rounded, about the size of a bean. Used by cowboys as a stimulant. Hence the slang name Cowboy berry.
Abundantly fruiting, spreading shrub 30-40 cm high with variegated leaves. When ripe, the fruits change their color from green to purple and red.
Unusual variety. As you grow older the plant changes its color from green to almost black. The fruits are also black, spherical, small in size, redden as they ripen.
Lovely pepper, dotted with elongated, moderately pungent fruits. They stick up, like the tentacles of a jellyfish.
The smallest shrub variety. Great for indoor growing at home. The bush reaches a height of 15-20 cm. The peppers are orange.
Inedible pepper, grown to decorate interiors. The fruits are yellow.
Planting rules at home
There are general planting rules for peppers. It propagates by seeds, which are taken from ripe fruits. They can be sown at any time of the year. The seeds are pre-soaked in water for several hours. For germination, you can use a damp cloth or gauze. With the appearance of roots, the seeds are placed in the ground to a depth of 0.5-1 cm. Also, the seeds can be planted immediately after soaking.
The substrate should be loose, breathable and nutritious, and have a neutral reaction. A mixture for Saintpaulias or one based on peat and sand will do. Drainage required. For successful germination, the soil must be moist at all times, but not wet.
The pot should be with a hole. Cover it with plastic or plastic wrap to create a greenhouse effect.
The air temperature is about 20-25 ° С. On cold windowsills, place a wooden board under the pot, thick magazines will do. With the emergence of seedlings, at a time with a short daylight hours, it is highly desirable to provide additional lighting with fluorescent or phytolamps. When the sprouts reach a height of 5-6 cm, they can be planted in separate pots of the appropriate size.
If this is not done, plants can grow weakened and bear fruit worse. The film can no longer be worn. As they grow, the peppers are transferred into larger pots. In the spring-summer period, they can be planted in open ground, and after rooting, pinned. This is done for better branching of the bush.
Plant care and cultivation
In order for the plant to develop correctly, to be healthy, to please the eye with its appearance and abundance of fruits, it will need a little care. It consists in creating and maintaining favorable conditions.
- Lighting... Capsicum prefers bright, diffused light. It is essential for fruit setting. West or east windows are perfect. On the south side, on sunny days from 11 am to 4 pm, or if the plant grows outdoors, shade should be provided. From the north side, as well as in winter, additional lighting is required. Otherwise, the plant may stretch out and lose its decorative effect.
- Temperature... Moderate, during the growing season 15-25 ° C. In winter, when there is a lack of light, preferably around 15 ° C to slow down growth. It can withstand temperatures as low as 10 ° C. Afraid of drafts, stretches out in the heat.
- Watering... In summer and during the flowering period, you need to water it often, 3-4 times a week. If the plant is in the sun, then even more often. The soil should not dry out. During the ripening of the fruits, the watering soil is slightly reduced. If it's cool (10-15 ° C), watered once a week.
- Humidity... Undemanding to humidity. Spray 1-2 times a week, which after flowering promotes fruit formation.
- Top dressing... From April to September, once every 2 weeks with liquid, complex fertilizers. After the ovary of the fruit, feeding is stopped.
Stimulating flowering and fruiting
A healthy, strong plant blooms in summer with whitish, nondescript flowers. You can stimulate flowering with hormonal drugs, growth regulators. Fruits are set without cross-pollination, but transferring pollen with a soft brush from one flower to another will increase the number of ovaries. After the ovary, the shoots are pinched half the length. This enhances fruiting.
Diseases and pests, the fight against them
Pepper is unpretentious, but with improper care, even with it, difficulties may arise. The weakened plant is affected by spider mites, aphids, whitefly mealybug, downy mildew, black leg. Insecticides are used to control insects. They protect against diseases with fugnicides.
If you bring a plant from the street into the room, due to a sharp change in lighting, it may begin to shed its leaves. This also happens from hot, dry air or over-watering. The leaves can become smaller, turn pale, the plant does not bloom from lack of nutrition.
In general, Capsicum is an amazing plant, useful and beautiful in its own way. The Mexican requires minimal care, and watching his metamorphoses is interesting and informative. Under favorable conditions, he will delight you with himself for up to 5 years.
What is a capsicum? What kind of care does this pepper require and are its fruits edible?
Capsicum, otherwise called indoor pepper, belongs to the Solanaceae family. Among the representatives of the family, there are both annual and perennial plants. In the wild, capsicum is found in South and Central America.
Indoor pepper is considered a shrub or subshrub. Its paired or single flowers are formed in the divergence of the leaf plates. The fruits of the shrub can be classic red or have a yellow, green or white tint.
Home care for ornamental peppers. Best conditions for pepper
Concerning the capriciousness and unpretentiousness of ornamental pepper and caring for it at home, the opinions of lovers of ornamental fruit plants were divided. Some believe that it is easy to take care of the crop, others note that the plant is capricious and difficult to care for.
Important! During the flowering period, the pepper should be shaken periodically to increase the yield.
Let's take a closer look at the conditions of detention and care features.
Humidity and temperature
Indoor pepper is a heat-loving plant. It will grow well in spring and summer at temperatures around 25 ° C. In winter, the temperature should be lower: 15-18 ° C will be normal for him. In addition, he loves changes in night and day temperatures, so in summer it is better to keep it on a loggia or balcony. Moderate air humidity is required. Perchik loves to swim (more on that later).
In caring for ornamental peppers in a pot, it is imperative to monitor the lighting. For good development and fruiting, you need to place the plant on the southern, southwestern or western windowsill.
The culture is very light-loving, in spring and autumn it needs up to 3-4 hours of open sunlight. Only no more than 4 hours, otherwise burns may appear on fruits and leaves. In summer, you need to shade, because the sun is very active. If there is not enough lighting, then you need to use artificial.
With a lack of lighting, the bush is rare, there are few leaves on it, in addition, there will not be a good harvest.
For cultivation, light neutral soil is used. You can buy ready-made in a specialty store, you can make the mixture yourself.
For pepper, a mixture of turf soil, leaf humus and sand in a ratio of 2: 2: 1 is suitable.
Did you know? In botany, capsicum fruits are defined as berries.
Treatment of diseases and control of flower pests
When growing a fern, flower growers avoid many diseases by observing proper care - sufficient lighting, watering without stagnant water, balanced feeding.
- Brown or brown spots on the leaves and mold on the frond indicate the appearance of fungal diseases. If such signs occur, remove all affected parts of the plant and spray it with a fungicide. A diseased fern is placed away from other indoor flowers, they should also be treated for prevention.
- If you water the fern with cold, not settled water, then a nematode can start in the ground. In such cases, the flower is immediately transplanted and treated with insecticides. Although this does not guarantee that the insects will disappear. As a rule, they start both in the leaves and in the roots, from where they are almost impossible to corrode.
- If the air in the room is too dry, then the plant can infect the scale insect, thrips, aphids or spider mites. Pests leave traces of their vital activity on the fern: dots, spots, damage or plaque. That is why it is not difficult to notice the appearance of parasites. Insects feed on the sap of the plant and damage the leaves and stems. The fern grows dull and may die.
Growing a plant
Ornamental pepper is also called capsicum. This plant has many varieties, but varieties such as Blau and Roth are most suitable for home floriculture. The Blau variety is distinguished by low bushes (on average 13-16 centimeters), compactness. Its fruit is cone-shaped and reaches a size of two centimeters. When ripe, the fruit turns dark blue, which gives the bush a special beauty. When fully ripe, the fruit of this ornamental pepper turns dark red.
The mouth is a bush with a height of 20 to 25 centimeters. It has a cone-shaped fruit, the size of which reaches 2-4 centimeters. At the stage of ripening, its fruits are yellow, which gradually changes and by the time of full ripening becomes bright red.
Any kind of ornamental pepper loves a bright location and frequent airing. In summer, the capsicum bushes can be taken out onto the balcony or prepared for a place in the garden. Early planted peppers bloom in May, and throughout the summer, more and more flowers appear on it. During this period, both flowers and fruits are found on the plant at the same time. Since ripening occurs throughout the summer, the presence of fruits of various degrees of maturity and different colors on the bush at times enhances the decorative effect of homemade pepper.
Caring for homemade pepper is simple - the plant is not whimsical, and therefore the most important thing is proper watering and periodic feeding. Watering should be abundant, overdrying of the soil is unacceptable. To rejuvenate the bush, it is sometimes recommended to transplant it into a pot, the size of which is slightly larger than the previous one.
In the fall, a pot of ornamental pepper is brought into the house, allowing later fruits to ripen. When the capsicum is grown for the sake of the harvest, when the first ovaries appear, it is necessary to pinch the tips of all its branches. If the bush begins to bear fruit abundantly, you need to put sticks-props in the pot, which will support the branches of the plant. Annual capsicum species are thrown away after the entire crop has been harvested. If your pepper is a perennial, it should overwinter in a warm room (the average air temperature in which should reach 18-20 degrees), have moderate watering. With the onset of spring, it is better to prune the bush for more lush growth.
Tips for propagating bitter peppers by cuttings
Hot peppers can be grown not only from seeds, but also from cuttings. This method is used if you want to guarantee to keep the varietal characteristics of a hybrid crop variety. Procedure:
- On the eve of the procedure, the mother plant is watered abundantly.
- A shoot is cut off from the mother plant: the upper cut is made straight at a distance of 0.5 cm above the upper bud, the lower cut is oblique under the internode.
- The cutting is placed in a loose nutrient soil. Before this, the lower part of the cutting is recommended to be treated with a root stimulator (for example, Kornevin, Zircon).
- The container with the planted stem is covered with a film or a large plastic glass to create a greenhouse effect.
Prepared cuttings can be placed in a glass of water, placed in a shaded place and planted in the ground after they have sprouted
In general, growing hot peppers is not a troublesome job. It is not capricious, but at the same time it is capable of delivering pleasure both with its decorative appearance and sharp taste.
Note: Hot peppers at home: personal experience of growing
Hot pepper is a perennial culture, which I use with pleasure. Having grown bushes from seeds, then for five years I rejuvenate them by pruning.
To do this, in the fall, I dig up the plants with fruits, transplant them into pots, continue to look after them: water, feed, remove ripe peppers. I transfer the fruit-bearing bushes to a cooler and brighter room (I have a glazed unheated loggia).
I maintain the temperature on the loggia from +14 to + 18 degrees. - these are comfortable conditions for overwintering hot peppers. I rarely water, but I do not allow the soil to dry out in a pot, I spray it on top with settled water. Already in February I put peppers on a light window sill in the room (where + 22 ... + 24 degrees). I cut off the bushes, leaving in place the lateral branches of hemp about 5 cm long. I water it, feed it according to the instructions with complex mineral fertilizer.After a while, twigs, leaves begin to grow, and then the bushes bloom.
In April-May (I look at the weather), I transplant the peppers to the garden bed, covering them with lu-trasil under the arcs. At the onset of stable heat, I remove the shelter. In the future, the care is normal, like for other peppers. And I leave some specimens in pots and decorate with them the gazebo, the entrance to the house.
In the fall, I transplant the bushes from the garden into pots, and so on for five years in a row. In the fifth year, I sow hot peppers with seeds, and in the fall I again transplant the plants into pots and transfer them to the loggia for the winter.