Genus: Chili pepper

Capsicum

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
Chili pepper (Capsicum)
KAP-si-kum
Solanaceae
The Capsicum genus is made up of 10 species of ornamental and crop plants valued for their shiny, chambered, colorful, variably shaped fruits, which often ripen to bright shades of yellow, orange, purple, or red. Various members of this genus have been used for thousands of years for food and spices.
Care:  In the greenhouse, Capsicum need bright, filtered light. Water freely and fertilize while in growth, until fruit begins to color. Maintain high humidity and warm temperatures in summer and mist flowers daily to encourage fruiting. In the garden, peppers need fertile, well-drained soil enriched with organic matter, and full sun. Promote branching by pinching out the growing tips of young plants. Tall plants may need staking.
Propagation: 

Sow seed at 70°F in late winter.

Species, varieties and clutivars for genus Capsicum

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Ornamental pepper
Capsicum annuum 'Black Pearl'
Problems: 

Spider mites and aphids under glass. In the garden, bacterial and fungal spots (anthracnose) and wilt diseases are common. Gray mold, stem and root rots, Southern blight, and fruit rot also occur.