How to Grow Salsa in Pots — Heirloom Hot Peppers
Peppers are tropical plants, so they love heat and lots of moisture. Peppers are beautiful plants with shiny, dark green leaves. They are very ornamental with small, white flowers that are shaped like a street lantern, and displays of fruit in several stages of ripening all on the plant at the same time. Most stay small, so peppers can be grown in containers. For Tips, see How to Grow Peppers in Pots
Heirloom Hot Peppers to Grow in Pots
Pepperoncini Heirloom Peppers are a southern Italian variety that are served pickled as a side item or garnish by many pizza restaurants. This mild pepper is very productive with 5 to 6 inch long, thin, wrinkly peppers. They ripen from light green to red, but are usually harvested green and eaten raw, pickled, or cooked. Pepperoncini peppers start ripening in about 75 days.100 to 900 SHU. (2)
Piquillo Heirloom Peppers are piquant and lively, but not hot. From northern Spain, these peppers are used for tapas, or grilled, roasted, sauteed, or pickled. Piquillos means “little beaks” in Spanish, and the fruits grow to 3 inches long, and ripen from green to bright red. These mature in about 90 days on 2 to 3 feet tall plants. Cooks Garden sells seeds and Piquillo Pepper plants in the spring, shipping them in time to plant at the proper time in your USDA temperature zone. (1)
Fish Heirloom Peppers have been preserved by African-Americans since before the 1870s. This is the tasty, hot pepper that is used in the crab and oyster houses around the Chesapeake Bay. These are some of the prettiest peppers grown on a beautiful plant with variegated foliage. The peppers start out a cream color with green stripes, which is unusual, and ripen to orange and brown striped, and then turn all red. Fish Peppers are an excellent choice for containers, and grow to only 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall. The 2 to 3 inch fruits mature in about 80 days. (2)
Anaheim Heirloom Chili Peppers are from Anaheim, California, from the early 1900s, and are a relatively mild chili pepper. These are the peppers which are dried and used as chile seco del norte. The long fruits are tapered and medium thick fleshed, with a pungent flavor. These productive plants grow to about 1 1/2 to 2 feet and the 8 inch long fruit starts maturing from green to red in about 80 days. Cooks Garden sells seeds, as well as Anaheim Pepper plants in the spring, shipping them in time to plant at the proper time in your USDA temperature zone.1,000 to 2,500 SHU. (1,2)
Pasilla Bajio Heirloom Hot Peppers are from Mexico and are the choice for making Mexican mole sauce, sauces, and enchiladas. The Spanish name means “little raisin” since its fruits turn deep brown at maturity, and wrinkly after they are dried. Pasilla (pah-SEE-yah) Bajio peppers are also used green for enchilada sauce and salsa. After drying and grinding into a powder, they are made into mole sauce.
Pasilla Hot Peppers start ripening in about 85 days. They are sometimes called chilaca peppers. American markets often refer to Ancho peppers (which is the dried form of the Poblano pepper) as Pasilla, but they are not the same, and Anchos are a good substitute. 1,000 to 4,000 SHU. (2)
Sources for information, seeds, and/or plants:
Scoville Heat Unit information source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoville. November 24, 2011.