En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Chile pequin from Spring Plant Sale in Austin

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Wednesday - June 08, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Planting, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Chile pequin from Spring Plant Sale in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Re: chile pequin purchased at your Spring 2011 sale: it grows, seems to thrive, but sets no flowers and so bears no fruit. It's in terracotta in Ladybug potting soil, on a shady apartment patio. How can I encourage blooms, please?

ANSWER:

Once again, we share an experience with a plant from the Wildflower Center Plant Sale. I bought my Capsicum annuum (Chile pequin) in the Spring Sale of 2010, and grew it in my concrete garden in terra cotta pots. I had 3 or 4, and all but one dwindled down, and the last one, with one tiny fruit on it, finally died, because I got irritated with it and didn't cover it in our cold spells last Winter.

Also again, I think we have both been guilty of over-care for our plants. I grew these in Brenham in a sunny bed, and they put on so many fruits I was giving them away. Here are the growing conditions for these plants. :

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: clay, heavy clay, sandy loam

Obviously, the very nice potting soil we both gave our chile pequins was not what they wanted, and I would doubt you could buy a potting soil that was clay, heavy clay, or sandy loam. I don't think I put mine in the sunniest part of my porch, because they were supposed to be shade tolerant and that was probably Mistake No. 1. I'm sure the enriched potting soils that we both used were too rich in nitrogen. Too much nitrogen encourages lots of green leaf growth and the plant uses all its energy making those leaves and doesn't have any left over to make blooms. No blooms, no fruit, no seeds.

Possibly this plant is just too tough for container growing by tender, loving gardeners. Unfortunately, even looking something like this up in our Native Plant Database (which surely I, who practically lives in the Database, should have done) might not have helped.  We have a How-To article on Container Gardening with Native Plants that you might be interested in reading, but sometimes only experience helps. We are sorry your plants from our Plant Sale did not work out; they are grown with great care and considered healthy when they are sold.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Winter care of Asclepias tuberosa from Austin
October 31, 2013 - We have several asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed). Monarch caterpillars have found and denuded them. We are excited about all of the Monarch caterpillars, but unsure of what to do next. What do we...
view the full question and answer

Plants that smell like chocolate from Coral Gables FL
July 12, 2012 - I am looking for plants that smell like chocolate. I live in south Florida. We are currently growing and testing Berlandiera lyrata. Do you know of other plants whose flowers smell like chocolate?
view the full question and answer

Managing non-native invasive creeping yellow cress in Rio Medina TX
January 10, 2012 - Due to my lawn mower dying and waiting for the shop to fix it my yard got a bit overgrown. I was walking around the yard looking at the blooming wildflowers and have discovered that one of them is Ror...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under Juniper for San Antonio
September 14, 2012 - I have a shaded area under juniper in the Hill Country of Texas that has many sprouts from the tree. We have to weed whack it to keep them under control. What ground cover could I use to enhance tha...
view the full question and answer

Need source of plants for making teas in Bend, Oregon.
July 08, 2012 - I love to make my own tea, just moved to central Oregon and want to know some good plants I can find anywhere in town and can use in my teas.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center