En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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
1 rating

Friday - September 14, 2012

From: Marlborough, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Chile pequin not ripening to red from Marlborough MA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a healthy Chile Pequin in Marlborough, MA, flowering and fruiting profusely. But, the fruit are not ripening to red, as did their parent plants in Florida. Fruit go from green to deep purple almost black and fall off the plant. Can you tell me if the plant is missing something, or it this is a common occurrence? Thank you.

ANSWER:

We were surprised to hear from Massachusetts on Capsicum annuum (Chile pequin). As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile map, while it grows in next-door New York and Connecticut, it is not recorded as growing naturally in Massachusetts. We were surprised because we have always thought of it as a southwestern plant, but obviously it will grow farther north.

However, we suspect that the reports of plants growing as far north as you are consist of potted plants. Since it is annuum, that indicates it is an annual plant that grows, fruits in one year and dies. The growing season is simply not long enough for this plant to continue this process naturally. You did not say from what part of Florida your plants originated, but the USDA Hardiness Zones in Florida range from 8a to 11a. Middlesex Co. is 6a. According to our webpage on this plant, it blooms from May to October, and THEN it begins to fruit. In fact, one website we read recommended planning for it to add color to the garden at Christmas, when the fruits would surely suffer from frost damage outside in Massachusetts. If you are growing it inside, it still needs a lot of light, so it should be grown in a sunny window.

 

From the Image Gallery


Chile pequin
Capsicum annuum

Chile pequin
Capsicum annuum

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Planting horsetail indoors from Collierville TN
November 12, 2012 - I would like to plant horsetail indoors. Can it handle the inside? Will it try to go dormant or it that a temperature trigger which means it will not go dormant?
view the full question and answer

Low growing, flowering evergreen plants for Pflugerville TX
March 30, 2010 - I am wondering if you can suggest some low growing, flowering evergreen plants for my garden.
view the full question and answer

Identity of a yellow-flowered wildflower with prickly burs
May 20, 2013 - Hi there. We have seen a wildflower, probably invasive, that is at least in Travis, Williamson, and Hays counties. We have tried to identify it without success, The structure of the plant is remark...
view the full question and answer

Information about Cedar Sage from Austin
March 11, 2011 - I am new to the Austin area and was wondering about cedar sage (salvia roemeriana). Is this plant considered aromatic, non-aromatic of chia? And, other than the edible flower are other parts of the ...
view the full question and answer

What plants grow well in Athens, TX?
January 18, 2011 - Athens, Texas, we have very sandy soil mixed with clay, what plants grow well here?
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