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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.

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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.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Monday - January 28, 2013

From: Charleston, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: User Comments, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Chile Pequin growing well in Charleston SC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Not really a question. I have successfully grown from seed Chile Pequins I picked up in Texas here in Charleston Sc. They are so hardy they come back from their stalks each year and sprout from seeds that came from birds feeding on peppers on the plants. They are growing in containers and all i do is water them when needed or add a little 10-10-10. Fourth season.They thrive in sun and shade and I make salsa and hot vinegar from them. So contrary to a post I read here, why are they so easy to grow here?

ANSWER:

We are not sure which Smarty Plants Question and Answer you are referring to; when we went to Smarty Plants Questions Topics and searched on "chile pequin" (without the quotation marks), we found 21 previous Smarty Plants questions referring to Capsicum annuum (Chile pequin). When we followed that plant link to our page on the plant, we found that it is native to South Carolina.

"Growing Conditions

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
Conditions Comments: The Chile pequin is a much sought after perennial native hot pepper that is well behaved in the garden. It is an easy to grow favorite that the birds will also appreciate. Chile pequins will grow with sun or shade and respond to good care with more growth and fruits. The fruits are edilble and on the hot side as a seasoning. Beautiful when used in mass plantings."

It is always difficult to say why a plant does well in one spot and not in another. There are so many growing requirements that can go wrong (or right) including soil type and texture, watering frequency, sunlight available and care  in planting. In this case you had a plant native to your area and apparently did nearly everything right. The others who had problems with their Chile pequins may have also done nearly everything right and maybe made one mistake or just had bad luck. We suggest that whatever you are doing, keep doing it.

Thank you for your comments.

 

From the Image Gallery


Chile pequin
Capsicum annuum

Chile pequin
Capsicum annuum

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