How to Grow Machu Pichu Chilli Seeds
The Machu Pichu chilli, indigenous to Peru, is renowned for its distinct brown colouration and rich, smoky flavour. A medium-heat pepper, this variety flourishes particularly well in pots, which can lead to an earlier harvest compared to those grown in open ground.
- Starting Off: Begin by planting your seeds in late winter. Opt for 9cm pots filled with seed and cutting compost. Place three seeds approximately 0.5cm deep around the pot’s edge. The soil should be kept moist but not soggy.
- Germination: A steady temperature of around 18°C is ideal for germination. As seedlings mature and require more room, ensure they are transplanted into bigger pots.
- Pot Growth Advantage: Growing Machu Pichu chillies in pots provides greater control over soil quality and drainage. Additionally, the contained environment can lead to faster plant development and earlier fruiting.
Growing and Caring for Your Machu Pichu Chilli:
- Soil and Watering: Whether in pots or open ground, ensure the use of well-draining soil. Water consistently but avoid over-saturating the soil. Potted plants may require more frequent watering.
- Location: Choose a sunny, sheltered spot. While these chillies thrive in pots, if planted in open ground, the ripening of the fruit might occur later in the season due to variable ground temperatures and nutrient distribution.
- Support and Care: As the plant matures, reaching up to 90cm in height, it might need staking or some form of support, especially when laden with fruit.
Harvesting Your Machu Pichu Chilli:
- Appearance: Ready-to-harvest chillies will transition from a dark green to their signature dark brown, acquiring a wrinkled texture upon maturity.
- Harvest Timing: While potted Machu Pichu chillies tend to ripen earlier, those in open ground will see a slight delay in fruit ripening, usually extending further into the autumn season.
Growing the Machu Pichu chilli offers both a delightful gardening experience and a unique culinary treat. With its preference for pot cultivation, even those with limited garden space can enjoy this distinct variety. Ensure you provide it with the care and conditions it thrives in for the best yield.