Growing pepper plants are relatively easy, but you can easily get lost in the process of identifying what type of chilli you’re growing. That is why you must learn how to identify peppers and chilis since each variety can also have different growth and care requirements.
Peppers plants can produce significant, small, red, spicy, and mildly hot fruits. Knowing what variety you currently have will help set your expectations when harvest season comes. While some may find it challenging to identify similar-looking peppers, learning the basics will help set you off in planting the correct type of Pepper you want.
Among the most popular type of peppers are Bell peppers, Cayenne peppers, and Jalapeno Peppers. Identifying pepper plants involves a simple process, and knowing the steps will surely make you a better UK gardener in the future.
6 Steps in Identifying Pepper Plants
There are many varieties of pepper plants, and it can be confusing at times. There are several species, and each of them varies in shape, size, flower appearance, and even leaves. If you’re planning on planting peppers in your British garden, you must know how to identify them.
Here’s how you can do it:
Step #1: Check the seeds
The first step in identifying pepper plants is to be familiar with the seeds. If it’s dark, it’s most likely a C. pubescent pepper species, and the corolla, or petals, would appear violet in colour as the plant grows. However, if you see a straw-coloured seed and your pepper plant’s petals are green or white, it’s most likely from another species of pepper plants.
When you have a mixture of seeds collected, be sure to separate them by colour. Pale-coloured seeds are usually the sweet and less spicy pepper variants, while darker seeds may produce hotter types of peppers.
Step #2.: Identify the petals of your pepper plants
Next is to classify the petals. Yellowish spots on the bases of the corolla’s lobes indicate pepper plants belonging to the C. baccatum species. If these are absent, proceed to identify their blooms.
- Pubescent flowers should show violet or purple blooms. But if the colours appear greenish or white, you may have to proceed to identify its calyx.
Step #3: Identify its blooms
For flowers with purple corollas, further, identification may require the UK gardener to identify its flowers. Pepper plants with solitary flowers belong to the C. annum species, while Pepper plants with more than one blooms on each node more likely belong to the C. Chinense variety.
Step #4: Identify the fruit’s calyx
Check the calyx of the mature fruit. Try to look for rings or constrictions in the area between the pedicel and calyx of the grown fruit. If it’s present, then it belongs to the C. Chinense variety. If it’s absent at the junction, go back to identifying its flowers. For solitary flowers, recheck the corolla to sort its characteristics further (Step 3).
Step #5: Check the number of flowers
Take note of the number of flowers on your pepper plant’s nodes and adequately check the flowers’ petals. For solitary flowers, examine the corolla. If it appears white like milk and its pedicel and lobes are straight, the pepper belongs to the C.annum variety.
On the other hand, petals that appear green or white, with lobes rolled backwards, indicate that the plant belongs to the C. frutescens species of peppers. It tells that the plant belongs to C frutescens.
Step #6: Continue to identify pepper plants
Continue to identify your pepper plants and compare their flowers. If more than two flowers are present at each of the nodes, the corolla is white with a hint of green rather than creamy in colour, and the pedicels appear upright as the flowers bloom, then the peppers are of the C. frutescens variety. On the other hand, the C. chinense variety will show blooms with straight corolla lobes.
Growing Pepper Plants inside a Greenhouse
Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits that are helpful in plants. It is beneficial beyond the benefits of traditional gardening in the United Kingdom. One can control temperatures within a polytunnel that fits the plant’s needs.
Aside from that, here are the other benefits of growing pepper plants inside greenhouses:
Protection from strong winds
Greenhouses offer protection from harsh winds for your pepper plants. With the structure enclosed with plastic films or glass, strong winds won’t be able to create considerable damage to the structure of your pepper plant. With that, you’ll ensure that your pepper plant will survive and continue to bear fruits.
Protection from pests
Pepper plants are highly prone to pest infestations like aphids, cutworms, flea beetles, corn borers, and whiteflies. When this is under control, it could eat up the plant entirely. Secured and well-covered greenhouses, however, can keep these pest infestations at a minimum and will ensure that you’ll be able to control them before the infestations become worse.
Enjoy organic peppers
Since there are lesser pests to deal with, pesticide use is also at a minimal level. With that, you can enjoy Peppers that are organic and free of any chemicals.
How to Identify Peppers: Final Tips
The most important thing to remember when learning how to identify peppers is to pay attention to details. From the seeds, you will know what type of pepper you’re growing in the UK and what species it belongs to. It could be confusing at times, but you’ll have a guide to follow with the steps in mind, and identifying will be easier.
Pepper plants can range from sweet to very spicy. That is why it is essential to know how to identify pepper plants before consuming them. Also, you could provide the best care that it needs when you know exactly what species of your plant belongs in.