How to Grow Tabasco Peppers (Capsicum Frutescens)

Did you recognize how simply you can grow tabasco peppers? Native to the Mexican state of Tabasco, the hot pepper may be a household name thanks to the famous sauce made in Avery Island, Louisiana. The compact, easy-to-grow pepper plant produces many clusters of small pepper pods nearly all year round, from late summer to early fall. The pepper pods start out yellow, green, or a pale yellow-green, then mature to reminder red, orange, or yellow.

During the Reconstruction within the Southern U.S. following the war, American cuisine on the entire was rather bland. In 1868, a person named Edmund McIlhenny began to vary the trend toward blandness and created a recipe to spice things up that might quickly rise in popularity. Tabasco is now the foremost popular Poivrade within the world and is sold in additional than 195 different countries and territories.

The hot pepper hits the Scoville heat scale at 30,000 to 50,000 heat units. It’s mega spicy compared to the favored jalapeno, which clocks in at 2,500 to 10,000 heat units, much weaker than the small hot pepper.

So, want to undertake your hand at making your own version of Tabasco sauce? Well, the official recipe may be a closely guarded and coveted secret. you’ll probably get pretty close after a couple of attempts though, and it’ll only take a couple of ingredients (red pepper, salt, and vinegar) and a touch little bit of patience. (McIlhenny ages their mash for official Tabasco for up to 3 years in oak barrels.)

The hot pepper plant itself is comparatively easy to worry for and will had the best outdoors in warm climate areas. If you reside during a cold climate area, you’ll still have a successful harvest of tabasco peppers, as they also do alright indoors in container gardens.

This frost-tender perennial pepper plant can get older to 3 feet high and wide, with one pepper measuring, on the average, one and a half or two inches long. Each little tabasco bush produces a lot of peppers—way quite you would like unless you’re opening your own sauce business—in a variety of hues spanning the spectrum from green to yellow, orange, and red. Often, gardeners may find their pepper plants producing a rainbow of various colors together on one plant.


The standard hot pepper, known officially as tabasco pepper, is that the only sort of hot pepper that’s commonly grown in North America. However, there are a couple of rare sorts of tabasco that are grown around the world. you’ll want to feature a couple of of those to your pepper garden also with great care that you simply can compare and contrast the variability that’s out there for yourself.

Tabasco Pepper: this is often the quality hot pepper that the planet has grown to like and therefore the main focus of this text.

Tabasco Greenleaf: This variety was created by Auburn University in Alabama specifically to emulate the first hot pepper and make a version that’s immune to the tobacco etch virus, which tends to plague the first cultivar to without stopping in certain areas within the Southern U.S. aside from being immune to the common virus, there’s not much difference from the first to be found within the Greenleaf variety.

Tabasco Hawaiian: The Hawaiian sort of hot pepper is strictly what its name suggests—a cross between the Hawaiian hot pepper and therefore the hot pepper. These plants make one- to two-inch peppers in hues from pungent yellow to fiery orange that packs a mean punch somewhat similar in flavor to the habanero pepper.

Tabasco Short Yellow: The short yellow hot pepper grows on a really small pepper plant. This variety grows just one foot high and wide, producing blunt-tipped, inch-long, yellow or orange fruit. apart from the tiny green flowers that the plant blossoms into during the spring, this variety can easily be mistaken for the pekoe plant.


The hot pepper plant isn’t very particular about the sort of soil it must flourish as long as there’s an honest amount of organic matter present. Like most pepper plants, these guys require much heat from the climate and a daily dose of bright sunlight. Full sunlight exposure is preferred, but in especially sweltering climate areas, if the leaves of the plant get scorched or start to dry up, provide some afternoon shade to require the sting off.

Tabasco pepper plants aren’t tolerant of drought. In fact, they require consistent levels of moisture to survive. Due mainly to their tropical origins, hot pepper plants also require high levels of moisture to perform their best. additionally, being sensitive to drought, these plants don’t grow well in environments that get too cold. If temperatures fall to twenty-eight degrees Fahrenheit or below, your pepper plants will start to point out signs of injury. If you reside in a neighborhood that’s subject to weather, you’ll want to plant your tabasco peppers in containers in order that you’ll bring them inside when the cold fronts come blowing in. 


If you reside within the northern us, cover your garden beds with a dark-colored mulch a few weeks before planting your peppers to stay the soil warm. The mulch layer also will help with moisture retention to supply an environment that’s especially beneficial to young plants.

Choose a sunny location to plant your peppers or to put your pepper plant containers. If you’ll be planting within the ground, dig a hole that’s twice as wide because the pot you were using for the seedling or transplant. Gently remove the pepper plant from its pot by loosening the soil and punctiliously tipping the plant into your hand.

Place the transplant into the soil, and position it about as deep into the bottom because it was within the pot. Refill and position, gently packing in new soil around the plant. Water your transplanted hot pepper plant deeply to assist settle the soil, and be able to add during a bit more filler after the soil settles to fill within the area. 


Small stakes tied with rubber bands to the longer fruit-bearing stems of the hot pepper plant could also be necessary for support because the small plants tend to supply a huge amount of fruit.

From the second you plant them within the ground or get them settled in their containers until the top of the season once they are finished producing fruit, hot pepper plants require a gentle but moderate amount of water. Proper drainage is vital, however, because the pepper plants won’t tolerate saturated roots.

Amend with much organic matter, and top with mulch to assist improve drainage and water retention. a typical vegetable fertilizer will work fine for tabasco peppers, but make certain to avoid over-fertilization, which can cause much extra foliage and far less pepper production.


Allowing the peppers to ripen on the plant before harvesting will enhance the flavor of your yields, but allowing this overtime also will reduce the dimensions of your harvest. Considering what percentage peppers hot pepper plants can produce in one season, we recommend letting them ripen fully.

When removing the peppers from the plant, avoid damaging the plant or the fruit itself by employing a sharp pair of garden shears. Many gardeners feel compelled to get rid of the fruit by tugging on the peppers themselves, but doing so can damage the plant within the process.

For the simplest flavor and overall quality, enjoy your tabasco peppers on an equivalent day they were picked. you’ll also allow them to ripen for a couple of days on the kitchen counter. due to the juicy quality of the hot pepper, we don’t recommend drying them out for storing, as doing so would lose tons of what makes tabasco peppers so tasty. Freezing the peppers is basically the sole thanks to keeping their full flavor intact for future use. However, the peppers will not be crisp—they are softened by the freezing and thawing.

Instead of eating these incredibly hot peppers raw off the vine or freezing them and losing the feel, why not create your own version of Tabasco to stay around the house or divulge to friends and family as gifts?


Like many other hot peppers, the hot pepper has many worthwhile health benefits. It can help within the alimentary canal, promote heart health, relieve joint pain, encourage weight loss, fights against cancer, reduces psoriasis, and even soothe migraine headaches.


Tabasco pepper plants typically have only a few pest or disease issues—as long because the gardener provides the plants with acceptable conditions. Try growing the Greenleaf variety mentioned under “Types of Tabasco Peppers” to avoid the tobacco etch virus. Provide proper drainage to stop issues with mold or rot, and confirm to stay pests far away from your peppers.

How to Grow Tabasco Peppers (Capsicum Frutescens)

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