Chile rocoto: main characteristics, cultivation and care

rocoto chili pepper

Some types of cuisine try to stand out due to the combination of acidic, citric and spicy flavors. One of the standards of many South American countries is based on spicy food. Here enter Chile hot pepper. It is also known by the name of chile de cera or chile el manzano. Its scientific name is pubescent capsicum and it has a highly valued flavor, even being consumed fresh in salads.

In this article we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the hot pepper, its cultivation and its characteristics.

Key features

rocoto chili

rocoto chile

The first thing we should know about this fruit is the level of spiciness. It is not too hot, since if we compare it with the habanero pepper it has a lower spiciness. Its flavor and texture, eaten fresh, is very characteristic and makes it different from the rest. For those people who are not used to spicy it can have a powerful level. Therefore, it is advisable to eat in moderation. It is quite pleasant when it comes to directly taking in the flavor and aroma of this fruit.

It is widely used in countries such as Peru or Bolivia that stand out for having a gastronomy that is highly valued internationally. It is used in sauces, as a condiment or minced in meat and fish to give a slightly spicy touch.

One of the curiosities that the hot pepper has only its seeds. They are black in color and are very easy to plant. The requirement is that the seeds must be relatively dry to be sown. The germination power it has is very high, although it took a little longer to germinate than other chili peppers, jalapeño, cayenne and habanero.

The ripening of the fruit is a stepped process similar to pepper cultivation. At first the fruits have a green color and they accumulate more antioxidants as they grow, which should give them a yellow or orange color. From there it is when you can already collect it. If the plant is still maturing, it acquires a bright red color and is the most commonly consumed form. If we want to taste the hot pepper at its optimum degree of maturation, it must be kept in good light and temperature conditions and the entire fruit ripening process lasts about 80 days. It is interesting to plant in early spring so that it can germinate and not have a problem with the coldest nights.

Hot pepper cultivation

chili plant and flower

chili plant and flower

We are going to see what are the main steps to take into account to cultivate the hot pepper. You should know that it is relatively simple and you just have to take into account some aspects that we are going to see below. First of all is the location. Good temperature and high lighting are required for any plant in the nightshade family. Thus, The climate of Central and South America also suits you. In the Mediterranean they develop better than in the north. This is because there are sea breezes and more stable temperatures.

It is convenient to plant in the open sky and in early spring to take advantage of all the sun exposure of the summer months. The thermal regime should be around 20-25 degrees during the day. The temperature should not go below 15 degrees, being a maximum understand night of 10 degrees so that there is an ideal fertilization of the flowers.

Regarding humidity, it can be adapted to different environmental humidity, being the ideal one for the correct flowering and pollination between 50-65%. If it is continuously exposed to higher humidity, it can be attacked by fungi and bacteria. All these diseases have a difficult solution unless the environment is drier and there is good ventilation.

Lighting also plays an important role in hot pepper requirements. A light exposure and a minimum of about 10-12 hours of sun is neededso we must sow the summer. The lack of light causes the plant to have a lower production of stems and leaves and have a less vivid green color. By having a lower production of flowers, they end up having a lower hot pepper harvest.

Sowing the hot pepper

recipes with hot chili

chili pepper recipes

Once we know the requirements to cultivate the hot pepper, we are going to move on to the sowing process. The optimal conditions for germination is to maintain a constant temperature between 20-30 degrees. The substrate must be kept moist but without getting to water. For this, we need a soil that has good drainage. Drainage is the ability of the soil to filter water from the ground or rain. Being a soil that has poor drainage, it ends up having an accumulation of water that can cause the roots to rot.

The best way to water moorland by displacing seeds is to use a fine-drop sprayer. You can increase the humidity if it is too low to improve germination efficiency.. This germination can take up to 15 daysalthough most of the time they tend to overtake. It all depends on the environmental conditions.

As for the soil, the hot pepper requires a fertile, dry soil with a good volume of organic matter. If the soil has a sandy part, it favors good drainage and keeps the roots clean and with continuous development. You have to add a little extra organic matter to the soil before transplanting the pepper. 2 kg per plant of compost or organic matter mixed with the soil is more than enough. Thus, it can last for years in the soil so that you can renew the plant again.

Irrigation is an important factor for the hot pepper. Too much can cause widespread root rot. The plant begins to appear that it asks for water, but it is the opposite. In spring it is important provide water every 2-3 days with irrigations of up to one liter in adult plants. If it is grown in a pot, five times less the volume of the container should be added.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the rocoto pepper, its care and its characteristics.

Chile rocoto: main characteristics, cultivation and care

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