Here you will find a wide selection of high quality chilli seeds that belong to the capsicum annuum family. There are also some famous varieties like the Jalapenos and the Thai Chilli that belong to this family. Info for new breeders: long germination

Capsicum annuum – world’s most famous chili strain!

This article talks about the most widespread variant of chili. Get to know one of the most famous strains and how to cultivate it optimally!

General information on Capsicum annuum

The word "annuum" means one year old. It is therefore often erroneously assumed that Capsicum annuum can only be cultivated for one year. Annual in this case, however, only means that the plants go through a development cycle within one year, starting with germination and ending with seed formation. All representatives of the species Capsicum annuum can therefore be overwintered. In our latitudes this is of course not possible outside, as they are not frost hardy. In commercial horticulture, however, the plants here are really only cultivated one year, because it is more difficult to overwinter plants of this size than to re-grow them every year.

Capsicum annuum is the most cultivated species of the genus Capsicum in Europe and worldwide. That is why almost all the peppers and chillies you can buy in the shop belong to this species. Vegetable peppers, for example, can almost exclusively be counted among this species.

The original home of the Capsicum annuum is probably today's Mexico. However, the area of distribution was already much larger back then - it extended from Colombia to the south of the USA. The hot fruits reached Europe through the travels of Christopher Columbus.

Where does the capsicum annuum come from?

Like all chili strains, capsicum annuum originates in South and Central America. Its spread stretches as far as the southern parts of North America. In these regions, people use the fiery chilies for various purposes since long ago. Europeans helped spread the fruit by Sea in the other parts of the earth as well. The result is that today’s areas of cultivation for the capsicum annuum are not only located on the American Continent, but also in India, Thailand and even Hungary.

Which varieties does capsicum annuum produce?

The Jalapeno is without a doubt among the most popular and famous varieties. There are, however, many more variations which will convince any true chili head with their many different shapes and colors. Capsicum annuum can also vary strongly in taste. From the mildness of a vegetable paprika to the heat of Thai chilies, everything is there. Capsicum annuum is the original form of the fiery chili. Even the predecessor of chili, the Chiltepin, belongs to the strain capsicum annuum. Other major varieties are Aji Limo, Black Prince and Purple Tiger. To this day, Capsicum annuum is considered the most frequent strain, which is also frequently crossbred. Altogether now more than 40 different varieties belong to capsicum annuum. We have listed the most important of them in the following summary:

  • Jalapeño
  • Thai Chilis
  • Chiltepin
  • Aji Limo
  • Black Prince
  • Purple Tiger

What does the Capsicum annum plant look like?

  • Habitus:

Capsicum annuum plants usually reach a height of up to 1.5 meters. However, there are also many smaller varieties, such as ornamental peppers. Larger plants can also occur under good conditions or after several years of hibernation.

The chili plants themselves are semi-shrubs, i.e. the shoots are woody on the underside and herbaceous and green in the middle and upper part.

  • Leaves:

The leaves are oval, pointed and with entire margins. Their size usually varies between 5 and 30 cm. The surface is sometimes very different and ranges from leathery and firm to soft or even slightly hairy leaves. There is also little uniformity in colour. There are light green, dark green, white variegated, violet, violet grained and also almost black leaf colours.

  • Flowers:

The flowers grow from the ramifications of the shoots. Normally one flower is formed per branch. In rare cases 2 or even 3 flowers are formed per branch. Usually this is the case with the flower in the first branch (royal flower).

In general, 5 petals are counted per flower, i.e. the flower is 5. In exceptional cases, there are also 4 to 7-fold flowers. The dominant colour of the flowers is white. Rarely, there are viollette colours, either at the edge of the flower or over the whole flower. Often, however, bluish stamens can be found, which can only be seen when the pollen sacs have not yet burst open. If this has already happened, whitish yellow pollen can be seen on the whole surface. Examples for the different Capsicum annuum flowers:

  • Fruits:

Botanically speaking they are berries, but colloquially they are often called chilli or paprika. Just like the flowers, the fruits usually hang down. There are also exceptions here. Varieties like tepin and pequin, which go back to old wild forms, stand upright. Examples of the different Capsicum annuum fruits:

  • Fruit types:

When the species Capsicum annuum spread in Europe, its representatives were initially used more as ornamentals. The fruits were rarely used. They were used to season pickled vegetables. However, they were mainly used sparingly.

Today, vegetable peppers are grown in large quantities and the hot spicy peppers / chillies are also becoming increasingly popular. They are dried, used as powder, pickled, processed into spice pastes and hot sauces or simply eaten fresh.Since there are so many varieties of this species in the meantime that the overview is slowly getting lost, the fruits of this species are divided into fruit types, in agriculture or also in trade. This classification is more general than the variety classification, but even here there are sometimes difficulties in classifying the fruits. The following types of fruit are distinguished:

  • Tepin / Pequin type:
    roundish or round-oval fruits - partly pointed - often upright - mostly red - are also called Bird Chilis or Bird Eye Chilis - usually very hot - many ornamental varieties belong to this type.
  • - Cayenne guy:
  • Cayenne type:
    long, pointed fruits - thin-walled and therefore well suited for drying - originally mostly red, but in the meantime also different coloured cultivars - different degrees of sharpness
  • Jalapeño type:
    oblong-oval or conical fruits with rounded tips - usually medium hot - often thick fleshed and juicy
  • Anaheim type
  • often also called New Mexican - larger, pointed fruits with less sharpness - good for filling, but less for drying - thick fleshy
  • Poblano type:
    slightly broader fruits, which are pointed - usually mild - are often used for sauces and mole or for filling
  • Short-Wax / Hot-Wax type:
    waxy surface of the fruits - tapering - max. 10 cm length - often harvested in unripe condition due to the white-yellow, waxy colouring - medium to very hot
  • Long-Wax type:
    longer than the fruits of the short-wax type - less sharpness
  • Cherry paprika type:
    round, cherry-shaped fruits - colour mostly red, dark red, reddish brown or chocolate - thick flesh - often Hungarian varieties, but also Mexican ones, such as Cascabel - are suitable for filling
  • Bell pepper / sweet pepper type:
    most sweet peppers - divided into 3 to 4 chambers or blocks - thick flesh - comparatively large fruit - great variety of colours - usually no or little pungency
  • Cubanelle type:
    riginally from Italy, although "Cubanelle" means something like Cuban - comparable to block-shaped sweet peppers, but slightly smaller and more elongated - partly pointed - usually not very hot

What should be taken into consideration when cultivating Capsicum annuum seeds?

Particularly noteworthy is the long germination period, as well as the difficult conditions that must be fulfilled. Thus, the seeds need at least two weeks at a temperature of 22 ° C before the first sprouts appear. If you plant the seeds of a yellow chili breed, the germination period may be even longer, for as experience dictates us, such seeds are more difficult to germinate than those of other varieties. In order to obtain an optimal result, you should use special cultivation trays or at least special cultivation soil for this process. When the time is right, that is, after the last frost, you can take the tiny plants outside. For this, choosing the right location is very important. Your chilies should get a lot of light, but not really stand in the blazing sun. In that case, the young plants would get burns from the sun. Furthermore, you must make sure that your chili plant is in a sheltered place, protected from wind. As soon as the capsicum annuum plant blooms, the temperature must not sink under 19° Celsius, otherwise it won’t bear any fruit. For this reason, night temperatures of around 20° Celsius are ideal. At this point, the plants must be properly watered and fertilized so that they can yield any chilies at all. However, there is also the danger that to over fertilize your chilies. In case of over-fertilization, you will notice that the shoots of the plant become darker at the lower edges. If the capsicum annuum plants are trimmed in autumn and brought inside, you have really good chances that they are going to survive the winter. You must also choose the soil carefully if you want the chilies to grow nice and fiery. But what should you consider when choosing soil? The most suitable is a soil which is not only warm and nutrient-rich, but at the same time air-permeable. Fresh humus or compost is particularly suitable for the cultivation of chilies.

How to store seeds optimally?

If you still have seeds that you would like to sow next year, you can keep them for a longer period of time, but you must pay attention to some important guidelines. If you follow these tips, the germination of the seeds will not deteriorate significantly. But what exactly do you have to observe when storing the seeds? First of all, it is important that the small seeds are stored in a place without much light. An ideal storage location is, for example, a drawer. Of course, the seeds should not be stored loosely there. For example, a dark sachet or a film canister are suitable containers.

Can the germination capacity be increased again?

The good news is, it is quite possible. If you still have some seeds deposited in the manner described above, you can significantly increase their ability to germinate by simple means. A tried and tested method, which we have already tested ourselves, is soaking them in chamomile tea. To treat the seeds this way, you only have to cook a chamomile tea, drink it and put the pouch again in hot water. Once the second, weaker tea has cooled, you can soak the seeds in it. The duration of the soaking should be at least 8 hours. The same principle also works with black tea. Since the chilies can be germinated in the wild only with the help of birds, you can also dissolve some guano in water and soften the seeds. A secret tip is probably a solution of water and lemon juice. As soon as the seeds in this mixture sink down, they are ready for planting.

Fiery conclusion

Capsicum annuum is native to South America, but now it is cultivated in other regions such as Thailand and Hungary. The variety is really enormous, which is probably because this species is the most common and, accordingly, is often cross bred. If you pay attention to a few things, you can also grow capsicum annuum successfully at home. Even the hibernation of these plants succeeds in most cases. Due to the frequent crossings, of course, a great variety has developed. The most known variety of this strain are probably the Jalapenos. You can, of course, also store the seeds of this strain and plant them only next year. You can use different methods to improve the germination of these seeds.