Seed Swaps

Chinese pepper  

Capsicum chinense

Chinese pepper is part of the Capsicum genus. Its scientific name is Capsicum chinense.

Small light green pepper that turns red if left long enough on the plant. Looks very similar to habanero but without the intense heat.

The mature flowers are of a single form. When ripe, fruit appear in these approximate colours:   Orange-red.

Chinese pepper grows as an annual/perennial and is a flowering edible fruit / vegetable. Being an annual / perennial plant, it tends to grow either as a single season plant, or a plant that can stay in your garden for many years.

Chinese pepper is known for its forb habit and growing to a height of approximately 45.72 cm (1.49 feet).

Popular varieties of Chinese pepper with home gardeners are Habanero, Habanero Orange, Trinidad Morouga Scorpion, Chocolate Habanero and Scotch Bonnet.

Chinese pepper is normally fairly low maintenance and is normally quite easy to grow, as long as a level of basic care is provided throughout the year. Being aware of the basic soil, sun and water preferences will result in a happier and healthier plant.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Chinese pepper have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Chinese pepper

  • Full Sun

  • Dappled Sun

  • Medium

They can be grown in containers but the high yielding plants will be grown in the ground.

Plant in a location that enjoys full sun / dappled sun and remember to water moderately. Zone 5 to 12 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Chinese pepper tends to grow best in a soil ph of between 7.0 and 8.5 meaning it does best in neutral soil - weakly alkaline soil. Keep in mind when planting that Chinese pepper is thought of as tender, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside.

See our list of companion Plants for Chinese pepper to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Chinese pepper from seed

In the perfect conditions these plants will reseed readily and can bear the fruits most of the year with short periods of rest.

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 1.95 inches (5.0 cm) and sow at a depth of around 0.2 inches (0.5 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 18°C / 64°F to ensure good germination.

Transplanting Chinese pepper

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Chinese pepper is a tender plant.

Harvesting Chinese pepper

The aji dulce can be harvested when fully grown and still green and at different stages after that. They will turn orange or red and a variety of shades make a colorful “sofrito”.

Seed Saving Chinese pepper

Let the fruit mature on the plant and slice in two. take out the seeds and dry them in a paper towel. Save them in a small paper envelope.

How long does Chinese pepper take to grow?

These estimates for how long Chinese pepper takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Chinese pepper to germinate?
14 days

Average 14 days | Min 2 days | Max 32 days (376)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Chinese pepper?
+ 35 days

Average 35 days | Min 35 days | Max 37 days (3)

Days to Maturity How long until Chinese pepper is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 137 days

Average 137 days | Min 36 days | Max 245 days (134)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Chinese pepper?
= 186 days

Chinese pepper Etymology

Dutch-Austrian botanist Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin erroneously named the species in 1776, because he believed that they originated in China

Other names for Chinese pepper


Capsicum sinense

Misspellings: Capsicum chinenese

Latest Chinese pepper Reviews

  • This Habanero type pepper from Malaysia grows uniquely gnarly yellow pods on a sprawling, shorter plant. The heat level is hot like a habanero, and is a pleasant smooth burn. The flavor is mild and pleasant, not at all bitter.

    4 stars

    Ostrya about growing 2013 Malaysian Goronong Pepper
  • This is a very nice, Peach-colored Habanero-type pod pepper with significant heat. The plant is vigorous with dark-green foliage and prolific pods. I will likely grow this one again.

    4 stars

    Ostrya about growing 2013 Bahamian Goat Pepper
  • One of the hottest chilis in the world! A little tricky to germinate and the plants take a long time to set fruit but, once they do, they produce lots of golf-ball sized peppers with a somewhat fruity smell and taste. My plants last year grew to almost 5

    5 stars

    Sprocket1980 about growing Pepper - Trinidad Scorpion "Butch-T" chili [2013]

See all Chinese pepper reviews and experiences »


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