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Growing Crossed Peppers

In the last two years I have been growing my own pepper plants from seeds that I collected from pepper fruits that I've bought or eaten elsewhere. The site where I used to post my progress is currently down so I have decided to post here on GigaRocket this year instead.

I do it mostly because I'm interested in plants. I like peppers especially because of their variability in heat and fruit shape, their ability to produce the first year, and their sturdiness compared to many other vegetables such as the tomato.

Last year I grew both sweet and hot peppers and I thought it would be fun to try to cross them. I've still got a few overwintered plants from last year but the focus of this year is going to be on growing my crosses and see how they turn out.

The crosses that I've planted are:
  • Red chilli × Orange mini pepper
  • Red chilli × Yellow mini pepper
  • Red chilli × Red pointed pepper
  • Red chilli × Yellow pointed pepper
  • Red chilli × Red Hungarian pepper
  • Red chilli × Orange bell pepper (nothing yet)
  • Red chilli × Red habanero
  • Red chilli × Asian chilli
  • Red habanero × Asian chilli

This is what they look like. I started a bit late so they are still relatively small as you can see.
[Image: WmHBH8Yl.jpg] [Image: 88URiWVl.jpg]

For some reason many of the plants have weirdly formed leaves. I don't know why.
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[-] The following 1 user Likes Peter's post:
  • Yozora
Plants look super healthy @Peter. Am curious. Did you eat all of the peppers that you planted last year?

[-] The following 1 user Likes Genesis's post:
  • Peter
All of the sweet peppers were eaten (not only by me). I'm not a huge consumer of hot peppers so I still have some left in the freezer.

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Some of the sweet peppers that I harvested last year.

All of the crosses have at least one hot parent so I guess there is a risk that I will get more hot peppers than I will ever need. I hope they turn out somewhere in between. I would like to have a somewhat large pepper with just a little heat so that it can be consumed more like a sweet pepper. Not knowing what I will get is part of the fun. Tongue
Great stuff. Wonder whether there are other uses for red peppers other than just eating them.

I repotted the plants today.
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They are not used to being outside so I brought them inside right after I took the picture, but the weather is good so I guess it's time to start getting them used to being outside.
[-] The following 2 users Like Peter's post:
  • Genesis, Yozora
The weather has been very good, almost too good, and the plants have grown nicely.

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The Red chilli × Red Hungarian pepper cross was the first one to flower. The pod is growing but is still too small to give much of a clue as to how the final fruit will look like.

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Nice work, just remenber not to scratch you nose afterwards
Good advice. I will try not to do that. Tongue
Red chilli × Orange mini pepper
Like all the other plants the pods started out elongated, which is not surprising when at least one of the parents have elongated pods, but now some of them look like they have swollen up and looks pretty close to how I remember the sweet mini peppers.
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Red chilli × Yellow mini pepper
This one should be pretty similar in size and shape to the one above when considering the parents, but one thing I've noticed with the only two pods that it has is that they have one flat side and one wide side.
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Red chilli × Red pointed pepper
This one has the largest pod. The shape looks pretty similar to the Red pointed pepper parent. If I had used larger containers I wouldn't be surprised if it had got even bigger. If you wonder why the plant looks a bit small it is because it got chewed on by a roe deer.
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Red chilli × Yellow pointed pepper
This must be the best producer if you measure the total mass of all the pods. I'm not surprised because the Yellow pointed pepper parent was also a very good producer.
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Red chilli × Red Hungarian pepper
Before the season I was quite excited about this one because the Hungarian pepper parent was quite different from my other plants with dark foliage, partially purple flowers and pods that were trying to point upwards but were a bit too heavy so they ended up pointing sideways. Unfortunately I haven't seen any of these traits in the cross. I'm pretty sure it is a cross though because the pods look a little too big and wide to be just a regular chilli.
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Red chilli × Red habanero
This one also got chewed on. It's an interesting plant because it's a cross between two different spieces (Capsicum annuum and Capsicum chinense). It seems to be somewhere in between. The purple coloration on the stem and veins comes from the habanero, but it doesn't grow as compact as the habanero. The mix of fruit shapes is also interesting. The chilli's elongated, pointing shape vs. the habanero's rounded, uneven shape.
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Red chilli × Asian chilli
The Asian chilli parent is s tall lanky plant with small leaves and with upright pods full of seeds, so it is not surpising that this cross is the tallest of my crosses. The pods hang down otherwise they remind very much of the Asian chilli and it looks like it will have a lot of seeds.
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Red habanero × Asian chilli
This plant started out the slowest, and for a long time I wasn't sure if the cross was successful, but now that the pods have started to grow I can see that it's definitely a cross. I think this is the most buitiful plant.
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[-] The following 1 user Likes Peter's post:
  • Yozora
I'm sorry that I didn't post any updates towards the end of last season. Here are some pictures of how they looked like when they got some colour to them.
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Red chilli × Red habanero

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Red chilli × Red Hungarian pepper

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Red chilli × Asian chilli

I guess red is a dominant trait because all crosses ripened to red and they all had at least one red parent. The Red chilli × Sweet chilli crosses had relativly mild heat on average and could almost be eaten directly, but it varied quite a bit, even on the same plant. The Red chilli × Other hot chilli crosses were very hot.

The plan was to grow out the second generation of at least some of the crosses this year but I have been a bit slow and have only planted 10 seeds (in 5 containers) of the Red habanero × Asian chilli cross. The main reason why I have choosen this cross is because the parents are the most different.

The Asian chilli has small leaves, grows tall and have elongated pods that point towards the sky.
The Red habanero has larger leaves, grows compact and have more rounded pods that hang down.

Both plants are nice looking plants in their own way and I really liked how the cross looked last season.

The reason I grow multiple plants of one cross instead of one plant of multiple crosses is because I think it will be interesting to see the different ways that the genes of the two parents are combined to create different looking plants.
[-] The following 2 users Like Peter's post:
  • Genesis, Yozora
Those colours are amazing @Peter. One wants to eat them. Tongue

[-] The following 1 user Likes Genesis's post:
  • Peter
The plants are doing fine. The size difference is quite big so I will probably repot at least some them in the next few days.
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Second generation of my Red habanero × Asian chilli cross 
[-] The following 1 user Likes Peter's post:
  • Genesis

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