[CH] Are chiles an annual plant?

Jim Weller (Jim.Weller@salata.com)
22 Mar 98 18:49:51 -0800

 -=> Quoting Dale.Freeman@dofa.gov.au to All <=-

 Da> I noted that several of you have referred to taking your chilies in
 Da> for winter and them growing on the next spring.

 Da> I thought that chilies were annual plants requiring new plantings of
 Da> seeds each year.

They are a "tender" perennial that not only can't tolerate frost, they
don't like even coolish weather [below 6 deg C ???].

 Da> If they are in effect perennial, is there any secret to keeping them
 Da> going over winter, other than to keep them a little warmer and giving
 Da> them some light.

All I did was bring my potted plants indoors towards the end of summer
and keep them on windowsills. In Dec. when daylight drops below 4 hours
here, I used a grow light about 6 hours a day and watered lightly
without adding fertilizer.

In Jan. I increased the grow light hours to 12, watered more heavily and
fed the plants a little liquid fertilizer. The little buggers thought it
was spring and bloomed right away. I now have several immature green
peppers and lots more blossoms.

 Da> The area I'm growing chiles in drops to average winter daytime temps
 Da> of around 10-12 celsius and 3-4 overnight.  Daylight hours drop to 6-8
 Da> hrs. 

I don't *think* they'll make it outdoors there.

BTW, the grow lights make the plants grow rather tall and spindly. I did
prune them a bit. The excess leaves and stems aren't wasted though. They
make an excellent mild pot herb. [A tip from a FIDO Cooking echo buddy
from Australia, who has spent a fair amount of time in PNG and
Thailand and eaten them there.]

MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.05
      Title: Chile [Chilli] leaf soup
 Categories: Soups, Beef, Herbs
      Yield: 4 Servings
      4 c  Beef broth
    1/2 c  Chile leaves; chiffonaded
           Parsley; several fresh
           -sprigs, chopped, optional
    1/2 c  Cooked rice
      4    Green onions; chopped

  [Green onions = spring onions, scallions, sometimes called "shallots"
  in Louisiana.]
  Bring beef broth to a boil. Add chopped chile leaf and parsley stems.
  Simmer 10 minutes. Add chile leaves and parsley; simmer 3-5 minutes.
  Add cooked rice and chopped white parts of the onions. Simmer one
  minute. Serve and sprinkle the bowls with the chopped green part of
  the onions.
  I recommend against adding other vegetables, herbs or spices or the
  delicate flavour of the chile leaves will be overpowered.
  Jim Weller

As to your other message re: hydroponics, that's a technique that I have
never dabbled in.

                                        Jim Weller,
                                        Yellowknife, NWT.
                                        [jweller at ssimicro dot com]

... Caribou Chili Pizza Beta Tester