Varieties of Chillies to Grow
When growing your own chillies, you will need to choose a chilli variety which will grow comfortably in your growing space. The size your chilli plant will grow to will depend on the variety you choose, as chilli plants grow into small or medium sized plants from half a metre to two metres tall.
The colour and size of the fruit your chilli plants produce will also vary. Chillies all start off green, then they can ripen to red, yellow, orange, purple and even brown, dependant on variety. Chilli varieties are bred from several different capsicum species. The most common include annuum, chinense, baccatum, frutescens and pubescens.
Annuum are the most common species and include Cayenne and Jalapeno as well as bell peppers.
Chinense chilli plants are quite delicate, and are best suited to growing inside. Habanero chillies are of the chinense species, along with the Trinidad Scorpion
Baccatum chillies originate from South America and can grow upto 5 feet tall. They include the Aji variety.
Frutescens are from Brazil and the Mexican city of Tabasco (giving its name to the popular variety). They are a bushy species growing up to 4 feet.
Pubescens are also known as Rocoto and originate from Bolivia. These are hardy plants with a long growing season.
Some of our favourite varieties are described below along with their relevant species.
- Fresno Supreme (annuum) – excellent for stir fries etc., thick, mild flesh.
- Pasilla Bajio (annuum) – Part of the Mexican Holy Trinity, zesty fruit are dark and brown.
- Padron (annuum) – Spanish tapas pepper is mild when small and green, and hot if left to mature.
- Hungarian Black (annuum) – Short, brown/black fruit with good flavour.
- Georgia Flame (annuum) – Sweet and spicy, thick flesh.
- Krimson Lee (annuum) – Excellent choice for pizza, thick sweet flesh
- Portugal (annuum) – Medium hot, large cayenne fruit, one of the first to begin to fruit
- Rocoto Red (pubescens) – Resembles a small bell pepper, sometimes called ‘Gringo Killer’, slow to mature
- Joes Long Cayenne (annuum) – One of our favourites, good for paprika as it dries well.
- Friars Hat (annuum)- Attractive, short, squat shaped fruits are brightly coloured, slow to mature
- Ring of Fire (annuum) - Thin, cayenne type fruit are good for drying and very hot.
- Pusa Jwala (annuum) - Popular in Indian curries, excellent knobbly feature.
- Trinidad Scorpion (chinense) - So called because the curl at the end of the fruit resembles a Scorpions tail, exceptionally hot.
- Chocolate Bhut Jolokia (chinense) - A chocolate coloured version of the Guinness Book of Record’s hottest chilli in the world
- Bih Jolokia – Another name for the Bhut Jolokia
- Tasty Grill Yellow (annuum)
- TastyGrill Red (annuum)
- Corno Rosso or Corno del Torro (annuum)
- Red Demon
Have a look at our chilli advice pages below to learn more about growing your own chillies from seed.
Grow Your Own Chillies Guide
Chilli Growing FAQ
How to grow Your Own Chillies Videos
Chilli Growing Essentials