Cayenne Chile Pepper

Pencil-thin cayenne peppers are used fresh in hot sauces and chilies, dried or ground for cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, as a flavor in oil & vinegar, and strung on a string as an attractive southwestern style decoration called a ristra. Plants producing either yellow or green peppers that turn to a dark red are decorative in the garden with what seems like hundreds of peppers on each plant.
30,000-50,000 Scoville Heat Units (hot).

When to sow outside: 2 to 4 weeks after average last frost when air temperature is at least 70° F and soil temperature is at least 65° F.

When to start inside: RECOMMENDED. 8 to 10 weeks before average last frost. In USDA zones 9 & 10, can also sow in midsummer for fall crop.

Harvesting: Harvest when peppers are 1" - 6" long. When harvesting, take care to avoid touching the interior of any broken peppers, as the capsaicin is an extreme irritant, especially to the eyes. Wash hands thoroughly after harvesting, or wear gloves to harvest peppers.

Artist: Pat Fostvedt