Thai Bird's Eye Hot Pepper
95 days red. A Thai chili with well-rounded fruity flavor, guarded by a concentrated wallop of spiciness not for the faint of heart. Heat-averse gardeners will still appreciate the ornamental quality of this variety, as the upright, 3’ tall, bushy plants will become loaded with an array of miniature green and red pointy fruits about 1” long. These chilis are ubiquitous in Thailand, where they are commonly added to red and green curries, or simply sliced into a bowl of fish sauce or seasoned vinegar to make a flavorful and versatile condiment. The thin walls of the fruit also make it a good pepper for drying and crushing into spicy chili flakes or paprika. Roughly 10x hotter than a standard jalapeño. We initially received our seeds from a friend of Mike’s, who often prepares spicy basil chicken with these thai peppers he keeps in the freezer. NN
Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):
All peppers are warm weather loving plants. Sow seeds indoors 3/15-4/1 into good seed starting mix (we recommend Vermont Compost’s Fort Light). Ideal temperature for germination is 80-90° (use heating mat). Days to germination: 6-28. Once leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Be sure seedlings have adequate light (a windowsill will not do for peppers) and keep plants from becoming pot-bound because this will permanently stunt plants. If seedlings are getting too big for their pot but the weather is still too cold outside, transplant them into bigger pots. Plant seedlings outside late May into fertile garden soil with lots of compost or decomposed manure. If your soil pH is greater than 7 (which is typical of clay soils in Southeast Michigan) add sulfur to acidify soil. Space plants 1 ½ ft apart.
Harvest peppers when greenish red or completely red ripe. Eat fresh or dried.
Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):
Peppers are primarily self-pollinating but insects will cause significant cross pollination between pepper varieties. To keep variety pure, cover plants with low tunnels (using thin row cover fabric) to exclude pollinators. Or, isolation distance: 300 ft. Save seeds from the best plants. Save seeds from fully ripe peppers. Process either wet (fresh peppers) or dry (dried peppers). Process hot pepper seeds outdoors wearing rubber gloves and dust mask! Make sure seeds are fully dry before storing.