Willings Barbados Bird Pepper: Capsicum annuum var. aviculare
George Washington writes in his diary on August 31, 1785 "And the Bird pepper which was sowed in the botanical garden on the 13th. of June was just making its appearance and thick." The plant has attractive foliage and fruits and because of this was often used as a houseplant during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Plant bird peppers in full sun and nutrient rich soil. The plants grow up to 6' tall and 3-3.5' wide and start flowering in the summer. The small, oval fruit is about ½" long and starts out green and turns red. It is very hot and takes 95-110 days to mature.
Sow seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost date. Plant ¼" deep and place the trays or pots on a heat mat at 75-80°F. Seeds germinate in 10-14 days. Harden off the seedlings before planting them outside 3-4 weeks after the last frost. Plant 3-4' apart. USDA Zones 2-11.
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