By Jennifer Poindexter
The first time I saw biquinho piquillo peppers (Capsicum annuum), I knew I had to grow them! Why? Because they are cherry-sized peppers. As much as I love cherry-tomatoes, I knew these peppers would make an excellent addition to my garden and my kitchen.
These small, teardrop peppers make an excellent snack due to their sweet flavor but still pack a note of spice. If you’re interested in growing this unique pepper, you’re in the right place.
Here’s what you should know when learning how to grow biquinho piquillo peppers:
Growing Conditions for Biquinho Piquillo Peppers
These smaller peppers go by a variety of names. They’re sometimes called sweety drop peppers due to their shape and sweet flavor.
Considering biquinho means little beak, they’re sometimes called little beak peppers. No matter what you call them, most people agree that they’re delicious!
Biquinho piquillo peppers originated in Brazil, so they love bright growing conditions. With this in mind, when selecting an area to grow your pepper plants, choose a place that receives at least eight hours of direct sunlight.
These plants also require well-draining soil as they need even moisture and shouldn’t be left in overly soggy growing conditions.
In return, expect to see bright green foliage with eye-catching fruits hanging from them. Biquinho piquillo peppers come in both yellow and red varieties, so they’re difficult to miss.
If you’re concerned about growing these plants because you don’t have the best soil or an area which receives enough sun all day, you’re in luck.
Biquinho piquillo peppers can be grown in both containers or traditional in ground garden plots. In containers these plants typically remain smaller and more condensed.
Yet, if grown in the ground, they may become bushier and grow as tall as three feet. If you do grow these peppers in a container, be sure to choose a planter that’s at least a foot wide in diameter.
Now that you know what the growing location will need to support these beautiful and delicious peppers, it’s time to learn how to grow them.
How to Grow Biquinho Piquillo Peppers
Biquinho piquillo peppers are so gorgeous, you may wonder if they’re only for ornamental purposes. Thankfully, the answer is a resounding no. You may snack on these peppers or incorporate them into different dishes.
However, don’t be alarmed when you buy seeds and notice that these peppers are classified as a hot pepper.
In general, people don’t find them spicy. Many people utilize them as a snack, an addition to their salad, or even for pickling.
If this piques your interest even more about this vegetable, then it’s time to learn how to grow it. This is a slow-producing variety of pepper.
Therefore, many planting zones require that you start them indoors ahead of the final frost to ensure you have enough time to enjoy the harvest.
These peppers can take anywhere from 65 to 75 days to reach a harvest, so give yourself plenty of time and pick the appropriate growing method based upon the amount of frost-free days in your area.
Should you decide to start the seeds indoors, do so eight weeks ahead of the final frost. Select a growing tray, fill it with seed starting mix, and plant two seeds per cell in the tray.
Plant the seeds at approximately ¼ inch depth and lightly cover them. Mist the soil with water to keep it damp but without oversaturating the seeds. Too much water may cause the seeds to rot.
Check the soil daily to ensure it never fully dries. Biquinho piquillo peppers take two to three weeks to germinate. Keep your growing tray in a warm location, like on a seed starting mat or on top of your refrigerator, as this could encourage better germination rates.
Once the seeds sprout, move them to a warm growing location where they can receive bright, indirect lighting.
Continue to keep the soil evenly damp until the plants develop multiple true leaves, they’re about four-inches tall or taller, and the final frost is over.
From there, begin hardening the plants off before transplanting them in their final growing location.
Dig a hole deep enough to support the plant’s root system, place the plant in the hole, and backfill it with soil.
Press firmly around the base of the plant, then water it deeply. Ensure you provide two feet of space between each plant.
The other planting method is to sow the seeds directly into the soil after the final frost. You should wait approximately one month after the final frost date to ensure the soil temperature ranges between 75- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit.
Till up the earth and sow seeds ¼ inch deep. Cover them lightly and keep the soil evenly damp until the seeds germinate.
At that point, thin the plants to where there’s two feet between each. Continue to provide consistent moisture to them as they grow.
Once your plants are in their permanent growing location, it’s time to discuss how to properly care for them, so you can encourage a fruitful harvest.
Caring for Biquinho Piquillo Peppers
Should you decide to grow biquinho piquillo peppers, there are a few things you must do to keep the plants healthy and productive.
The first thing you should do is water the plants deeply. This involves applying water for longer periods of time, fewer days of the week.
This style of watering encourages deeper roots as the plants dig into the soil to retrieve water between sessions. In turn, this creates healthier plants.
The next thing you should do is fertilize your peppers once per month. You can decide if you’d like to use granular or water-based fertilizer and ensure you follow the instructions on the package.
Finally, it’s vital to keep the weeds around your plants under control as they’ll compete with your peppers for nutrients.
You may also apply a layer of mulch around your peppers to keep weeds down and moisture in the soil, too.
By taking these few steps, you’re doing your part to keep your plants healthy and thriving. This should lead to a quality harvest in due time.
Garden Pests and Diseases for Biquinho Piquillo Peppers
Biquinho piquillo peppers need your protection when growing in your garden. The reason being is they may fall prey to pests and diseases.
The most common disease to impact this pepper is powdery mildew. It’s a common fungal issue that occurs when your peppers are grown where there’s poor airflow, cooler temperatures, or poor drainage.
If you experience this disease, remove any damaged parts of the plant. You may also treat it with a fungicide.
Other ways to deter this disease is to ensure you plant your peppers in areas of full sunlight and adequately draining soil.
Most fungal diseases thrive in areas of cooler temperatures and wet soil. If you grow in a place with opposite conditions, this should keep the problem at bay.
Also, you may try watering your plants in the morning to ensure they have the entire day to dry before the cool night air sets in. If your peppers become too bushy and have bad air circulation, this could trap moisture.
It’s okay to give them a quick trim to increase the amount of airflow around the plant.
The next thing to be alert to is pests. The most common pests to impact biquinho piquillo peppers are aphids and cutworms. You may treat both of these issues with insecticide.
These are the threats which your peppers may face. Keep a close eye on your plants to ensure any troubles are faced immediately to best protect your harvest.
Harvesting Biquinho Piquillo Peppers
The last thing to discuss about raising biquinho piquillo peppers is how to harvest them. This is important because it’s why you put in all the work you do throughout the growing season.
To encourage a greater harvest, be sure to pinch the first blooms which form on your pepper plants as this will encourage greater growth of the plant.
Then when the peppers reach a desired size, pluck or cut them away from the plant. These plants are slow to fruit but once they begin producing, they should continue to do so until the first frost arrives.
It’s best to store fresh peppers in a plastic container or bag in your refrigerator. They should last for seven to fourteen days.
You now know the basics of growing biquinho piquillo peppers. Utilize these tips to provide the healthiest growing conditions for your plants.
From there, though it takes a lot of patience with these peppers, you should begin to see healthy plants grow and produce. Try these unique peppers and see if they become one of your new favorites!
Biquinho Piquillo Peppers Quick Reference Growing Chart
|Biquinho Piquillo Peppers Details|
|Plant Name||Biquinho Piquillo Peppers (Little Beak Peppers)|
|Sun Requirements||At least 8 hours of direct sunlight|
|Soil Requirements||Well-draining soil|
|Water Requirements||Consistent moisture, deep watering|
|Fertilizer Requirements||Once per month (granular or water-based)|
|Plant Spacing||2 feet between each plant|
|Plant Height||Up to 3 feet tall (in-ground)|
|Days to Germination||14-21 days|
|Days to Harvest||65-75 days|
|Pest Issues||Aphids, Cutworms|
|Disease Issues||Powdery Mildew|
|Harvesting Tips||Pinch first blooms, harvest at desired size|
|Storage Tips||Refrigerate in a plastic container/bag for 7-14 days|
- Biquinho piquillo peppers are small, teardrop-shaped peppers with a sweet flavor and a hint of spice.
- They originated in Brazil and thrive in bright growing conditions with at least 8 hours of direct sunlight and well-draining soil.
- These peppers can be grown in containers or traditional in-ground garden plots.
- Start seeds indoors 8 weeks ahead of the final frost or sow seeds directly into the soil after the final frost.
- Provide consistent moisture, deep watering, and fertilize once per month to maintain healthy plants.
- Watch out for pests like aphids and cutworms, as well as diseases like powdery mildew, and treat as necessary.
- Pinch the first blooms to encourage a greater harvest and harvest peppers when they reach the desired size.
- Fresh peppers can be stored in the refrigerator for 7 to 14 days.
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