Additional thoughts on growing Florida Datil peppers

Despite the funky growing season that screwed with every single pepper plant I grew (even the jalapenos that I always grow didn’t do nearly as well as usual), my one surviving Datil produced a huge number of pods, and is by far the largest and healthiest of all of the pepper plants I grew.  Its trunk is as thick as several of my fingers put together, and while its not TALL, its huge in comparison to every other pepper in the garden this year.  The peppers are easily habanero hot, but Husband likes them.

However it is also, by far, the most temperature sensitive pepper I’ve grown.  I had to shade it from the sun!  Admittedly we had a hotter than normal summer, but “hotter than normal” for us barely hits “normal” for Florida.  And yet I lost two plants to the heat before I realized I needed to shade them.  Not one other pepper plant I’ve grown, this summer or previous, has had that problem.  And now that the fall temps are dropping, its wilting in the cold long before any other pepper plant.  We’ve not had a frost yet, though we had one night dip down to 40(F).  Every other pepper plant out there is still going strong.  And the Datil is showing what sure looks like frost damage!  I’ve got it covered in frost cloth in hopes of keeping it going long enough for the rest of the pods to ripen.

I’m debating digging it up and attempting to to over-winter it in a pot so as to give it a headstart for next year.  We’ll have to see how it goes I guess.

4 Comments

  1. Comment by bogie:

    Sounds like a very picky pepper – both shade and cool protection would make me hesitate to grow it again. But then again I am a casual gardener who doesn’t like to have to fuss over plants once I’ve got them established. Probably why some of the perennials that should survive my zone haven’t done so well.

    • Comment by Ruth:

      I much prefer less picky plants myself. On the other hand, Husband liked it, so I’m willing to give it another try.

    • Comment by Ruth:

      plus it was hugely prolific. If it’ll do that in a normal growing season too then it might be worth a little extra care.

  2. Comment by Rain Frances:

    I would probably try to over-winter it myself considering how well it did!