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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Chilli pepper ‘Basket of Fire’: prolific container variety

Posted by Graham Rice on 09 Feb 2012 at 05:32 PM

Chilli 'Basket of Fire' - new prolific semi-trailing variety. Image © VegetalisPlants that combine good looks with good flavour at the table are especially valuable in small gardens and in containers so the arrival of this new chilli pepper, ‘Basket of Fire’, is very welcome.

So many chillies are either very upright or very dwarf and compact but although ‘Basket of Fire’ starts off as a rounded plant when young (as in the picture), it soon spreads out and develops a semi-trailing habit. Reaching about 12in/30cm in height it spreads out to twice that so ideal is in a container. And this new British-bred variety has two other important features.

The small fruits can be used at any stage from early in their maturity, when they’re deep purple, through yellow to orange to full red ripeness. And this blend of colours makes a very attractive plant. You get the best of both worlds. Are they hot? Well, its Scoville heat rating is about 80000shu which puts it in the middle range between Cayenne and Habanero chillies.

Plants are fairly quick to mature, there should be some useable fruits about five weeks after transplanting and fully ripe fruits after about three months. And ‘Basket of Fire’ is very prolific. Three plants can produce several hundred chillies and with useful tolerance to cool conditions the fruits continue ripening until well into the autumn. They can then be dried and stored for the winter.

You can order plants of Chilli ‘Basket of Fire’ from Suttons and seeds from Marshalls, Plants of Distinction and Thompson & Morgan.



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