Your Experiences with Chiltepin/Chilpequin?

legsbigApril 22, 2007

I'm mainly interested in growing Chiltepins.

They are hotter than Chilpequins right?

How hard are they to grow? I heard they are HARD. And they take forever and may not ever grow.

Are there any of those little birds eye peppers that are easier to grow?

I had a NATURAL chilpequin plant in my backyard years ago, my mom said its because the birds eat the seeds and spread them around in south texas.

Would be agreat treat to have today! lol.

So tell me about Chiltepins.


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ardnek710(z6 stlouis)

I thought chiltepins and chilpequins are the same.

We bought chiltepin plants from cross country nursery and I thought they were easy to grow, no different than any other chili plant. The hard part is picking all those d**&**mn peppers...:) They are very good and very very hot and worth growing if you want to pick the peppers. If you live in the right environment you might get one to survive the winter outside and the birds might spread seeds around and you will get "wild" plants.
I have heard that starting from seed can be difficult but I have not tried it.


Here is a link that might be useful: chiltepins offered at cross country

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 6:01PM
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bob_in_pc(z8 FL)

I had a friend that used to pop dried bird peppers, they looked red BB's, at his desk when he wanted a capsaicin buzz. I asked him to give me a few and I took them home and germinated the tiny seeds inside.

The plant is very tolerant of shade and was prolific. I did not like picking the peppers however and found limited use for them although I'm sure they would be fine ground up coarsely and used as a condiment.

I found them to be extremely hot but without the diversity in flavor I find in chinense varieties. So, I don't grow them.

I know they're easy to propagate however. In fact, I found a wild plant growing next to a building at work that was undoubtedly sown there by a random bird dropping..

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 6:23PM
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It's great to have a chile that was once cultivated by Jefferson! I always used to carry around a tin/pouch of dried pods when I traveled and couldn't find anything hotter than tabasco. At home, I use chiltecpin sauce to spike up the heat in salsa or a chipotle sauce. I think it goes well with jals, serranos, numex, etc. They're also tough little plants that overwinter well. You should grow them out at least once! But Kendra's right, It takes a while to pick them, so get a nice low 'pickin' stool' for the job.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 10:49PM
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reyna1(Zone 8)

a little bit about myself
im originally from west texas, and i have fond memories of traveling to south texas when i was younger (approx 7 years old) w/ my family going to visit aunts and uncles in central texas. i remember especially that my mom and dad would be driving and all of a sudden they would stop the car, and get out on the lonely highway to pick chiltepins that were growing on the side of the road. how the heck they spotted those plants while driving is still a mystery to me. ive never actually asked them. maybe they just knew where the plant grew (as they are perennials and grow back year after year).

anyway, i myself have 2 plants that i grew from seed that are over 3 years old..
i somehow kept them alive this long despite not really having a good regimen to keep them alive....

both plants arent doing so well this year..however i will try really hard to get them through this year and hopefully bring them back to health...

for me, this was my first time at growing chiltepins from seed and i remember it being really hard to keep the tiny seedlings from dying...there isnt much real information out there on the net about the care of a chiltepin so even though i have had my peppers for 3 years, its kind of been a hit and miss type thing..especially living in texas where it gets pretty hot
sometimes i would key in on the leaves, if leaves were a little droopy i would water, but i always worried and wondered if i were watering too much

on one site it said to water them 2 times a week in the summer and once every week or two in the winter...

i hope this helps, if you feel like chatting about chiltepins and want some seeds, i'll be happy to send you some, i have some from west texas that i have stored.

i came across this post as i was searching out information on how to care for them, as even though ive had them for 3 years, i really would like to know the proper way to care for them.

my email address dannyreyna1 at yahoo dot com
if you are interested in sharing information that you find regarding chiltepins ...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 11:20PM
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This is the texas bird tepin from Monticello (Thos Jefferson) mentioned in posts. It also grows wild in Mex and United states.

Tepins are easy to germinate, easy to grow and make lots of chiles. The plants are extremely hard to kill. They are my primary hot food intake as I am not much of a fan of hot sauces.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 8:33AM
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They are as easy to grow as any other pepper and germinate the same. Mine come back from seed each year, although it gets too cold here for the plants themselves to survive. They do just fine in the shade of trees, although those that get the most sun grow faster.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 9:38AM
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shelbyguy(z5 IL)

chilipiquin is the domesticated version of chiltepin. tepin tends to be more rounded while piquin seed pods are more conical.

they both do just fine here in zone 5.

ive never encountered a pepper that was 'hard to grow.' the plant already knows how to grow just fine on its own. humans dont usually improve things when they get involved, so i just water and fertilize once in a while and let the plants do their thing.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 10:58AM
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I heard too that tepin is a hard one and you can imagine my happiness when one (old) seed made it through. Unfortunately slugs ate this one tepin seedling (approx. 7cm high) - I hope it dies with burning indigestion; it took the one scotch bonnet I had left too

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 6:10AM
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Help!!!! I need my Chilpequin fix!!!!
Im a native texan that grew up on these fireballs that moved to Wv. 5 years ago. My mom sent me some peppers which I have planted. red ones, green ones, the result is still the same. I get a plant to grow, but no peppers. Im planting them in potting soil with the pre-added Miricle grow, plants are both in full sun areas and indirect sun locations.
Any suggestions???

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 4:12PM
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bob_in_pc(z8 FL)


It sounds like you planted "late" in the season from reading your post.

My experience has been that excellent pod set occurs when plants were established early on. I too have some peppers I planted late. But my strategy all along was to overwinter and get an early start next year.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 4:31PM
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Your link doesn't work for me. Anyone else?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 5:35PM
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This is the photo of the Texas Bird tepin that should have shown with my original post.....must have had a senior moment....

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 5:49PM
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i have 2 chiltepin plants both loaded with fruit and none are turning red. i planted the seeds indoors in march and transplanted them out side may 1st. both plants have had peppers on them for almost two months how much longer until i can pick red ones? let me tell you these things are hot. i put 5 in some salsa and it was almost to hot for me to eat no one else in my house would eat it. now to sit and watch them turn red

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 7:04PM
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They ARE a pain to pick; here's about half of last year's harvest from one 1 1/2' tall plant. The rest have been consumed or given away...

Mine are just starting to ripen now in the Sacramento area. I pick most of them in late fall so don't give up yet!

My plant is now about 13 years old. It took forever for my seeds to germinate (about two months). I was just about ready to toss out the peat pots when I finally noticed them. Has anyone ever tried to take cuttings? I may try to take both some old wood and new growth cuttings next spring just to get a back-up plant...


    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 8:46PM
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my plant looks like willard3's but the peppers are a lighter shade of green with the ones exposed to the sun being purple

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 9:06PM
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Here is one called Turkey which grows wild along fence rows in Texas ( it was a more handsome plant before I broke off a large branch putting it in that pot)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 9:28PM
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I reproduce mostly by cuttings (cloning) and tepins, in general, clone easily.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 10:13AM
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skoenlaper(z9 AZ)

Hi all you pepper lovers :)
We had a friend give us some chiltepin peppers and we loved them. We saved some and tried to germinate them. To no avail. But we did buy a plant and it is growing well. My question is it is sort of leggy looking and I was wondering if it should be pruned a little or left to grow on it's own.
Thanks for your help

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 10:09PM
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Here in Texas the birds eat them and deposit the seeds below trees and they do quite well there. I use to dig the plants and find new homes for them. In the Waco area they are like a weed everywhere. I am starting a few seeds again this year. I buy my seeds from the Ethnic food section in our local Grocery Stores, on their spice rack. Cost me $1.44 and I gave a couple friends seeds to plant, I always just plant the whole fruit rather then try my luck seeing if each seed will sprout and they never have needed to be thinned out. Turkey pepper, bird pepper and other names. There is one the has fruit that is about 4 times as large but haven't been able to locate since, may just have to do more research. They are a pretty plant so I am putting them into my front flower bed along with some herbs as ground cover between my flowers, and I live around those yard Nazi's

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 12:08PM
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I grow a variety in Arizona from seed sourced from south Texas. They do great here and I think they have a nice flavor. I just picked over 300 last night and there still are at least that many more green ones on the bush.

I bought a Pima Bajo variety native to Mexico that I still have in a pot. Hasn't flowered yet.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 1:00PM
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I have some wild ones growing in the back yard of my new house. They're fairly common in the wild here in Central Texas. Enough so that it's kind of funny reading a thread with people getting all excited about them. :-)

Maybe I should pick some and put the seeds up for trade. If you're interested in other "weed" seeds I've also got some rain lily seeds I collected about a week ago in a vacant lot, and the wild poppies are setting their seeds now in those cool pepper-shaker like seed pods they have. ;-)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:32PM
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You might be using the wrong fertilizer Miricle grow has a very high nitrogen level good for growth but not good for producing peppers try something with a low nitrogen level for a while. Im actually using a rose fertilizer once mine looks ready to start blooming.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 9:43PM
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Yes Miracle grow used to be 15-30-15 ( which has worked well for me) but they changed it to a very high nitrogen formula. Now I use their 'Bloom Booster' version which is 15-30-15.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 10:00PM
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I have a 15 year old chilpequin plant that I brought to Arkansas from South Texas about 2 years ago. It is dropping its blooms and not producing. Does anyone have any suggestions.

Also I crossed a chilpequin with a jalapeno plant and it is producing about 1 1/4 inch jalapeno shaped peppers that are extremely hot! This plant is also beginning to drop its blooms and not produce.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 12:51PM
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I feel envious of all these people and their wild growing tepins, i planted mine in mid January and am still looking at a patch of dirt.
has anyone used salt peter or sulfuric acid to get their tepins to grow? I have heard both of these methods mentioned but do not know the mechanics of the process.

also - calhoun your cross sounds mighty interesting, did your plant survive and make fruit?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 1:06PM
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Hey Calhoun, I also crossed a chiliTepin with a jalapeno plant
and it is producing about 3/4 inch jalapeno shaped peppers that are extremely hot as well! I have managed to keep it alive for about 8 years in a BIG pot that I take in during winter and now it is a big bush.

I managed to dry and save a whole baggie of the seeds...

Here is a link that might be useful: My website

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 1:42AM
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Is this post of any value?

Several months to years old and braught back by some one posting dead links...

E mail me about a trade or? for Chile
tepin,Pequin,Chilepetine seeds.
Some wild stuff from Texas,Florida and other plces too.
Depending on what I have and the trade offers I can't refuse.

A lot of different names are used for some of these peppers.
Wild Bird,Texas Black,Texas Petines etc.

To me Tepins ARE different than Pequins in a lot of ways.
Bird Peppers can be almost anything...

Seems like all are either Annuums or Frutescens.
All,in general are short bursts of heat.
Some are fiey hot but only for a short time.

You will get tired of picking them for sure.
Lots of Tepin,Pequin Petine Plants put out a ton of pods each.
1 Tepin plant last year gave me over 1 lb. of dried pods before i got tired of picking them.

Xavier,if you are who I think you are.
I know who you are...I wouldn't advise anyone to trade with you.
You have messed with too many people I trade with and consider friends.
You don't deliver what you traded for sometimes and make trades you don't have seeds to trade with.
A lot of times it takes months to get seeds from you that you got our end of the trade first,long ago.
I hope you changed your ways but dead links tend to tell the story....

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 2:48AM
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Xavier, this is just....why would anybody be interested in your website?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 8:33AM
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Hello I live in the northern desert of Sonora Mexico. I grow chiltepins commercially in large fields. I sell these chilies and if you are interested they will be coming off in October. I am looking to bring chiltepin to the market. I will be selling large quanities.
Thank you Daniel Langford

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 5:04PM
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Hi! Any tips on how to dry my own seeds for next year???? My plant got munched on by deer but I do have some nice peppers waiting to be harvested. I'd like to harvest seeds from this plant to have more next year.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 10:43PM
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Let them ripen to final color on the plant and wait even longer.
Slit pepper in half.
Let air dry on a plate in a cool, dry area for a couple weeks.
Knock seeds loose from placenta
Store in a cool, dry, dark place.

Pepper seeds are easy to save. Nothing special.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 12:21AM
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Dug up a zillion year old post...
Why not a new post?
Just wondering...
Most pics don't work etc.
Nobody would give you grief for a new post I don't think.

If you grew either Tepins,Pequins,Chiltepe,Chilpatines.... they are small pods with thin skins and air dry very fast.
Picking a ton of pods is WAY harder than drying them.

Should have started your own post.
I have several different WILD peppers(Tepins,Pequins etc. from different places if you are also looking for a trade.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 12:35AM
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Thanks for the info!

smokemaster-- I did not notice the dates on the post.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 7:11AM
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Since I haven't been around and can't edit my post.
The Xavier I was refereing to isn't the same guy.

I DID write "if you are who I think you are. "

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:31PM
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Nice to see you around smoke. Was a little concerned when somebody asked about you in a different post and somebody mentioned health concerns. Hope you're doing well, bud! :)


Here is a link that might be useful: down towards the bottom of posts

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 1:09AM
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