Mysterious Thai Pepper!

oriley(SF Bay Area-zone 9)August 27, 2005

Hello all,

About a month ago I acquired a thai pepper plant in an admittedly unusual way. I was in my favorite Thai restaurant (Thai Stick, in Millbrae, California) and I was admiring the enormous pepper plant they have growing in the window. So I asked about it, and they told me that the owner had been depressed because she couldn't find hot enough peppers here in the U.S. so she planted a seed that she had dug out of the dried pepper flakes that they use in the kitchen, hoping it would grow. Grow it did; it is enormous and happily pumping out scads of tiny yellow peppers. I asked for one of the peppers so I could grow it in my garden. "No!" they told me. "Take the small plant in the other pot!" They looked at each other and conferred for a second in Thai. "You should dig it out, because plants like you," they said. So then they handed me a plastic spoon and a pair of kitchen gloves. I dug it out; they packaged it nicely in a plastic bag and it sat next to me all through lunch. I've planted it in a large pot in the backyard and it is doing nicely.

So this brings me to my question. It is a fiery, fiery hot little pepper, and yellow. It's the same as a Thai Hot pepper, as far as I can tell, except that the fruit is yellow. Occasionally one will turn red, but I have been watching their enormous plant as well as my smaller one and the vast majority of the peppers stay yellow. I assumed Thai Hot peppers all turned red. Am I wrong? Anyone have any experience with them? It is an absolutely wonderful little pepper, burning hot with a nice fruitiness to it. And as plants go, this one makes the best story.

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erik417(z6 K.C. MO)

Hmmph, sounds a bit familiar. One of my favorite Thai places in Springfield, Missouri is called 'Tong's', and he showed me a frozen bag of his EXTREMELY hot 'thai' chilis, and they were all varying shades of yellow, with a few orange/red ones floating around in the bag. I took some seed, and voila! It produced a Tabasco plant. It too is huge, and cranks out bundles of these little imps. It is easily the largest chili plant I have, and if I get a chance later today I will post a few pics of it. Keep in mind that tabascos are used while they are still yellow by some--like the 'Steak and Shake' resturaunt chain, who bottles them whole in vinegar, and also red by others like McIlhenny's (sp.?).

    Bookmark   August 28, 2005 at 9:52AM
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That is interesting, the Peppers here become a very bright red. It is uncommon to see the yellow ones here in Thailand. I will be at the growers market on the weekend I will take a photo of the 20 pound bags that they are sold by.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 12:01AM
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dmullen(Southern CA)

How large are those peppers. My wife is Thai and used to use some that were about 1/2" long and thin like a pencil lead. They really burned.

I like hot food but could not take those and was blistered once.

Can you post a picture of them?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 10:11AM
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john47_johnf(Maine z4/5)

This is a new small one for me this year. Called Thai kee Nu

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 11:32AM
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oriley(SF Bay Area-zone 9)

Yep, the mystery peppers look just like JohnF's peppers, but they are yellow. And they pretty much refuse to turn red, except for a very, very few.

Perhaps I'll have to get a plant like dmullin was describing and specialize in weensy fiery hot peppers. I can think of worse hobbies!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 12:17PM
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dmullen(Southern CA)

I have tried to find those peppers in local nurseries etc. but have not been successfully. She got her seeds from friends in Thailand who mailed them to her.

I don't want to eat many of them but I like to grow peppers. Right now, my first Habanero plant is producing and we have picked on pepper. More on the plant and will probably pick them sometime this week.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 2:47PM
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Is Thai pepper and suryamukhi cluster peppers the same pepper. I am trying to locate eather plant.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 9:42PM
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cmpman1974(Zone 6 MI)

Hi Oriley,

I e-mailed you several times regarding a trade for the thai yellow pepper seeds. I thought we were going to move forward, but I did not hear back. Can you e-mail me privately? Thanks!


    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 12:43AM
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NYCPepper(z6 NYC)

Hey there. I have a pretty large thai pepper plant that i've grown from seed. It's in a south facing window in a 7-inch pot. It's about 18 inches and flowering, but the flowers die and I have yet to get any peppers. I water once every other day (just cut back from once a day). Is it too late in the season to get flowers, am I not watering enough, too much???

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 3:38PM
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john47_johnf(Maine z4/5)

I would put it in a little larger--10" pot-- and only water when the soil is dry. I have overwintered Thais that produced all winter so that should not be a problem.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 6:19PM
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