Chili Petin

west_texas_peg(8a West Cen TX)September 29, 2007

Need advise on harvesting Chili Petin peppers for seeds. My neighbor says a bird has to fertilize it and drop it where he wants, that I can not harvest and put where I want the plant.

I tried one year saving a few peppers and planting the seeds but did not get one to germinate.

Just recently had 2 Chili Petin plants to pop up in my flowerbeds so I would like to try again if someone can offer advise.

We do not eat hot peppers but my husband does enjoy putting the Chili Petin in vinegar and using that on his red beans and cornbread. I told him I thought he needed to do a hot water bath but he doesn't think so, any advice.

Thank you!


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People grow them all the time without the help of birds or any pre-treatment. they sometimes take longer to germinate and bottom heat helps speed things up.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 8:42AM
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I don't have problems w/petins either....there's a lot of legend surrounding them, but it's just legend.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 9:06AM
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west_texas_peg(8a West Cen TX)

Am currently waiting on one of my Poblano peppers to become completely ripe (it is currently red/dark green) so I can harvest the seeds and let them dry.

Do I do the same with Chili Petin...let it turn red before harvesting the seeds?

Can I direct sow where I want them?

Thanks so much for the response!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 4:20PM
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Yes, I would wait for them to ripen before I harvested seeds. I don't live in an area where direct sowing is practical so I'll let someone from your area answer that part.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 4:54PM
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reyna1(Zone 8)

If you are harvesting just to eat, you dont have to wait until they turn red

if you are harvesting for seeds, yes you want to wait until they turn red and then dry them out for seeds.

you dont need any pretreatment to plant and grow chiltepins, they take a long time to germinate and need some nice warm temperatures to have them germinate

i have some in a planter so i can bring it inside during the winter and move to a shadier spot during extremely hot days
my plant is going on 4 years old in february/march

the hardest part of growing a chiltepin is watering it
because you dont want to overwater, but these texas days can get extremely hot, so its hard to keep a balance if you plant them in movable planters...this year i lucked out because of all the rains we had in central texas, my chiltepin was very happy this summer!! :)

hope that helps.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 3:31AM
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t-bob(west wa)

say reynal,
you said you live in central texas and your chile petins did well this year. where in central texas? i will be coming for a short visit to see my mom in waco in november. my friend (who lives near mart...outside of waco) recently told me his petins had done poorly this year, and he thought is was due to soooo much rain. i now live in washington state and so i was hoping to load up on them when i came down ((assuming the baggage checkers wouldn't realize they are really WMD"s and STEAL them from me)), but then became dissapointed with their report. how about some of you other petin growers during this texas rainsoaked summer did yours produce this year...just curious and hoping to come up with some when i'm there.......not hinting at you reynal....but wouldn't turn them down either-----peas and hot lips---bob

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 12:45PM
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cherylk(Z5-Cent IL)


I too think that is an old wives tale. I live in Z5 and start them inside every winter. They are slow to germinate, but they do eventually come up.

As for your hubby's use of the peppers, we wash up peppers, poke a hole in them and store them in a jar of vinegar in the fridge for up to a year. (For longer-term storage, I do water-bath can them.)


    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 3:43PM
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reyna1(Zone 8)

i live in austin, i dont think that waco had more rain than we did this year, this summer we had rain like once every two days but the kicker was that i didnt water my plants for the whole summer at all
maybe he was watering his plants as well as the rain, which i could see easily how his plants would become water logged

my plant didnt produce TONS of peppers, but the peppers that it did produce were huge (comparatively speaking as chiltepins are small)..its had 2 bloomings, its starting to bloom again right now and we'll see if there are many peppers this time around

i mainly grow chiltepins just for the heck of it, and it makes me feel good...lots of memories of family associated with it, so i keep the same plants around for years regardless if they are producing or not, this year was good for my plants

right now, my plants leaves arent as nice as they were when it was raining all the time, as during september - october we've actually had hot hot hopefully w/ the cooling weather i can get one last small drop before i trim her back and bring her inside for another winter in the bathroom or kitchen.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 11:48PM
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I am still hoping someone will answer how to get petins to grow? Can you germinate them from the little peppers?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 5:04PM
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cmpman1974(Zone 6 MI)

In my opinion, the whole "Tepins take a long time to germinate" is myth. I am growing many varieties of these and germination has been consistent with other hot pepper varieties. Growth rates are faster under lights than initially anticipated as well.

CCwillis, you could plant the whole pod, but most likely you'd get tons of seedling come up and have to thin a lot. Each pod contains 10-20 seeds usually. You're better off taking seeds out of pods and planting individually as needed.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 7:57PM
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Chris - I have never tried to grow, but have petins from my grandfather. Can you just plant them? I am a true novice if you have tips or can tell me where to look for details. Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 4:14PM
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If you are talking about the chile pequin, they can grow from the little chiles that just fall to the ground. I have a forest behind me with wild chile pequin growing and now have a true survivor that is coming out with gusto this spring. It was just a volunteer that escaped from the forest. The momma plant is just on the other side of my fence in the forest. It has never had any help from me, but San Antonio was wet last summer.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 9:33PM
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I have found that if you will cut a sheet of paper towel (Bounty kind) to fit in a plastic zip bag when folded in half and then soak it in tea, (Manure)and then plant your seed inside the fold. zip it up and keep it warm day and night 80-85, you will usually have plants in about a week at the most. I then plant them in peat pots until about 6" high or the roots start showing thru and they then go in to 5 gallon self watering buckets. I water with the Compost/Manure tea once a week. They take a long time to mature red. I have started a number of "Bird" peppers this way with very good luck. I usually plant two plants per bucket, this gets them off the ground so they are easier to pick. After the 2nd year in the early spring Mid-March I plant them in the ground. Most of these peppers grow in areas with very little rainfall so be careful not to over water them. In research on peppers of this type, it was stated by the Texas Ag people that cultivated plants usually do not do well because too much care.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 5:28PM
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I recently purchased a chile petin plant from a local market in montreal canada. It seemed happy when I purchased it but soon after bringing it home the leaves started to droop. The weather is not the best but we do get warm and sunny weather. Does anyone know what I can do to make my Texas plant happy? I am originally from Texas and I need to have chile tepins to make me feel at home. Help!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 2:14PM
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Hi I have access to a heated greenhouse bench and would like to grow half a dozen chili petins for my daughter (30) for her birthday in March. Does anyone know where I can buy a few seeds.
831 235 2847(cell)

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 5:08PM
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west_texas_peg(8a West Cen TX)

I have seeds for the Chili Petin...send your addy and I will put in the mail.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 1:21PM
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