Spicy exchange / 2023
There's a lot of misinformation out there...
Not sure where to start? I've put together a 34-page guide to help you grow an abundant harvest.
There is mixed evidence on whether stressing your plant by reducing water will make your peppers hotter. Studies of Padrón and 3 other types of capsicum annum peppers showed that underwatering increased the heat, but a study of Jalapeños showed the opposite.
Capsaicin is produced at least in part to deter insects, so it’s possible that pest pressure can cause the pepper plant to produce higher levels of capsaicin. (However, I haven’t found controlled studies showing causation.)
Common advice is that the more mature the pepper, the hotter it will be. However, research doesn’t support that claim. A study of cayenne showed that capsaicin increased for the first 40 days and then decreased by 30% over the following 10 days.
The "green thumb" is a myth — with the right information, anyone can successfully grow peppers. Enjoy this free 34-page guide to help you grow an abundant harvest.