How to Grow Rocoto Peppers (Best Guide in 2023)

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After a lot of your requests and little to no information on the web, today we’re going to dive deep into how to grow Rocoto peppers. Rocotos are a type of chili plant with a unique flavor profile. It is a South American chili variation that originated in the mountains.

The Incas had already bred it in Peru. Potatoes, corn, beans, and chilies were first cultivated by Native Americans less than 10,000 years after agriculture began. Rocoto peppers are considered very hot, with Scoville rating ranging from 50,000 to 250,000.

Capsicum pubescens means “hair-growing chile” in Italian. The down on the leaves is quite fine. Originally, these hairs were utilized to collect morning mist from the Andes in order to absorb water. Rocoto bushes have lovely purple blossoms but are extremely annoying. If the pointy pods can be half, the Rocoto plants surprise us with their black chili seeds.

How to grow rocoto peppers

Start with the Seed – Sow in the late winter or early spring in a warm greenhouse. The average time it takes for the seed to germinate is 3-4 weeks at 70F (20 C).

The seedlings can be prickled and placed in individual pots with a good amount of soil. They will then grow quickly.

If you are trying them outside, plant them after the last frosts have passed and protected them with a frame or cloche until they become established.

Preparing Garden Beds for Rocoto Peppers

Before you begin any garden bed preparation, make sure to test the soil with a soil tester. This will allow you to determine the best plants for your area. Make sure to check the soil drainage and drainage of areas where standing water is left. Remove all weeds and other debris from the planting areas. Keep them away as long as possible.

To improve fertility, water retention and drainage, add 2 to 4 inches of aged manure or soil to the planting area a week to 10 days prior to planting. A layer of topsoil is recommended for soil that is not well-composed.

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It doesn’t matter whether your soil contains clay or sand, you can improve it by adding organic matter. You should work deeper into the soil to get more organic matter. For perennials, prepare the soil to 18 inches deep. Although it may seem like a lot of work, it will pay off in the long-term. This isn’t something you can do later once the plants are established.

How to Plant and Remove Annuals – Rocoto Peppers

Depending on the climate these hairy leave Rocoto Peppers can be annuals or perennials and can last up to 10 years.

Preparing the soil is key to planting annuals. You can use soil conditioner, soil conditioner, or pulverized bark to prepare the soil. Space annuals as directed on their plant tags. Annuals tend to grow quickly. Take the plants out of their packs or containers gently.

Make sure you retain as much soil around the root ball as possible. You can loosen the rootball if it is too tight with your fingers or a knife. Place the roots at the same depth as the containers. Fill in the space around the plants to provide support, but not cut off airflow. You should water the plants regularly.

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For optimal performance, fertilize throughout the season. As soon as you notice a problem, take special care to remove or cut back any diseased plants. All plants and root balls must be removed at the end of each season. To prepare the bed for next season’s planting, rake it well.

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Thinning and Pinching Perennials – Rocoto Peppers

You can’t expect to enjoy years of care-free gardening after you have planted a perennial. Like all other plants, perennials require regular care. Perennials are distinguished by their active growth and need to be trimmed occasionally to maintain their vitality.

It is important to trim perennials as they grow and thin them occasionally. This will prevent them completely from taking over an area and causing exclusion of other plants. It will also increase air circulation, which will reduce the likelihood of getting ill with diseases such as botrytis or powdery mildew.

Many species also produce abundant flowering and plenty of seed. It is important to deadhead your plants after the blooms have faded. This is to ensure that they do not become seedlings. This will stop your plants from spreading seeds all over your garden, and it will also conserve the energy required to make seed.

Perennials can form dense root masses as they mature. This eventually makes them less productive. You should thin out perennials that have accumulated a lot of root mass. You can divide the root system to make new plants that you can plant in another part of your garden, or give away.

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Plant Care

How to Fertilize rocoto peppers

To encourage root development in rocoto peppers, young plants require extra phosphorus. In this case, the fertilizers you need to look for are the ones that contain phosphorus (P) in them (2nd number on the bag). Utilize the amount that is advised on the label with instructions in the soil when you plant Rocoto while planting, or during the first season of growing.

Fertilizing Houseplants

You can fertilize your houseplants with either water-soluble, fast-release fertilizers or temperature-controlled slow-release fertilizers. Or you could fertilize them organically such as fish emulsion. Water-soluble fertilizers should be used once every two weeks, or as directed by the label.

Slow-release, controlled fertilizers are applied to the soil only once in the growing season. Follow label instructions for organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion. Allow your houseplants to rest during winter months. Stop fertilizing in October and start again in February.


Continuous direct sunlight exposure of at least 6 hours per day would be considered enough sunlight for Rocoto Peppers.

Houseplants that love moisture

Houseplants that need a lot of water or houseplants labeled moisture-loving require that they are watered well until the soil is saturated. Then, let the soil drain freely from the bottom of the pot. When the soil is dry to the touch, a quarter-inch below the soil surface, re-water.

Partial to Full Sun

Many plants need full sunlight to reach their full potential. Although many of these plants can thrive with less sunlight, they might not be as vigorous or flower as well. The sunniest areas are usually located on the western and southern sides of buildings.

The only exception to this rule is when buildings or houses are so close together that shadows are cast from nearby properties. On a sunny day, full sun is 6 hours or more of direct sunlight.

Partial sunlight receives less than six hours of direct sun but more than three hours. Some plants are able to take full sunlight in certain climates, while others may be able only to tolerate partial sun. Before you purchase and plant a plant, learn about its culture!

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Types of Pruning

There are many types of pruning: shearing, pinching, shearing, rejuvenating and shearing.

Pinching refers to removing the tips of young plants’ stems in order to encourage branching. This prevents you from having to do more severe pruning later.

Thinning is the process of reducing branches to their roots. Thinning can be used to open up a plant’s interior to allow more light in. It also increases air circulation which can reduce the risk of plant disease. Start thinning by getting rid of any diseased or dead wood.

Shearing refers to leveling a shrub’s surface with electric or hand shears. This is necessary to preserve the shape of a topiary or hedge.

To restore the original shape and size of a shrub, rejuvenation is the removal of any old branches. It is best to not remove more than a third of a plant at once. Be sure to take out branches from both the inside and outside of the plant. Cut down canes as high as possible when you are reviving plants using canes like nandina. This will give the plant a natural appearance.

Watering Rocoto Peppers

No gardener depends 100% on natural rainfall. Even the most water-conscious gardener appreciates a good hose, watering can, or wand.

Watering cans: It doesn’t matter if you go for galvanized or plastic, but make sure to have a large capacity and that the water container is well balanced. A 2 Gallon Can (which can hold 18 lbs. Most gardeners prefer a 2-gallon can (which holds 18 lbs. Indoor cans should have a smaller spout and narrower roses (the filterhead).

Watering Hose: Make sure to buy a double-walled hose when you are looking for one. It will resist kinking. To make it easy to alter length quickly, quick coupler links can be added to hose ends. Keep your hose in good condition by keeping it wrapped around a reel and kept in a shaded area. Drain hose before winter freezes. This is where the backpack sprayer excels. These sprayers can be attached to garden hose ends to act as an efficient irrigation system.

Sprinklers: Sprinklers deliver water in a circular pattern and are intended for lawns. Rotating Sprinklers are ideal for lawns, shrubs, and flower beds. They deliver water in a circular pattern. Pulse-jet sprinklers are able to cover large areas in a circular, pulsating pattern. Except for lawn watering, the head is usually elevated on a tall stem. Oscillating sprinklers work best when watering at ground level in a rectangular design.


This article on how to grow Rocoto peppers might seem a bit overwhelming, but it’s not really! It is just a bit more detailed in order to help you if you have some issues or concerns during the process. As the instructions at the beginning say, start with a seed, sow in the late winter or early spring in a warm environment, and plant them in your garden after the last frosts have passed. That’s it and happy gardening from Garden24h!

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