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African Birds Eye Chili which is also known as Piri piri is a cultivar of Capsicum frutescens.




Image of African Birds Eye Chili plant at Google

African Birds Eye Chili which is also known as Piri piri (pili pili, peri peri) is a cultivar of Capsicum frutescens.

Overview
• It is one of the sources of chili pepper, which grows both wild and domesticated.
• It is a small, extremely spicy member of the genus Capsicum.
• It grows in Malawi, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
• These pepper plants are usually very bushy.
• They grow up to a height of 45-120 centimeters.
• The leaves are of 4–7 cm length and 1.3-1.5 cm width.
• The fruits are generally tapered to a blunt point and they measure up to 8 or 10 centimeters long.
• The Immature pod color is green, mature color is bright red or purple.
• Some varieties of Birdseye measure up to 175,000 Scoville heat units.
• Peri peri has grown in the wild in Africa for years and commercially in Uganda, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
• Piri-piri sauce is Portuguese in origin.
• It is made from crushed chillies, citrus peel, onion, garlic, pepper, salt, lemon juice, bay leaves, paprika, pimiento, basil, oregano, and tarragon.

Growing/Caring conditions for African Bird’s Eye pepper
• Sow seedlings indoors.
• Sow those eight to ten weeks before the last frost date for your area.
• They are a difficult in germination and seedlings grow slowly at first.
• Provide bottom heat or heat lamps to raise the soil temperature to 80 degrees.
• This will promote better and quicker germination.
• A heated germination mat works well.
• While your seedlings are growing, get your garden ready.
• Add plenty of compost, manure, and a general fertilizer.
• Peppers like hot weather.
• Transplant young seedlings outdoors after the last chance of frost.
• If the weather is still cool, delay transplanting a few days.
• Keep them in a cold frame, indoors.
• Space 18-24 inches apart, in rows 24 to 30 inches apart.
• Mulching around the peppers to keep down weeds, retain moisture, and help to feed the plant.
• As the peppers develop, use a fertilizer higher in Phosphorous and Potassium.
• Providing too much nitrogen will result in a great looking bushy, green plant, but few fruits.
• Peppers can be picked as soon as they reach a size which is edible.
• Continuous harvesting encourages the fruit to produce new flowers.
• Spider mites and aphids are the most common problems.
• An occasional borer insect is also known to attack this plant.
• Try an organic insecticide or dust.
• Fungal infections can be treated with fungicides. Apply treatment as soon as you see it.
• Frost will stunt or kill the plants.
• Cold weather can cause the plant to slow down or stunt it.
• Use a hot cap in on cold and frosty spring nights.





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