Chilli plants come with fruits in all sorts of colours. Different chilli varieties have an assortment of shapes too.
Chillies are useful if you like asian or mexican food, and if you have just one or two plants you may never have to buy chillies. If you are after the hottest chilli pepper go no further than the Habanero, Birds Eye or Thai variety. Jalapenos are milder, for those of us who are a bit squeamish.
Chillies are easy to freeze. Just pop them in a zip lock bag, squeeze the air out and into the freezer they go.
Handle the Chillis with rubber gloves to avoid getting burnt. It's downright dangerous to get the juice into your eyes, not to mention painful. They don't have a warning label, so teach your kids not to eat those tasty looking berries.
Chillies are related to Capsicums. In some cases they are just a smaller variety. As they belong to the Nightshade Family they are also a cousin of Tomatoes, Aubergines and Potatoes.
Chillies are called Chillis or Chilis depending on where you happen to be. There are many varieties available, such as the ones mentioned above in addition to Cayenne, Tabasco, Naga and more. But don't plant them together, or you may end up with some interesting second generation results, as they interbreed.
Starting: Just pop the chilli seed into the soil, no extra care needed really. Give it a space of 30-50 cm.
Soil: Prefer well drained compost or rich soil.
Climate: The hot varieties like hot weather. In cold climates try growing chillies indoors in a container which can be moved outside in summer.
Watering: Water regularly but don't overdo.
Fertilizing: They like some fertilizer occasionally.
Harvesting: Pick when fruit is green or red (orange/purple/yellow). Some plants produce for several years.
Containers: They are perfect for containers at least 20 cm deep.
Shady Areas: Chilli pepper plants will grow in the shade, but they will be slower.
Pests and Diseases: Snails and slugs. Just point them in the direction of the Garlic and in no time you have some pre-marinated escargot...haha. I have also caught our local Possum nibbling on even the hottest Thai Chillies.
Indoors: Some Chilli plant varieties are very decorative and make excellent house plants, particularly in colder areas.