Chilli Pepper ‘Draky’

Family: Solanaceae

Chilli pepper ‘Draky’ (Capsicum annuum) is a chilli pepper that produces large-sized chilli peppers that ripen from green to red.  ‘Draky’ chilli pepper plants are cone-shaped, because of their size and shape, ‘Draky’ chilli peppers resemble a sweet pepper in their appearance.  These chillies are an ideal size and shape to be served as a stuffed vegetable; fill the peppers with a range of ingredients from rice, herbs, and spices; or use them to create more unusual dishes.  This variety of chilli pepper was bred in Eastern Europe.

‘Draky’ chilli peppers have a mild to medium-strength heat range.  When harvested at an immature stage, while the chilli peppers are still green, the chilli peppers’ heat level will be lower and milder; as the peppers ripen and turn red so their heat-levels increase.  The tip of the chilli pepper is the mildest part of the pepper; the seeds are the hottest part.  I consider ‘Draky’ chilli peppers to have a slightly milder heat level than ‘Pepperilli’ chilli peppers.  These chilli peppers are blessed with a thick flesh; they are very substantial chilli peppers with a sweet red pepper flavour complemented by added heat.

In my Chilli Pepper Trials, I’ve found ‘Draky’ chilli pepper plants to be incredibly productive.  I’d absolutely recommend growing this variety!

Chilli pepper seeds can be sown from January to the end of March.  Being tender plants, chilli pepper seeds must be sown in a warm, protected environment; a glasshouse, polytunnel, a conservatory, or heated propagator is ideal.  Look for an area where temperatures remain warm and stable at around 20-25C (68-77F).  Make sure your chilli pepper plants can enjoy bright light, but take care to protect your plants’ leaves from harsh or intense sunlight by carefully positioning your plants or using blinds or shade paint to soften the sunlight; as harsh light can scorch and cause serious damage to chilli pepper leaves.  A window sill is another area for chilli plant growing!  When growing chilli peppers on a window sill, choose the brightest window sill you have, as chilli peppers need bright light to flourish.  These plants do better when they’re grown with sunlight shining down from above them, as chilli pepper plants grown in glasshouses and conservatories enjoy.

Sow chilli pepper seeds in small pots (choose containers with holes at the base that allow water to run through and out of the bottom of the pot) of peat-free compost.  I incorporate grit and sand into my peat-free compost mix, to create a free-draining, peat-compost.

One thing that is important to mention is that I would advise using fresh tap water to water your seeds and seedlings, to minimise the risk of damping off.  Damping off affects newly germinated seeds, it’s a catastrophic condition that causes young seedlings to collapse and die.  There are a number of pathogens that cause damping off.  The fungi and diseases that can be harmful to seedlings are often found in the water collected and stored in water butts, so it’s best to strictly avoid using any water butt water when growing plants from seed.  Rainwater collected in water butts is best saved for use on established plants.

I favour watering my chilli pepper plants early in the morning, so the plants have dried out by the time evening comes around.  Chilli pepper plants don’t like to sit in water overnight; these plants thrive when they’re grown in a free-draining peat-free compost, in a bright and sunny area.  ‘Draky’ chilli peppers can be planted in garden beds and borders, raised beds, or allotments.  Avoid planting these plants in areas where the soil is wet or waterlogged.  If your soil tends to be wet, create raised beds or grow chilli peppers in containers filled with peat-free compost.

Pot your plants on at regular intervals – every four or five weeks or so.  Choose a pot that’s one or two sizes larger than your chilli pepper plant’s current container.  When all risk of frost has passed, (usually between the end of May and the middle of June, in the UK) chilli pepper plants can be moved into the garden, if you wish.  Before you consider moving your chilli pepper plants outside, you must harden your plants off (move the plants outside in the morning and bring your plants in again in the evening) for at least two weeks.

You may need to provide your ‘Draky’ chilli pepper plant with some form of support.  A simple support cage constructed from a circle of bamboo canes inserted around the plant with twine woven in and around the canes, will gently but firmly encase the plant and hold ‘Draky’ steady.  When chilli peppers are planted in their final planter is the ideal moment to create a support frame.  The earlier support frames are constructed the more beneficial they are likely to be.

Chilli peppers make superb container plants.  They’re an ideal choice of vegetable to grow in planters, on a sunny patio garden, but chilli peppers also make attractive houseplants, and fantastic conservatory, and glasshouse plants.  To see more houseplant pages and information on growing a wide range of indoor plants, please click here.  To see more of my vegetable plant pages, please click here.

To see more houseplant pages and information on growing a wide range of indoor plants, please click here.

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