Tiny chile, usually only 1" long, but extremely hot, and one of the hottest chiles available. The pequin (meaning little) is a common chile used for ultra-spicy dishes. Plants are semi-annuals and in warmer areas can survive for several years. Closely related to the wild Tepin chile.
Days to Maturity
Pequin peppers are some of the slowest of all hot peppers to sprout. Germination is also erratic, with varying germination times for individual seeds in a single batch. Allow a minimum of 2-3 months for germination.
Start seeds in small containers from 8-10 weeks prior to the last frost date. Plant seeds approximately 1/4-1/2" deep in moist, well drained potting soil. Most standard soil mixes are suitable for pepper seeds. Soil temperature must be kept at 75-90F for proper germination. Cool soil, particularly at night can inhibit or significantly delay germination. To keep soil temperature warm, start seeds indoors, in a greenhouse and/or use a seed starting heat mat. Keep soil moderately moist, though not overly, dripping wet. Water soil when the soil surface just begins to dry. Allow proper air circulation for containers.
Optionally, seeds can be dipped in a dilute hydrogen peroxide mix (1 tsp hydrogen peroxide per cup water) for one minute to disinfect seeds prior to planting. If your soil or seed setup is susceptible to mold growth this can be useful to kill mold spores.
Once seedlings have sprouted, keep in small containers until a few sets of leaves have developed. Transplant to larger containers or outdoors. If transplanting outdoors, make sure to harden off seedlings by exposing them to only filtered sunlight for up to 1-2 weeks. Thin plants to 3-4 ft and rows to 6-10 ft.
Estimated germination time under optimal conditions: 2-4 months