Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Cayenne Pepper
Capsicum annuum 'Cayenne'

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Capsicum (KAP-sih-kum) (Info)
Species: annuum (AN-yoo-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Cayenne

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One vendor has this plant for sale.

29 members have or want this plant for trade.

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Heat (Pungency):
Moderate (1,000 to 5,000 Scoville Units)
Hot (5,000 to 30,000 Scoville Units)

Fruit Shape:

Fruit Size:
Small (under 2" in length)
Medium (4" to 6" in length)

Fruit Color:
Green changing to red

Disease Resistance:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Type:

Fresh (salsa, salads)

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Days to Maturity:
Mid (69-80 days)

Click thumbnail
to view:

By TamiMcNally
Thumbnail #1 of Capsicum annuum by TamiMcNally


9 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive donnyczech On Sep 2, 2013, donnyczech from Sioux Falls, SD (Zone 4b) wrote:

This pepper is a strong, healthy, prolific plant in my garden. It is easy to grow and gives me no problems. I grow several every year and have never been disappointed.

Positive BUFFY690 On Jul 1, 2011, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I planted Rainbow Cayennes this year can't wait to see what colors come off.

Positive napolemj On Jun 28, 2010, napolemj from Winter Garden, FM (Zone 9b) wrote:

Very easy plant to grow. Not particularly drought tolerant when grown in a container, but easy to grow in a container. Produces tons of fruits!

Delicious chopped finely and added to marinara, arrabiatta, and other Italian dishes.

Positive JuliaSue On Mar 29, 2010, JuliaSue from Birmingham, AL wrote:

This plant takes up such a small amount of space (12" square maybe). For a family of 3 in Alabama, we plant 3 plants, dry the extras and have red pepper year round. These things are VERY productive, and that's without any fertilizer even (besides a little compost).

We've tried many many other hot peppers, and keep coming back to this one every year.

Positive WillowWasp On Jul 5, 2009, WillowWasp from Jones Creek, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Hot, Hot and HOTTER is all I can say about this one. I like hot peppers but this one I consider just as hot as Habnaro...
I don't use alot in dishes as they can be overwhelmed.

Positive queenofenglund On Jun 28, 2009, queenofenglund from ON
Canada wrote:

One of my favorite plants! I have never had and pests, diseases or problems at all with any of them over the years. Tons of peppers off of each plant every year. I keep some in containers so I can bring them in if there is an early winter, but that hasn't been a problem so far! I have occaisionaly will give them some tomato food, but they don't need it...I just like to help them out. They are perfectly happy with just water.

Cayennes are a fun and easy-to-care-for plant. A Must for any garden!

Positive shog On Apr 27, 2008, shog from Catonsville, MD wrote:

Straightforward heavily productive plant with versatile pods in the 30-50k scoville range. Flavor is subtle but distinct and not off-putting, usable in any recipe that calls for heat. To dry, hang on a string indoors, or outdoors in the sun if you're in the right climate. Dried peppers can be ground. Fresh peppers will keep when frozen in bags. From my experience, not as drought resistant as tabasco. Ripens from green to red, largely inedible green.

Positive Brian_Pantalone On Aug 31, 2006, Brian_Pantalone from Ravenna, OH wrote:

I planted 50 of these plants, and the longer the peppers stay on the plant the hotter they get. I can eat hot stuff, but one day i took a bite of one in my garden and i was paranoid that i was not going to make it inside to get a drink of water.

I read somewhere (after planting my garden) that they should not be planted next to tomatoes, and i think this i probly not true, as i planted a row between rows of tomatoes and they are all fine.

I was informed by some means that these plant LOVE water, and i have watered them regularly in the morning or evening, about 8 gallons a day. Watering in the heat of the day causes them to wilt (?) a bit, temporarily, but no biggie. I read elswhere afterwards, not to water them too much.... well let me tell you my plants are nearly 3 feet tall and each has at least a dozen peppers and will not stop blossoming, so i say water 'em good.

Still (Aug 31st) no peppers have ripened (red) and i am wondering if the large (6 even 8 inch) peppers at the bottom should be picked green to allow for the smaller ones near the top of the plant to grow better?

I also heard that the closer you plant them the hotter they get. This may be a myth as well, but mine are planted close (10 inches) and they are ^^ HOT ^^.

Young peppers are not so hot, and the really young ones are not hot at all.

Bugs are not a problem, neither are the neighbors lol.

Use soil with alot of oraganic matter like tomatoes.

Look all over the net and you will see people praising these things as if they were a miracle drug... and i am not sure about that... but it couldn't hurt could it?

Positive melody On Jun 1, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Very productive and easy to grow. Cayenne Peppers like our long, hot West KY summers. Very few pests find these plants attractive and they will produce until cut down by frost in the fall. Make sure they have a normal amount of water, but even so, the leaves may wilt in the hot afternoons....this is just part of the plant's natural water conservation system. Do not panic.

I like Cayenne as a base in dried pepper mixes as it is hot, but not lethal as some peppers are. They have a significant 'bite', but to a chili head, they are just good flavoring.

The walls are thin and easy to dry, so that is the preferred method of preserving them.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama
Tuskegee, Alabama
Chandler, Arizona
Maumelle, Arkansas
Ceres, California
Mountain View, California
Rocklin, California
Yucaipa, California
Somers, Connecticut
Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Wakulla Springs, Florida
Winter Garden, Florida
Marietta, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Western Springs, Illinois
Benton, Kentucky
Franklin, Kentucky
Kenner, Louisiana
Long Beach, Mississippi
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Henderson, Nevada
Ravenna, Ohio
Jonesville, South Carolina
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Johnson City, Tennessee
Corpus Christi, Texas
Freeport, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Spokane, Washington
Charles Town, West Virginia

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