Hot Pepper 'Hot Lemon'

Capsicum baccatum

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Capsicum (KAP-sih-kum) (Info)
Species: baccatum (BAK-ah-tum) (Info)
Cultivar: Hot Lemon
Additional cultivar information:(aka Lemon Drop)
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24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Heat (Pungency):

Hot (5,000 to 30,000 Scoville Units)

Fruit Shape:




Fruit Size:

Small (under 2" in length)

Fruit Color:

Green changing to gold

Disease Resistance:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Type:



Fresh (salsa, salads)



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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

Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Days to Maturity:

Mid (69-80 days)

Late (more than 80 days)

Foliage Color:

Medium Green

Bloom Characteristics:


Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


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

Mesa, Arizona

El Cajon, California

Granite Hills, California

Harbison Canyon, California

Palo Alto, California

Quartz Hill, California

Rancho San Diego, California

San Jose, California

Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Orange Springs, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Cleveland, Georgia

Hinsdale, Illinois

Bristol, Indiana

Rensselaer, Indiana

Benton, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Alfred, Maine

Clinton, Maryland

Frederick, Maryland

Duxbury, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Zimmerman, Minnesota

Moss Point, Mississippi

Brooklyn, New York

Hulbert, Oklahoma


Milton-Freewater, Oregon(2 reports)

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Liberty Hill, Texas

Virginia Beach, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 23, 2018, pepperpants from Rensselaer, IN wrote:

Growing this plant went great; nearly every other type of pepper produced poorly or just died thanks to terrible weather. This grew into a wide bush about 18" tall and 36" wide and produced huge amounts of colorful peppers until frost. Was hard to keep up with it.

Rated neutral because the peppers had a strange bad aftertaste, kind of soap-like. Didn't have the problem with other baccatums. They weren't as bad when cooked but that might have been other flavors overpowering them. Their taste is mild citrus aside from that. I read somewhere that not all people taste whatever it is that makes these soapy so they may be good for someone else.


On May 13, 2017, iceman8147 from Jacksonville Beach, FL wrote:

I found this plant at a local nursery last Spring. Once grown, it was very prolific. Everyone that I have these peppers to wanted more.
After the hurricane last Fall, I didn't give it any attention through the winter, but it survived. I trimmed all the dead away and doused it with Miracle Gro.
It is producing again with many green --soon to be yellow fruits...


On Dec 29, 2016, starchipjr from Mesa, AZ wrote:

Love this pepper. Planted this spring, (Mesa AZ),still producing December 29.
Add it to salsa and even my Italian dishes. Lite or heavy handed I like them.


On Jun 23, 2014, ChilliTickler from Southampton,
United Kingdom wrote:

So, most of the above comments are from USA but I can confirm this plant will grow very well in a window in the UK.

From seed to 1-2 inch plant in morning light, 2-18inch in afternoon direct light. Flowers take a while to blossom compared to Hungarian hot wax, flowers open down and are much nicer than others chilli's.

Lots of flower buds too, first crop growing now and have around 15-20 on each plant!

No taste yet as letting the fruit grow more but looking fantastic!


On Sep 26, 2012, Kat47 from Bristol, IN wrote:

Love this plant!!! It is extremely prolific and has a wonderful heat! What's most enjoyable for me is the heat coupled with the lemon grass like flavor. It is a very fresh tasting yet quite pungent pepper! I have been making hot sauce with it and lets just say my 6 plants are forcing me to make A LOT of hot sauce! I think will end up freezing some peppers to sauce later and drying the rest. I also plan to share some seeds with friends.


On Jul 30, 2012, SalemCat from Salem, MA wrote:

Salem, Mass - The City of Witches.

Slow to germinate; slow to start. Patience required.

But once established is actually a Perennial.

I started a half-dozen in 8in and 10in Containers last year. By late August there were plenty of bright yellow, tasty peppers.

I chop them up fresh, and sprinkle them onto almost anything. They are particularly good chopped fine and mixed into fresh, mashed Avocado. Those two ingredients alone, with no salt, or anything else, make a terrific dip or topping.

I brought the Pepper Plants inside in late October, and kept them by a window in a warehouse, where it was cold but never freezing. They produced occasional peppers right into the New Year before they stopped. The plants received s... read more


On Jun 22, 2012, AbieSeedy from Fall River Wisconsin,
United States wrote:

I am curious about the correct species. I have seen it listed as Capsicum annum, C. baccatum and C. chinense. From the photos, the fruit do appear similar to one of the Aji peppers. Does anybody really know?


On Dec 4, 2011, donnyczech from Sioux Falls, SD (Zone 4b) wrote:

I successfully grew this large plant in 2011. It was a great producer, but it took longer than I expected for the fruit to turn yellow. The fruit was hot even when green. I will grow the plant in 2012.

I grew it in 2012 and was great and I had several turn yellow before the frost. I am growing them again in 2013 and it looks favorable again. I started the seeds in February in my basement with grow lights, etc., and transplanted them about June 1. I recommend this hot pepper - however, I recommend using them in cooked food, not to be eaten raw in my opinion.

September 15, 2013

Great plant. The pods are turning yellow faster this year, perhaps because I started the seeds earlier. Also, they don't seem as hot this year and even I was able t... read more


On Apr 25, 2010, youngd24 from Western Springs, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I've been growing this pepper for a few years now and have to say it's become one of my favorites. The heat level is close to a Habanero white but the blast of citrus is just, well, fun. Not only does it taste good, it's a good producer, Give it some room though, under the right conditions it'll grow tall, perhaps a tomato cage would be in order. As with any pepper, lay off the Nitrogen unless you want pepper leaf shrubs. Fish emulsion is perfect or something at 3-4-1.

I grow to sell starter plants as well as for myself. For those that are professional growers this is a good seller. I single sow 288 plug trays with these in seed starting mix and plan on radicle emergence in 7-10 days. Once cotyledons appear start feeding with 50ppm constant N for 2 weeks then continue with 1... read more


On Dec 27, 2009, maa8722 from Duxbury, MA wrote:

I get large, vigorous, attractive, bushy plants here in Duxbury, MA (zone 6, coastal). Plants grow up 3' to 4' high. The peppers are exceedingly hot, a bit citrusy, and abundant. Plants are usefully ornamental. I do a bit of pruning to maintain the shape -- here it wants to sprawl. Peppers have thin walls so are easy to dry -- you'll be glad to have them in the cupboard all year. Seeds are quite small and not abundant. Most will germinate, but they are slow. I suggest a warming pad under the seed tray. For just the fruit, one plant is ample. I grow 3 or 4 plants for ornamental use as well.


On Mar 20, 2008, annesurfs from Nokia,
Finland wrote:

Great chilli! Easy to grow, yellow when ripe, pungency (0 -10) = 8. This is one chilli I sow every spring. In good light, it would live for several years, starting flowering much earlier the next year. Highly recommended! :O)


On Apr 12, 2007, terrement from Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Very prolific and attractive plant - I get more peppers by far from it than any others I've grown, with the exception of Tabasco. Quite hot, although I only get a slight citrus taste. Attractive enough of a plant to use for decoration as well as for the fruit.


On Nov 11, 2006, biscombe from Orgiva, Granada,
Spain wrote:

I love this chilli! Grows well in a container. Its a beautiful plant is loaded with pretty bright yellow chillis which are firey hot with a fresh lemon taste.


On Nov 26, 2005, blameitonkarma from Lancaster, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

My plants were about a foot high, but very productive. This pepper is hot, but really does have a citrusy taste -- absolutely delicious. I will definitely grow these again. Ordered my plants from


On Aug 10, 2005, Ripley7700 from Tomball, TX wrote:

My understanding is that the "Lemon Drop" pepper that I am growing is actually C. baccatuum, not C. Chinense (has characteristic green-striped blossoms of baccatuum). I have it growing in a container with mid-day sun, probably around four hours or so. When I planted it (and other pepper transplants) I made the mistake of adding too much nitrogen, and this plant was most affected by that mistake. It rebounded after a few weeks and is now one of the most prolific peppers that I have - it is covered in approx. two inch long pods which are medium green and then turn bright yellow. The plant itself is sprawling - bushlike - extending outwards rather than upwards. Pods are relatively hot - too hot for me to eat raw but mellow out in cooking. Does have a slightly tangy flavor. It has produ... read more


On Jan 30, 2005, critterologist from Frederick, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

My plants were fairly compact (12 - 18") but productive. The bright lemon yellow color of this chile is really special. The taste is cayenne-hot, but with an added fruitiness, almost a citrus flavor. I've seen this variety called 'Hot Lemon' and 'Lemon Drop' in seed catalogs, and the descriptions call it an heirloom variety from Ecuador.


On Dec 4, 2004, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

An open pollinated cultivar introduced from the markets of Ecuador in 1999. Fruit begins green and ripens to a pure lemon yellow, 3-4 inches long fruit and has unique fruit aroma, pungency equivalent to cayenne.


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

Very productive and a great pepper to add to dried, crushed mixes. Produces later in the season, but continues until frost.

The heat burns in the back part of your throat instead of the front and tongue. Very pleasent taste and degree of heat for a chili head. These are hot peppers and should be used sparingly until you determine how much to use.