Cayenne Pepper 'Cayenne'

Capsicum annuum

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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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:

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

Days to Maturity:

Mid (69-80 days)

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

Alexandria, Virginia

Portsmouth, Virginia

Spokane, Washington

Charles Town, West Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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 ... read more


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.