Chile Pepper, Hot Pepper 'Kung Pao'

Capsicum annuum

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Capsicum (KAP-sih-kum) (Info)
Species: annuum (AN-yoo-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Kung Pao
Hybridized by J. Bill
Registered or introduced: 2000
Synonym:Capsicum frutescens
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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Heat (Pungency):

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

Fruit Shape:


Fruit Size:

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:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Propagation Methods:

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Days to Maturity:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Santa Clara, California

Wilmington, Delaware

Miami, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

Greenwood, Indiana

Ames, Iowa

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

New Milford, New Jersey

Salt Point, New York

Raleigh, North Carolina

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Bremerton, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 9, 2012, monte_c from Waterloo, IA wrote:

A mild-hot pepper I hope catches on...

A hot slender hot fruit and a heavy producer. Medium heat fresh with excellent flavor. Good diced in a fresh rub. Very good stand-alone cayenne/tabasco level sauce pepper. Good for drying.


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

I successfully grew this large plant in 2011. It produced a lot of fruit all summer. I am satisfied with this pepper plant and will grow it again in 2012.


On Oct 16, 2010, aurorabudora from Vero Beach, FL wrote:

This plant grows effortlessly in my yard. Full of fruit almost all of the time.


On Dec 23, 2007, compostuser from Bremerton, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

A must have pepper to add to your Asian cuisine. The plant has a sturdy stem, but may require support to keep upright and prevent the strong wind from toppling it over. In the Pacific Northwest, I plant it in a large 16 pot and keep it near a south facing wall.


On Sep 10, 2005, jessums from Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

A very high producing variety of hot pepper. One plant produced for the entire season great tasting cayenne style peppers. Seemed to enjoy the extremely hot dry summer that happened in my area this year.

2007 note- plant survived after transfer inside for winter, through the next summer until that following winter.


On Oct 7, 2004, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

A 2000 hybrid asian style cultivar. Green to red slender 4. 5 inch very hot fruit.


On Mar 25, 2004, Michaelp from Piney Flats, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

This has been easy to grow and very productive and HOT-I have had some aphid problems with this one ,but nothing serious. It is an attractive plant with a fairly upright growth habit and Nice shiney red peppers.