Growing Pepper Trees

Getting a Taste of the Islands by Growing Peppers

Bird in tree eating peppers-growing-pepper-trees
A bird in pepper tree eating peppers

Here in the Bahamas one of the things that the natives love which have passed down from generation to generation is eating foods that have that extra spice. Now while it may be ok at times to give your foods that added spice

be very careful because overuse of this can cause some health issues. Some of the foods that the islanders love include jerk pork, jerk chicken, cracked conch, conch salad just to name a few. But without those peppers, this would be impossible.

In the past, I have had my share of spicy, and believe me the spicy taste was awesome but had me reaching for a glass of water to cool my mouth sometimes going for a glass of milk because milk tops the list that can bring fast relief to a burning mouth. The Islanders just love peppers.

Growing pepper trees

As a kid, I had many gardens and what made me so proud was to see all of the veggies that I grew with my own hands, now as a kid that is a very big accomplishment. Some of the veggies I grew were corn, peas, okras, and of course peppers.

Pepper tree-growing-pepper-trees
A pepper tree

The peppers that we grow on the island is called bird and goat peppers. Bird peppers are much smaller but don’t mind the size because they can really pack a punch. Goat peppers are bigger. There are so many peppers that are grown worldwide but for us, it’s bird and goat peppers.

I was surprised to discover that, birds such as ring doves and Baka doves make a meal out of these hot peppers by swallowing them.

Taking a stroll down memory lane, planting those pepper trees

This is how I planted peppers as a kid and it is still done this way today. Some natives may give it a bit of a twist but the basic still applies.

1. You can plant directly in the soil or 1 -gallon growers pot.

2. Look for a sunny location to plant your seeds.

3. Soil should be a good garden soil, the garden that I had as a kid had that good old garden soil.

4. If planting seeds directly in the ground, plant seeds spaced in rows about 6 inches apart.

5. When planting seeds in the ground or growers pot, plants seeds at a deep of no more than 2-2 1/2 inches in the soil.

6. Make sure and give the soil a good soaking, do not allow the soil to completely dry out. Keep the soil somewhat moist.

7. You should see plants emerging from soil in about a week to a week and a half.

8. When the plant reaches 2-3 feet peppers should appear.

10. Peppers are ready to harvest when they turn from deep green to orange, red, bright green, or a mixture of these colors.

Pest problem of a pepper tree

There is nothing like having an unwanted guess that seeks to make a meal out of your hard work. 1. Caterpillars are a major problem of pepper trees, They don’t eat the peppers but they will eat the leaves. The ones that invaded my garden were fat and green. A good way to control them is hand picking and dropping them in a container or bucket of soap and water

This will eliminate them keeping your pepper tree safe. This is also a safe way without the use of harmful chemicals.

2. Another problem that you may encounter is spider mites, signs include spider web on plant leaves, the leaves take on a somewhat of a dusty appearance. If you hold a piece of white paper under the leaves and gently tap, you will see brown-black dots moving around also you may feel them crawling on your skin.

Use a teaspoon of dish liquid to a gallon of water, place solution in a 32oz spray bottle, and apply to the top and underside of the leaves. Spray to the point of runoff, also the spray should come out of the spray bottle nozzle in a fine mist, not coarse droppings or you can apply organic insecticides, for more on this have a look at organic gardening.

3. Other problems may include whiteflies and mealybugs, you can follow direction as discussed with number 2 on this list. Here is more information that is very useful. Garden pest and pest control and Pest control methods.

The final word

It is alright to add a little spice to your life by giving your foods that extra flavor. So plant a pepper tree and get a taste of the islands.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

14 thoughts on “Growing Pepper Trees”

  1. We love peppers in my house. I planted a few serrano and jalapeno plants. I have noticed some snails on them so we have been picking them off. Other than using the snail killer stuff in the stores, do you have any other suggestions to keep them out of the garden? It seems for every one we pick off, 10 more come in its place! Thanks!

    • Hello Heather so nice to hear from you. Nothing like having those univited guest that just want to take over our garden areas One thing you can try is using egg shells, let’s say about a dozen to a dozen and a half or more. let the shells dry out completely, then gently crush or break the egg shells up and sprinkle them through out your garden areas

      What happens is the sharp edges from the shell will cut into the snails body which is pretty painful for the snails that will keep them away and as the egg shell breaks down it will add calcium to your soil that is good for your plants.

      Or you can get a buket or container buy a bottle of beer, place the beer in the bucket, place bucket in garden, what you can do also is get a piece of stick and make like a bridge with the stick so that the snails can climb. What happens is the snails will be attracted by the beer

      once they get into the bucket they will drown. Hope this help and please let me know how it goes. Have a goiod day.

  2. I enjoy reading your article. I am from the Caribbean island and sometimes want to bring a piece of the Caribbean in my own backyard. Growing a pepper tree is nice. I like the fact that I’ll be able to get my own spices from my own backyard. Thanks for sharing

    • Hello Karlene my good friend it is always a pleasure to hear from you. It dose give a sence of pride to be able to grow your vegetables and pepper of course. Thanks for commenting and for those kind words, have a good day.

  3. I love peppers and was excited to read your post on growing pepper trees! Is the photo in the middle bird pepper or goat pepper?

    I live in New York and wondering if I would be successful growing peppers in 1-gallon containers on my deck? It is not a tropical climate up here, but I’m thinking it would work okay.

    Organic pest control would work great, and I like the idea of putting the slugs in soap and water, rather than pouring salt on them! I try to plant organic vegetables and never thought of growing peppers but this is a great idea and would make a zesty addition to my summer salads.

  4. Hey,
    Wow! I did not know there were pepper trees. Around here where I stay, or you can say the Unites States of America, my folks have grown peppers. The peppers did not grow off of a tree though it was kind of like a small plant. Either that or I don’t know what I am talking about but we have a lot of different peppers. Bird and Goat Peppers seem pretty awesome though. I am a big fan of peppers. This is some great information by the way.

    • Hello Kendrick it is so good to hear from you. Peppers are really awesome because of the flavors they have. You are on the right track. There are so many kinds of peppers that it is pretty amazing. Thanks for those kind words, all the best to you and have a good day.

  5. Hi Norman,
    I love spicy foods and would like to try to grow my own organic spicy peppers but I’m not sure if I could get them to grow in my area. I see that the goat peppers are grown in the Bahamas (obviously way warmer than here in Canada) and I’m not sure if I could grown them outdoors. How many months of warm weather is required to get these peppers to finish growing?

  6. I love peppers. They certainly do add a kick to your food. The bird peppers also have a lot of health benefits. Some people take them like capsules i.e. they swallow them whole.
    My nephew decided to give bird pepper a try once. He likes spicy foods and it was his first encounter with this pepper. Perhaps because they looked so small and harmless he decided to take a little bite on one of the peppers. Well he turned every shade of red that there is. I don’t think he will ever do that again.

    • Hello FreddieC it is so good to hear frm you, peppers can sure give your foods that WOW but we should be careful with the amount that we use. I am sure like you said your nephew will never try that again. Thanks for commenting, all the best to you.

  7. I grow a garden every year and plant a few peppers. Nothing too hot though. What sort of climate do you need to grow a pepper tree? Will they only grow in a southern climate? and how hot are they, really?
    The plant looks beautiful. I love the green with a splash of red and yellow. Nice.

    • Hello Scott it is so good to meet you, peppers sure do give that extra flavor. I live in a tropical climate so it is mostly sunny year round. Peppers mostly thrive well in this sort of climate. I don’t know what region you live in but what can help if you don’t get that much sun is

      plant your pepper tree in and are that gets the most sunlight or grow your tress in a pot and just move the pot run to those ares that gets the most sun. They are so hot if you are not careful to use in moderation you will scream for you mama LOL. Trust me they can be pretty hot.

      Hope this help, thanks a million for those kind words and have a good day.


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