Important Springtime Information: Knowing what kind of chile to plant • I am New Mexico

Important Springtime Information: Knowing what kind of chile to plant

Well, it’s obvious that New Mexico Green chile grows well in New Mexico. Sometimes you want a little more heat, or less what have you. Good thing is, it’s springtime and it’s time to start planting your favorite varieties of chile and other vegetables and fruits.

Here are a variety of different chile/chile peppers that grow well in the state of New Mexico.

  • Tobasco Pepper

The tabasco pepper is a variety of chili pepper species Capsicum frutescens. It is best known through its use in Tabasco sauce, followed by peppered vinegar

Tobasco Pepper

  • Habanero Pepper

The habanero is a variety of chili pepper. When used in English, it is sometimes spelled habañero, the tilde being added as a hyperforeignism. Unripe habaneros are green, and they color as they mature.

Habanero Pepper

  • Anaheim “M” Pepper

Capsicum annuum. Plant produces good yields of 7″ long by 1″ wide hot peppers. Peppers are mild and turn from green to red when mature. Plant has green stems, green leaves, and white flowers. Excellent fresh, pickled, or fried. Not as hot as the other Anaheim varieties. A variety from New Mexico

Anaheim M Pepper

  • Serrano Pepper

Serrano Tampiqueño – Capsicum annuum (78 days) Plant produces heavy yields of small 2 ¼” long by ½” wide hot peppers. Plants are 24” tall and wide. Peppers turn from green to bright red as they mature. This heirloom has a distinctive and unique hot flavor. It is crisp, bright, and biting, and notably hotter than the jalapeño it resembles.

Serranos are typically eaten raw, so no need to roast or peel. Always popular in pico de gallo, salsas, and soups. A little pepper with a big kick!

Serrano Pepper

  • Cayenne Pepper

The cayenne pepper, also known as the Guinea spice, cow-horn pepper, red hot chili pepper, aleva, bird pepper, or, especially in its powdered form, red pepper, is a cultivar of Capsicum annuum related to bell peppers, jalapeños, paprika, and others.

Cayenne Pepper

  • Sandia Hot Peppers & other New Mexico Varieties

Sandia Hot Capsicum annuum (75 days) Chiles mature early and produce well in high temperatures. Plants are 24” – 36” tall and the 7” pods have medium thick walls making them ideal for both fresh and roasted chiles. Throughout New Mexico, green chiles are allowed to ripen to red on the vine and made into ristras or strings.

~ While chiles are still fresh and flexible, several are tied together at the stem and then fastened in clusters on a string measuring from one to six feet in length.
~ Traditionally, ristras are hung to dry in a place of good air circulation, often outdoors under the eaves of a house.

Start seeds indoors 6 weeks prior to soil warming to 55°F. Then transplant seedlings into rich well-draining soil 24” apart. Seeds can also be planted directly into the garden when the soil warms. Harvest chiles when they are green and firm or leave on plant until they turn red.

Sandia Hot Pepper

  • Chimayo Pepper

Chimayó chiles are unpredictable. A single plant might produce some chiles as long as six or seven inches and many more that are shorter; a few might be straight and skinny, and some will be bent oddly into curlicues. Delicious flavor. Chimayó chiles make great red chile sauce. It tastes sweet and then hot.

This open-pollinated chile will cross-pollinate with any other variety of Capsicum annuum. This has led to problems in preserving the unique genetic landrace identity of the Chimayó.

Start seeds indoors 6 weeks prior to transplanting outside. Grows best when night temps are above 60 °F. Soil needs to be well-draining, and keep on the dry side when the fruit has formed. Harvest chiles when they are green and firm or leave on the plant until they turn red.


  • Jalapeno Pepper

Early Jalapeño – Capsicum annuum (65 days) Matures early and produces an abundant crop over the entire season. Plants are 24” tall and pods are 3” long x 1” wide. They have thick flesh and dry well when smoked. The popular Chipotle is made from mature red jalapeños that are smoke-dried over wood. The most common chipotle, is named ‘morita’ and means “little blackberry” in Spanish. It is dark red and remains pliable after smoking. Grows well in cool temperatures and in containers.

  • Santa Fe Grande Pepper

The Santa Fe Grande chile pepper, also known as “Yellow hot chile pepper” and the “Guero chile pepper”, is a very prolific cultivar used in the Southwestern United States. The plants are resistant to tobacco mosaic virus

  • Big Jim Pepper

The Numex Big Jim is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the producer of the largest Chile pods ever grown, with specimans in excess of a foot long (12 inches) not unknown. The variety was developed in the mid 1970’s by Dr Nakayama as a result of a bredding program at the New Mexico State University (NMSU), home of the Chile Pepper Institute. Plants grow easily and vigourously and are surprisingly small in comparison to the gigantic pods growing between 24″ to 36″ high. Up to 30 pods may grow on a single plant which ripen from green to a deep red approximately 80 days after transplanting seedlings. Due to the pod size and mild heat quotient (500 to 2,500 SHU), Big Jim is perfect for making decorative “ristras” as well as the classic (and very tasty) chile relleno dish. To make Chile Relleno’s, toast, peel and de-seed ripe chiles. Stuff them with your favorite plain or herbed cheese (cheddar cheeses work well). In a small bowl, beat two eggs with a dash of salt and a tablespoon of flour to make a light batter. Dip each stuffed pepper into the batter before frying in hot olive orvegtable oil in a heavy skillet. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with a bit of additional cheese, top broil and serve with a fresh salsa. You can also add diced, cooked chicken or beef to the cheese stuffing if you wish or any other combinations you wish to try. Delicious!!.

Big Jim Pepper

  • Cochiti Pepper

85 days. Capsicum annuum. Plant produces good yields of 2 ¼” long by ¾” wide hot peppers. Peppers are medium hot and turn from green, to orange, to red when mature. Plant has green stems, green leaves, and white flowers. A variety from Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico, USA.

Cochiti Pepper

  • Ancho (Poblano)

Called Ancho when dried, Poblano when fresh. This is one of the most popular peppers grown in Mexico. Plants grow to 2½ ft. tall. Fully ripened, red fruits are much hotter and flavorful than the earlier picked green ones. Days to maturity are from time plants are set in garden. For transplants add 8-10 weeks.

  • New Mexico #6 Pepper

The New Mexico 6-4 Heritage chile pepper was developed around 1998 from a seed bank of the original New Mexico 6-4. The original NM 6-4, which was released in 1957, had “run out,” meaning that after so many years of commercial growing, it had lost much of its flavor and aroma, and had increased its variability in heat levels, maturity date, and yield.

In 1998 Dr. Paul Bosland, along with NMSU’s Chile Pepper Institute and Biad Chili, used seeds from the original NM 6-4 that had been frozen in a storage lab to create the new line of chile. Dr. Bosland grew the peppers for three years, perfecting the line by selecting for more flavor and improved yield.

The result was a chile with five times more flavor and aroma than the original, and the flavor is even stronger and richer when roasted. They grow to 5-8 inches in length.

New Mexico 6 Pepper

  • Chiltepin (Tepin) Pepper

Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum is a variety of Capsicum annuum that is native to southern North America and northern South America. Common names include chiltepin, chiltepe, and chile tepin, as well as turkey, bird’s eye, or simply bird peppers, due to their consumption and spread by wild birds. Tepin is derived from a Nahuatl word meaning “flea”. This variety is the most likely progenitor of the domesticated C. annuum var. annuum. Another similar-sized pepper ‘Pequin’ (also called ‘Piquin’) is often confused, the Tepin fruit is round to oval and the Pequin is oval with a point, and the leaves, stems and plant structure are very different on each plant.

Chiltepin (Tepin) Pepper

  • Thai Pepper

Bird’s eye chili, bird’s chili or Thai chili is a chili pepper, a cultivar from the species Capsicum annuum, commonly found in Southeast Asia.

Thai Pepper

  • Guajillo Pepper

A guajillo chili or guajillo chile is a variety of chile pepper of the species Capsicum annuum and which is widely used in the cuisine of Mexico. Its heat is considered mild to hot.

Guajillo Pepper

  • Hot Cherry Pepper

A pimiento (Spanish pronunciation: [piˈmjento]), pimento, or cherry pepper is a variety of large, red, heart-shaped chili pepper(Capsicum annuum) that measures 3 to 4 in (7 to 10 cm) long and 2 to 3 in (5 to 7 cm) wide (medium, elongate). The flesh of the pimiento is sweet, succulent, and more aromatic than that of the red bell pepper. Some varieties of the pimiento type are hot, including the ‘Floral Gem’ and ‘Santa Fe Grande’ varieties. Pimiento is an originally Spanish term that was added to English (aloanword). The fruits are typically used fresh or pickled. The pimento has one of the lowest Scoville scale ratings of any chili pepper.

Pimento (Portuguese pronunciation: [piˈmẽtu]) or pimentão ([pimẽˈtɐ̃w]) are Portuguese words for “bell pepper”. In Portugal and Portuguese-speaking Africa and Asia, pimenta refers to peppercorns and chili peppers are known as “piri piri” or malagueta, while in Brazil, pimenta ([piˈmẽtɐ]) alone conveys chili (malagueta being a particularly hot, small variety) – pimenta-do-reino (i.e. [Portuguese] Kingdom’s pepper) is used to refer to peppercorns.

Hot Cherry Pepper

  • New Mexico R Naky Pepper

The NuMex R Naky chile is an Anaheim-type hybrid created by Dr. Nakayama of New Mexico State University in 1985. It comes from the mix of the Rio Grande 21 pepper, the New Mexico 6-4, and a Bulgarian paprika. The fruit grows to 5-6 inches and has a mild flavor. In comparison, the New Mex R Naky prodices significantly more volume per acre than the New Mexico 6-4, and has a brighter red color. They grow best in hot, dry climates.

They are great for stuffing or roasting, and they are often used as a paprika cultivar in New Mexico.

New Mexico R Naky Pepper

  • Shishito Pepper

This medium early, small, sweet, thin-walled glossy green pepper is popular in Japan. The fruits grow up to 3-4″ long. Plant has a spreading habit and produces prolifically. Good for garden, greenhouse, and open field growing.

Shishito Pepper

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