don't like it too humid, extremely high temperatures are not beneficial and too much water especially around the roots (as with other members of the Solanaceae
family such as tomatoes and aubergines) is not at all good, constant wet feet as we call it will rot the roots and that will be the death of the plant.
In a place like Borneo
where torrential downpours can be frequent, come unexpectedly, incredibly powerful and deposit in a short time huge amounts of water therefore we have to be careful that the plants don't get flooded. This is very trying at times with such deluges that can occur and if the plants do survive a good flooding, (now and then is OK but regularly water logging will ultimately destroy the plant) adverse effects on growth can be noted such as yellowing of leaves and leaf fall.
It is generally considered good practice to keep the plants neither too wet or too dry, give them a good watering and leave them to drink it and allow them dry out, at which point they will be thirsty for more which in turn will boost growth. It can be a fine line.
Unusual Shaped Yellow Mushroom Chili - Medium Heat
On the opposite end of the scale the dry season creates another problem of not having enough water to keep the plants nourished, too little water and you will see the plants wilting under the heat of the intense sun in the tropics and they can look at times like they are teetering on the edge of existence! Full sun all day long is not a good idea, some form of shading is ideal whereby they receive plenty of sunlight along with recuperation time during shaded times and this will slow down their drinking pattern somewhat. Some kind of canopy cover is essential in such hot climates.
7 Pot Brain Strain Chili - In the Top Ten of The Worlds Hottest Chilies
7 Pot Brain Strain Chili
Ants and Aphids
Ants were a constant problem as plants are an excellent medium for their farming activities and boy can they farm!
Ants will look for any substrate with which they can farm Aphids (common plant pests which multiple with considerable ease in a hot climate which is of great benefit for the ants as they will take nectar, a source of food from the aphids.
How does it work?
The ants drive the aphids up the plant stem to the growing tips, the fresh young growth where new leaves and flowers sprout from. This is a supply of food for the aphids, their waste or secretions are a nectar which is a source of food for the ants. The disadvantages to the plant are many, the over abundance of aphids which feed on the plant juices by eating away at the leaves stunt plant growth in a big way, new leaves if they can sprout will be mutated and as a result fruits from the flowers will also be mutated, small and oddly shaped being unable to fulfill their potential.
This is a classic example of an infestation of mealy bug annihilating, if left unchecked, a Chocolate Habanero
Infested Chocolate Habanero Plant
Chocolate Habanero Plant before Infestation
Daylight Growing Hours
Now to the 12 hour daylight and 12 hour darkness part of the growing cycle. As mentioned before in temperate northern hemisphere climates the main growing season is spring through summer where plants have 12-18 hours of light a day which is great for the vegetation period. The plant uses this to grow big and strong sending out many branches which will in turn be able to support many flowers and therefore fruits. Flowering is triggered with most plants after a certain period of time or alternatively when there is a decrease in hours of daylight. Normally the period from germination to fruit or flowering if we are talking about a standard flowering plant is around 3 months.The Super Hot Chilies, the real hardcore Chili plants can take up to 4 months from germination to fruit.
This being said and from my experience due to the 12/12 light and dark cycle in Borneo the Chili plants seemed to flower very quickly, after a few weeks even when they were still small which was undesirable because once they start to flower they put all their energy into that and less into putting out new branches and growth. Ideally we want lots of growth, a big plant with many branches will give a higher yield and be strong enough to support the weight of the crop. So we can say this is one of the disadvantages of growing this particular crop near the equator but if we are growing year round but the yield is less I'd say that probably balances things out. In the northern hemisphere you would be lucky to get a decent crop of the Superhots anyway due to the short growing season, spring through summer and lower temperatures, unless you are using grow lights.
Chili Plants at Different Stages of Growth
Just a Few of the Chili Plants Staked and Nailed to Bamboo Supports
Strong Winds and Thunderstorms
Another occurrence in Kuching was the heavy thunder and lightning storms which before they struck brought with them terrible hurricane like winds with disastrous effects. The winds would wreak havoc on the canopy cover, reinforced transparent mesh supported plastic sheeting, ripping it from its awnings and throwing it about like a dog with a rag doll. The plants would topple like domino's as they were growing in the Asian style polythene pot like containers so these needed to be attached to something to prevent being bowled over which normally resulted in broken branches and plant stems.
Another Unusual Chili the Pimenta De Neyde - In situ and typical Stock Photo
Most plants love heat but only to a certain degree quite literally!
In Asian tropical climates the heat can be a little too much at times and just as humans suffer when it gets extremely hot so do plants. Chili plants grow best in temperatures ranging from mid 20's to 30 degrees centigrade. Anything above 30 degrees can drastically reduce plant yields. Going above that puts added stress on the plants and also means night time temperatures are also going to be high. Ideally Chili plants like a nice drop in temperature in the dark part of the growing cycle but not too much extreme between the two. If there is a big difference in day and night temperatures this can cause flowers to fall off before fruit has begun to grow as can extremely hot daytime temperatures.
Crop of Raja Mirch, 7 Pot Yellow, Red Naga & Caribbean Red Hot Chilies
Some of the Hottest Chilies in the World
We actually grew about 40 different Chili varieties a portion of which can be seen in the image above, from the top ten hottest in the world down to the much less intense Jalapeno's and Royal Black Chilies, an odd small round ball shaped Chili similar in shape to the Chiltepin Chili (which we also grew) but of a Black colour when fully mature.
Royal Black Chili
The heat of a Chili is measured by the Scoville Scale, named after Wilbur Scoville an American Pharmacist who devised the test way back in 1912 to test the 'hotness' of a Chili or anything derived from Chilies such as pure Capsaicin oil or even Hot Chili Sauces.
At Present the Carolina Reaper as of 2013 is the Guinness World Record holder for being the Hottest Chili in the World but doesn't seem to have made it yet on most Scoville Scale depictions, it really is 'off the scale'!
So to wrap things up where did all this lead to?
Why grow all these different types of Chili and to what end?
Well, quite simply it was all about making Chili Sauces and using the many different varieties to create absurdly hot sauces which differed in taste but nevertheless tasted great but that's another story!!!!
Result - Big Nosed Monkey Chili Sauce
For many more Chili Images please take a look at the Super Hot Chili Collection on My Website and if you wish to use any for whatever reason you can download Extremely Cheap Blog or Web Size Images.
Any other inquiries either leave a comment here or contact me. Good Luck.