Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Matilda the Chili Plant
Matilda is my first attempt to grow chilies at home. She is a Thai chili plant of the C. Frutescens variety (C standing for Capiscum which is the plant genus under which the chili falls). She was born in Indianapolis and spent most of her summer in 2008 outside on our back porch, but due to moving to chilly Chicago and being kept indoors next to a heater as well as being left a few times for 2 weeks at a go, she eventually lost all her leaves. She did produce many chilies, which are the fruit that comes out of these beautiful little white flowers and are thought to be used to protect it from mammals who eat it as chili is generally unpleasant to them! However, not to this chili lover. In order for these chilies to grow you have to help the plant pollinate itself (I waited for the bee's to do it first when she lived on the porch) but then indoors we had to help out by taking our fingers and rubbing the pollen from one flower to the next, and so on and so forth. The good news is that Matilda is now sitting by the window sill in our new digs in Chicago, getting plenty of sun and just enough water and she's growing back her leaves (I have posted a picture of her and some of the chilies she produced, and hopefully in a month Matilda will be blooming again!).