Capsicum – the perennial type

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A great success in our vegetable garden over the last couple of years, is the perennial capsicum (it actually isn’t truly perennial, but lasts 3 – 4 years in the sub-tropics). Although small, the sweet capsicums have the distinct advantage that they don’t get stung by fruit fly and don’t get rotting patches as the big ones sometimes do in summer. In this respect they are rather like cherry tomatoes – much easier to grow than their larger cousins but just as tasty!

 Our bush is over two years old, and is about 80cm high, forming a clump about 1m across. It has developed a thick, gnarled trunk .The 8cm long fruit are shaped like a pointed chilli, but are sweet, not hot. They are formed all year round, and they can be picked green or left to ripen on the bush until bright red. The bush gets a bit of compost thrown around the base when I think of it, but otherwise it looks after itself in our veggie patch, which is regularly watered.

 A great use for the little pointed capsicums is to puree them when red and sieve the puree to remove the ‘plasticky’ skins (I put it through a mouli). Then freeze the puree in ice cube trays, empty the frozen cubes into a freezer bag, and use as required. It tastes really great added to chilli beans, spaghetti sauce or casseroles, as well as adding a lovely rich red colour. This is a vegetable I really recommend growing – it seems to love a subtropical climate and has become a permanent feature in our garden. The capsicums are always there on the bush whenever a recipe calls for them.

 The seeds came from Eden Seeds originally, so it is a non-hybrid. Eden Seeds have some wonderful old-fashioned varieties – you can contact them on or phone 07 5533 1107