Last summer I decided to plant some peppers. I use spicy, dark green spearhead-shaped poblanos a lot, so I got a poblano plant. The store also had a sweet red bell variety, and a pretty purple bell called “Pinot Noir.” Since the colorful bell peppers cost a fortune at the grocery, I bought a plant of each variety. Think of the savings!
Yes, I planted three different peppers in the same little herb garden.
I really should’ve known better, after the FrankenSquash episode a few years ago.
What happens is the same bees buzz around all three plants, tracking poblano pollen all over the red bell flowers, Pinot Noir pollen all over the poblanos, and so on. This is called “cross-pollination.”
Total pepper chaos.
We find different flavor fruits, hot and sweet, on each plant. In fact, all the peppers in this photo are growing on the same plant:
There’s only one way to know whether any one fruit is a sweet pepper or a hot one: You hafta cut off some of the individual pepper and taste it.
Nothing looks like the picture on its plant stake. It almost looks as if each plant, in an effort to fit in with the others, completely lost its identity.
Thanks for reading,
This is really weird because I always thought cross-pollination affected the second generation of plants, not the current generation. I think you got some plants that came from cross-pollinated seed that the garden center used. I’ll bet there are pepper growers all over your area with weird peppers even if they only bought one type. Pepper pandemonium, that’s what it is!
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