Cajun Belle peppers in containers

noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)July 10, 2011

Hello,

I have been growing Cajun Belle peppers in containers and they are really pretty little plants. Very petite.

The peppers I've picked have been very small and the walls of the peppers are very thin.

I found them to be just a little heat when I've tasted them. I expected there to be a bell pepper taste with a bite to them.

I did mince one up and put it into tuna salad and more flavor was brought out of the pepper was quite good.

Is anyone else growing these peppers and can give me some feedback about them?

Thanks,

Vivian

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I think Phil is growing them.
Maybe he'll pop in from the Hot Pepper Forum.
You might want to shoot him a message.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 11:45AM
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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

Here are a couple of my Cajun Belles:

I agree with your assessment. Mine are about twice as hot as a jalapeno which was surprising to me.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 12:30PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Nice lookin' plants, Redshirt!
Lots of pods already....

Josh

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 1:30PM
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Phildeez(9b)

Hey guys! Noss, I have one Cajun Belle in a ~5 gallon pot, the first pepper just turned red but I am going to let it sit on the plant for a week or two to pick up some flavor. The walls look rather thick to me but we will have to wait and see.

Cajun Belle is a hybrid variety so it is plenty possible that different sources have differing versions that are being sold as "Cajun Belle." As far as I know there is no patent. This as well as growing conditions could contribute to differences in heat and size/thickness of the peppers. My peppers were much darker green than many of the pics I have seen, and more round with very few irregularities. I am curious to see if they have any heat.

I have heard reports of these peppers being very mild with nearly undetectable heat and being significantly hotter than a Jalapeno. It may vary by growing conditions or genetics. I have also noticed that the first few peppers harvested from a plant often lack heat so it could be as simple as that.

Maybe you could post a few pics? I do like the plant, it is very compact and an extremely heavy producer thus far. Although the peppers definitely sunscald easily, the plant is much happier in partial shade over full sun.

-Phil

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 2:53PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I am growing these for the first time this year. I agree that they are lovely and cute. Mine have been in their containers for about 6 weeks and they are covered with golf ball size peppers. My problem is figuring out when they are ripe. The plants are only about 18 inches tall, and the largest peppers no more than 2 inches from stem to blossom end. The color is a very light green. Do they turn a different color when they're fully ripe? Do they get hotter or sweeter as they ripen?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 3:01PM
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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

They will turn a shade of orange and then into bright red when ripe. My first batch did anyway. I have a few with an orange tint right now that are mature but not quite fully ripe. They should be just as edible if slightly lacking in flavor as the fully ripe ones.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 3:39PM
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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

I took some pictures today for a 5-1-1 comparison thread today Ohiofem and grabbed one of a mid-ripening Cajun Belle for you:

Mine go from this color to bright red and then they are ripe.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 6:37PM
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Phildeez(9b)

Mine are different from redshirtcat's, they are darker green and do not turn Orange before red. I ate a couple of the first ripe ones, one on a charcoal grill pizza and one in a mean Pico. They are not extremely hot, being the first pods I expected as much. Like a sweeter, mild jalapeno with a slower paced burn. I look forward to the next round having a little more heat, we will see!

Happy gardening!
-Phil

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 3:10PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Mine have been ripening and we've been eating the. They are almost as hot as my Serrano del sol. I'm growing them in 5-1-1 with about 10% compost mixed in. I got my seeds from Tomato Growers Supply. The interesting thing to me is that I gave one of my starts to a friend. His have all been bland, with no heat. He didn't believe me when I said mine were hot, so I brought one to work for him. Sure enough, he liked the heat. He took a taste, then wrapped it up to take home to show his wife. He tells me that when they tasted it that night it was significantly hotter. So hot, he says, that his wife said it blistered her lips. But his own CJs grown in clay soil continue to be bland, almost "soapy." Very odd since they must have the same genetic heritage.

In addition, our peppers don't look like either of the photos above. They look like tiny bell peppers, roundish and ribbed.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 10:28AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Chances are good that there are several varieties sold as Cajun Belle,
along with accidental hybrids and simple mislabeling.

Ohio, I was going to ask if your co-worker is growing his peppers in the ground or
in containers, but it sounds like ground. I had a friend whose peppers turned out
the same way from overwatering in a container - the peppers never developed
flavor or heat.

Josh

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 11:17AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I'm curious about how growing conditions can impact heat and flavor. My friend is growing his in the ground and says he doesn't water often. I grow mine in containers and water every other day due to the very high heat and dry conditions we're experiencing. (And, I can't seem to over water 5-1-1 in a fabric aeration container). Where I live in southern Ohio is corn and soybean country. I've often been disappointed in the taste of my peppers. I love Mexican and Southwestern food, but I have never been able to grow New Mexico chilis or anchos that have any heat.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 12:50PM
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