Indoor capsicum pubescens landrace


This is a little off the original concept of landrace, but I’m growing a bunch of capsicum pubescens this year. I’ve completely fallen in love with the plants but they want to grow very large and long season and my space where I am currently is either indoor or short season.

My plan is to cross my plants up in two ways: when they’re indoors, to mass gather and mix the pollen and then distribute the mixed pollen to all open flowers, sort of a manual bee project. I would not remove the male parts so there’s still a chance the plants would self-pollinate, but it will get a lot of mixing happening.

When the plants go outside on the deck for the summer I’ll clump them up together and put pollinator-friendly plants around them. This will let the insects take over.

This way I should be able to get maximally crossed seed even if the peppers never really get to spend much time outside, and I could use this model in a completely indoor project if I want to.

Picture of some of the pubescens as babies because I’m traveling and don’t have a more recent one. :slight_smile:


Greenie/Erin DeS
I don’t have a picture, but these are losing their bottom leaves, I think because of a combination of light competition from the top leaves and dry air. The plants are thriving, though, or at least they keep growing well and are nice and branchy.

Greenie/Erin DeS
The first ones are blooming, Aji Lucento is the first variety to flower and both plants are blooming. Can’t cross-pollinate yet because there’s only one type, I realize I should decide if I’m going records-heavy and marking which blooms are crossed or just saving all the seed.

The leaves smell so good.

Greenie/Erin DeS
Aji Largo is thinking about opening. I’ve been finger-pollinating the Lucentos every morning as I say hi to them and turn on the lights, I think I’ll just leave a paintbrush in the area so I can transfer the pollen around instead.

Aji Largo

Aji Lucento

Julia Dakin
Those plants and flowers are so pretty. The flowers look kind of like the Litchi tomatoes. It would be so cool if you could do a video when you do the mass cross pollination.

Greenie/Erin DeS
Crossed them this morning, Lucento had a ton of pollen. It looks like the stigma protrudes a little past the anthers when the flower first opens, and the pollen becomes more plentiful when the flower has been open a couple days-- maybe this promotes crossing, letting other pollen get in there first?

I love these plants, I’m super excited about this.

Greenie/Erin DeS
Eeeeeeeeeeee! My morning paintbrush ritual is working.

Greenie/Erin DeShong
Some of these started losing leaves, likely to spider mites, and I’ve also started putting them outdoors in the cool rain during the day. Some fruits are swelling significantly. I’m looking forward to up-potting some of them when my field crops go outside.

Greenie/Erin DeS
I collected my crossed seeds from the first round. Next step: terminating the parent plants (which is hard for me) and starting the new seed. This will be put on pause while I enjoy the parent plants, and maybe do a last round of selection for what transfers back indoors well and crossing those.

Packets of seeds I’ve saved from these are as follows, they should be crossed randomly with each other:

Lucento Sept 2022
Largo - least spicy early
Lucento 1st
Montufar yellow 1st
Lucento July 2022
Moldy green olive fruit from Josh maybe seeds are still good?

I put several largos in the same packet, but it looks like Lucento and Montufar were definitely the most prolific. I have a couple of these in buckets indoors now, hanging out. I keep planning to cut them back and put a light on them, but if I don’t get around to it they’ll hang in there and go out on the deck next spring. If they’re anything like my other peppers, overwintering a year will lead them to be super prolific the next year.

These are very hardy plants. I have a largo that survived freezing after having oversummered in a yoghurt container. They’re more drought tolerant than many of the other peppers. They’re just slow to ripen.