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A Pepper for Colder Climates

Cold Tolerant Pepper

Did you know that there is a pepper that tolerates cooler temperatures & even partial shade?

Cold Weather Pepper -  Manzano Pepper SeedsIf you live in a cooler growing zone such as the mountains, you can also try the one pepper that tolerates cooler temperatures, the infamous black-seeded Manzano Pepper.

The Manzano pepper, also know as the Apple Chile or the Orange Rocoto came from South America where it sucessfully grows on the Andean mountain slopes. The Manzano Pepper is among the oldest of domesticated chiles being cultivated for thousands of years, and it actually likes the weather a bit cooler.

We find the Manzano plant blooms late in the summer season as the days get cooler and shorter and then fruits into the fall. You can also overwinter these in a sunny winter window or a greenhouse. 

This is the chile that can tolerate colder temperatures better than other peppers – however, they still do not tolerate frost! Manzano peppers prefer temperatures between 45 to 60˚ degrees Fahrenheit. So these peppers will grow well in cooler areas, such as in the mountains in the west.  In hotter climates, keeping them in partial shade will help them thrive.

Orange Rocoto Shade Tolerant Cold Tolerant Chile Pepper Blossom

A Shade Tolerant Pepper:
If you live in a hotter climate, you can even grow this cooler weather preferring pepper in partial shade – and indeed, you should, it doesn’t like to be baked in the super hot sun!

Beautiful Purple Blooms:
This pepper actually prefers temperatures between 45-60˚F – most chiles would shiver at the thought! We are finding they bloom in late August for us in the west, because that is when the days start to get a little shorter and cool off. Rocoto peppers have beautiful purple blooms! Here's the first bloom of the season... late to the game, but we hope to get pods growing very soon with the help of the bees. Stay tuned for pod photos!

A long lived Pepper:
If protected from frost, Manzano Pepper Plants can produce for 15 years and grow more than 10’ high!

Cold Weather Pepper + Shade Tolerant Pepper - the Manzano

A Super Tasty Pepper:
The Manzano Pepper is a beautiful color orange, and has a delicious, fruity flavor with lots of spice at 30,000 Scoville units – compare that to a Jalapeño pepper which has only 3500-4000 Scoville units, or a Habanero which is much hotter at 400,000 Scoville heat units. So this is a hot pepper, but not a killer.  It makes great salsas, hot sauce, and recipe additions – however we caution you to be gentle with your dose – it IS spicy so a little goes a long way! Some people think the Manzano pepper is one of the tastiest peppers due to it's fruity tropical flavor. 


So if you live in a cooler climate, or if you have a partial shaded area that you'd love to grow peppers in, try our Manzano pepper seeds. They're easy to grow! Learn about growing peppers in colder climates »

Cooler weather pepperAnother Cool Weather Pepper:
Another chile pepper that is known for liking cooler temperatures is the Bulgarian Carrot Chile. The Bulgarian Carrot Chile pepper plant itself is adapted to cooler northern climates and grows well even in a cooler summer. These Bulgarian Carrot Peppers set fruit best between 65-85°F. These beautiful orange peppers are also known as Shipkas, and are nice and hot and great additions to salsas, chutneys, marinades and hot sauces. They can also be dried and ground to use in recipes. 

Want tips on how to grow peppers from seed?
Here are some of our pepper seed growing tips »

Grow Manzano Pepper Seeds »


We also just found this great video talking about the Manzano Pepper and how it flowers and produces fruit in cooler fall weather, and can also be potted and overwintered. This video is from one of our favorite pepper and gardening YouTubers, John Kohler, check it out: