The Q&A Archives: Italian frying peppers and pepper pollination

Question: What are Italian Frying Peppers? Other than Bell Pepper what might substitute? Also, I have had no luck producing peppers from a single Habanero plant. Does it need a polinator or do I need to plant more than one? Dave Bidgood Santa Ynez, CA

Answer: Italian Frying peppers are long tapered fruits that are traditionally fried in olive oil. As an Italian, I love them!!! If you know the 'Sweet Banana' variety of pepper, then Italian frying peppers are of a similar shape. Some good varieties of this type are 'Marconi' and 'Corno di Toro'. Peppers do not need two plants to cross pollinate. Habanero peppers love heat and need a long growing season. So start them indoors 6 to 8 weeks before your last frost and wait until the soil is warm to put them out in the garden. Then cover the plants with a floating row cover such as Reemay to keep them warm for the first few weeks. Keep them well watered and don't over fertilize and they should produce fruits by the end of summer.

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