Tabasco is a moderately hot variety of capsicum frutescens that is most well-known as the primary ingredient in a particular hot sauce. Tabasco is also a river in Mexico, from where the pepper originates. Tabasco peppers rate about 30,000-50,000 units on the Scoville scale and grow upright in high numbers on tall plants. The sauce is only about a third or less the heat of the pepper itself according to several estimates. So tabasco peppers are still quite spicy for most people. They are similar to many ornamental peppers. These short, tapered fruits decorate the plant with a variety of colors as they mature from green to yellow to orange and finally to red after about 80-90 days. Tabasco peppers are fleshy and juicy, which makes them great for fresh use. But that does not mean they cannot be dried and ground like cayenne.
Growing Information: Sow seeds about 1/8” deep in a light, fertile soil with a slightly acidic Ph. Be sure to maintain proper conditions if you want a good fruit set. It does not like cool temperatures at all, and this can ruin the potential of your plants. Tabasco likes a good supply of water, phosphorous, potassium and calcium but cannot handle nitrogen very well. Seedlings should be kept between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit with optimal growing conditions for mature plants kept around 80 degrees. This may mean that you will want to start indoors or wait until a bit later in the season to sow outdoors. For more information on growing peppers, visit World Seed Supply’s Complete Pepper Growing Guide.