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Ot Hiem (Red California Chili)

Capsicum annuum

Grown by: Resilient Roots Farm in Camden, NJ

  • $5.00

Small bushy plants with brightly fragrant and spicy flavor that matches their brilliant red fruits. Delicious in chili pastes, jams, or eaten fresh chopped into citrusy fish sauce! 

Grown for Truelove Seeds by Co Phuong, an elder Vietnamese grower at Resilient Roots Community Farm in Camden, NJ. She received these seeds from her brother in California, where Vietnamese and other refugee and immigrant communities have cherished these chilis. 

At Resilient Roots Farm, these are affectionately known as California Chilis. Ot Hiem literally means Danger Chili, and it describes many types of bird chilis. In one of the photos, you can see Co Phuong holding yellow and red Ot Hiem, which we sell separately here. Co Phuong has an active YouTube channel with a focus on Vietnamese food and gardening here.

Days to maturity: 70-80

Seeds per pack: 25

Germination rate: 90% on 02/15/2024

Planting / harvesting notes

Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost and transplant into the garden well after the danger of frost. Keep seedlings moist but do not overwater. Transplants should be initially watered in well, and plants will be most productive with regular irrigation and full sun. These abundant, lanky plants may have to be staked.

Seed keeping notes

Peppers are generally self-pollinating, though we isolate different varieties of the same species by at least 50 feet, in hopes that flying insects will not cross pollinate them unexpectedly. There are several important species of peppers, so check your scientific names! Pepper seeds are ripe when the fruits have turned their final fiery color - in this case, fiery-orange. Cut the fruit, scrape out seeds, and lay them out to dry on a labeled screen or paper product in a ventilated place away from direct sunlight for a week or two. Consider wearing gloves for your protection! Drying the peppers before seed extraction can slightly lower your germination rates, but works fine for home seed saving as long as the peppers do not rot.


This product is part of the Southeast Asian Collection.

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