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Marian Blazes

Grow Your Own Peruvian Yellow Peppers

By December 8, 2008

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Aji amarillo are yellow-orange hot peppers used extensively in Peruvian cooking. My sister, who is a farmer, emailed to ask me if she could grow some. She had tried growing choclo, the large kernel Andean corn, but although the plants grew very tall, they did not produce any ears. We decided choclo must need special Andean growing conditions, like high altitude. Fortunately latin food markets sell imported frozen choclo.

But it turns out that it's easy to grow aji amarillo - the seeds are available online, and the plants need the same growing conditions as other hot peppers (hot summer weather). You could probably grow them in a planter on your deck or patio. You can also dry the peppers and save them. So if you're browsing seed catalogs and planning you spring garden, consider adding aji amarillo to your list.

Peruvian Recipes with Aji Amarillo:
Papa a la Huancaina (Potatoes with Spicy Cheese Sauce)
Peruvian Stir-fried Beef - Lomo Saltado
Causa Rellena - Yellow Potatoes with Chicken

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April 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm
(1) david says:

People should try growing the yellow aji peppers, just as you recommend. A correction, however. The word choclo is a generic word for corn on the cob and not specifically the large grained, Andean variety. This large grained corn needs a longer growing season to produce than is available in North America.

September 15, 2010 at 1:49 am
(2) Karina says:

hey Marian,
I have try to grow Aji amarillo, but is very hard i have 10 plants in my garden right now only one bloom but the rest didn’t, I am thinking to transplant them to the greenhouse I hope they will survive. What did you think I should do?

September 2, 2011 at 5:08 pm
(3) johnny says:

Karina, I live in Ontario Canada, I got 6 amarillo plants, and I stiis getting them. Harvest.
By the way, I just decided to grow aji amarillos seeds, I got over 50, they are coming out.
I have aji amarillos, next year, I will have some more. I can prove it.

September 24, 2010 at 10:59 am
(4) southamericanfood says:

Hi Karina,
Thanks for your comment. I don’t know too much about growing hot peppers, so I am going to refer your question to the gardening guide at About.com. I think that peppers are annuals though. You could try growing them in the greenhouse, but in the winter they probably won’t get enough sun to produce peppers. But maybe that will give them a head start next year (you won’t have to start over with baby plants). They definitely need hot weather and full sun all day to do well.
I’ll post again when I hear back from the gardening guide..

December 6, 2010 at 9:27 am
(5) Jimmy surf says:

Hello, I live in orlando fl, and have been growing peruvian aji amarillio since the end of last april. i started the plants from seeds. the weather was to hot for the baby plants in the florida summer, so i would bring them inside in the morning and put them back outside for the evening sun. by september they were hardy enough to keep outside full time, and did very well with the consistent sun. they started to flower in october, and i started to get peppers in november. it is now the begening of Dec and the plants are around 4′ tall and the peppers are 3-4″ long. i think i have another month before they turn color and are ready to harvest. i hope this information is usefull to anyone trying to grow peruvian yellow peppers.
if anyone knows, i would like to know what are the optimal tempetures for these plants, and how long should i expect the plants to live and produce peppers.

September 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm
(6) Oscar says:

Hello .. I live in Sydney Australia I started the plants from seeds taked from dry peppers ..I put them on a cup with cotton and after two weeks of moisture them every four days the plants start to growing up when they reach a hight of 3 cm . I moved outside into a pot until they reach a hight of 20 cm. them put the plant on a soil in the garden when they get most of the sun ,I start with the seeds on march that`s autm here .. for July inside winter start to colect the yellow peppers from the three plant I colect nearly fifty peppers .
I can prove it .
Don`t forgere once they are on the garden moisture them every second o therd day.

January 28, 2012 at 7:23 pm
(7) Carla says:

Hi, I live in the Northeast part of Pennsylvania I have planted these outside in a big pot last year.but I did it a little late, so by the end of summer I only had flowers on it. I brought it inside and put in a sunny window. Most of the flowers fell because of temperature shock I guess. But some made it, and and ajies started growing. It is January andI have harvest one orange one so far. The rest are turning orange right now. I plan to prune it back and take outside in May, I am sure since it is a big plant now it will flower sooner this summer. I also planted rocoto pepper and the plant is huge! I got a couple of rocotos, very hot! I was thrill to get some! Just make sure you bring it in before frost or before it starts getting too cold at night. They can grow indoors in a sunny spot.

November 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm
(8) Laura says:

I planted aji amarillo I purchased from “Seeds of change” (seems to be the same you indicate in your article) and they were the kind of pepper you use for *cebiche* (raw fish cooked in lemon juice, also used by G. Acurio in the new sauce “Tari”, I think), not the milder, bigger kind used for *salsa huancaina* (yellow sauce made with cheese, goes over boiled potatoes).

Excellent plants, by the way, very resistant to US weather and gave lots of peppers before the end of the summer … but just keep in mind they may not be the most common ones mentioned in Peruvian dishes.

May 17, 2013 at 6:43 am
(9) Laura says:

The link to “seeds available online” in the article changed in mid-May 2013 to this: http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/hot-peppers-1/

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