The 'Shishito' is finding its way into many restaurants as a popular appetizer. The 2"–4" slender peppers have a citrusy, slightly smoky flavor enhanced by grilling or sautéing, and can be the life of the party when an occasional hot one passes the mouth of the unsuspecting. Highly productive plants. 50–200 Scoville heat units (mild).
• Botanical Name: Capsicum annuum
• Days to Maturity: 60–75 days from transplanting
• Family: Solanaceae
• Native: Americas
• Hardiness: Frost-sensitive perennial grown as an annual
• Plant Dimensions: 24"–36" tall
• Variety Information: 2"–4" long, thin, medium green, slightly wrinkled, some curved. Flavor is citrusy and slightly smoky. About 90 percent of shishitos will be mild, but the others will be slightly hot. Scoville heat units for 'Shishito' are 50–200, making the occasional hot pepper quite mild.
• When to Sow Outside: For Mild Climates only: 2 to 4 weeks after average last frost, when soil temperature is at least 70°F.
• When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. 8 to 10 weeks before transplanting. Ideal soil temperature for germination is 70°–90°F. Transplant seedlings outside 2 to 4 weeks after your average last frost date, and when daytime temperatures are at least 70°F, and nighttime temperatures are at least 55°F. Mild • Climates: May be sown in late summer for fall/winter crop.
• Days to Emerge: 10–25 days
• Seed Depth: ¼"
• Seed Spacing: Start indoors
• Row Spacing: 24"–36"
• Thinning: Start indoors, plant seedlings 18"–24" apart outside
• Harvesting: Generally harvested when green, at 2"–4" long, but can also be left on the plant to mature to red. When harvesting, take care to avoid touching the interior of any broken peppers, as the capsaicin is an extreme irritant, especially to the eyes. Wash hands thoroughly after harvesting or wear gloves to harvest peppers.