when to harvest birds eye chillies

You can also find the narrow, red peppers in Asia Shops. There they are often sold as Thai Chili, Thai Dragon or Piri Piri.

It is somewhat confusing that plants and seeds are sometimes classified as Capsicum annuum or Capsicum frutescens. However, you can quickly see which species it is.

At first glance, Birds Eye chili plants resemble one eye to the other. They are small bushy plants with narrow fruits. The pods are about 5 cm long and have a diameter of about one centimeter.

In the Capsicum annuum species, the chilli peppers hang towards the ground. Otherwise, they do not differ in length or diameter from those of the Frutescens species. They also have a sharpness of about 100.000 SHU. But also up to 225.000 SHU are possible. Larger cultivation areas are located in Thailand (Thai Hot), Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam.

In the following text we will refer to the Capsicum frutescens species, unless we specifically mention this. On the picture above you can see a species belonging to the Capsicum frutescens. You can recognize this by the upward directed flowers and pods.

In Birds eye chilies of the Capsicum frutescens species their chili peppers are partly directed towards the sky. Similar to Tabasco the chilies grow in every direction. Some of them are straight as a die and point upwards. It is then a variety that can live for more than 5 years. In some cases it grows to a height of more than two meters. Larger cultivation areas are located in the Indian states of Meghalaya and Assam.

Ripe pods are about 100,000 Scoville hot. In the land of pungency a welcome ingredient in the kitchen.

Sample One for Taste

Naturally, the ultimate test of a chili’s readiness is to taste it. If you have the courage, pluck one off the plant, rinse it, and then take a tiny bite. If it provides the fiery kick you desire, it’s time to begin gathering

Scoville and degree of sharpness

Birds Eye Chilis rank at 100,000 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville scale. This should be categorized as having a 9 degree of sharpness. In contrast, 50,000 Scoville heat units in Tabasco chili pods only make them halfway hot. With up to 225,000 SHU, Thai Birdseye chili peppers can shoot birds. This corresponds to a low degree of sharpness of 10.

Birds Eyes are often dried in shops. The transparently shiny red-orange chilies are packed into spice mills. For those who are not used to strong flavors, the freshly ground spice powder appears to be mostly sauced in flavor. Connoisseurs like the deep dimension of the African spice. Especially for barbecues an enrichment.

We like to use bird’s-eye chilies for spicy dishes. This variety of chili has a slightly milder heat than habanero. The otherwise delightful fruity note of Caribbean Habaneros can be off-putting for certain dishes. Here we like to use dried Birdeyes. A roast chicken marinated in piri piri makes a great Saturday night dinner. The contrast between the fiery chile and the crispy chicken skin is amazing.

Freshly chopped “Thai Dragons” are added to salad, veggies, and curries in Thai cuisine. These sharp chili peppers add a kick to many common dishes. In Vietnam spicy soups are still popular. These are often spiced with bird’s-eye chilies.

Important: Monitor the Plant’s Health

Healthy plants produce quality chillies. Ensure your plant gets adequate water, sunlight, and nutrients throughout its growth period. If the leaves begin yellowing or the plant appears stressed, it may be a sign of under or over-watering, or even a pest infestation.

Addressing these issues promptly ensures a plentiful and spicy harvest.

Should you not intend to utilize your harvested chillies right away, keep them in a cool, dry location. Additionally, you can dehydrate the peppers, freeze them, or use them to make hot sauces and oils. In the event that you decided to dehydrate the peppers, you can later grind some of them up and use the pepper powder to make hot sauce.

It’s enjoyable and satisfying to grow bird’s eye chilies at home, especially when you can use the produce to add flavor to your food. When you harvest them at the right time, you’ll get the most flavor and intense heat these little powerhouses have to offer.

Thus, be mindful of the cues and be ready for a fiery delight when the time is appropriate. Happy harvesting!.


How long do birdseye chillies take to ripen?

Seeds Per Pack:
Scoville Rating:
100,000 – 170,000 SHU (View the Scoville Scale)
When to Sow:
January – April
Time to Fruit:
80 days
August – October

How long to leave chillies on the plant?

Chillies take approximately three months to mature. Cut chillies off the plants when they are ready – don’t pull them from the plant as often they will rip. The colour and flavour changes as the crop matures. Chillies store well in the fridge or a dry, dark cupboard.

Why are my birds eye chillies green?

The green bird’s eye chillies are yet to ripen, and the red ones signify ripeness, although you can eat them separately or mix the two together for colouring reasons.