Third potting on of a Rocoto
Rocky, the tallest of my Rocotos, has been potted on again. This is his third repotting. His first was done in mid-December, when he was two inches tall. He was transplanted into 50 mm pots. A couple of weeks later, when he was three inches tall, he was potted on for the second time. He has now reached 4 inches tall, so has been potted into a 130 mm (one litre) pot. I followed the principles of my same size as pot rule to determine the correct time for potting on this Rocoto Chilli plant.
Rocco, another Rocoto, will also be potted on shortly. He is about three inches.The rest still have a while to go, but I can see these Rocotos being potted on in the next couple of weeks.
I have been impressed with how quickly my Rocotos have grown. They were planted in late November 2021. In addition to the ones mentioned above, all are at least two inches tall. When comparing them with other Chillies that were started at the same time or even earlier, they definitely stand out. They seem healthier and more robust than most of my other plants. This however is apparently not that uncommon. Rocotos are known to be cold weather resistant plants. They are also said to be exceptionally resistant to, resistant to diseases, infections, and pests. These are tough Chilli plants that can take a punch. There is no doubt about that!
With the biggest of my Rocotos already this big, it has got me thinking what will happen down the line. Come May, when I start hardening off, these plants will be far bigger. I don’t envisage these Rocotto Chilli plants being potted on again before then. However, once they are hardened off, I will have to decide on the size of the containers I will pot them on into. Once I have done the final potting on, I will place the Rocotos outside for the rest of the season.
Deciding on pot size
Far bigger pots
In a previous post, I mentioned that because these Rocotos are a special project, I would consider planting them in bigger pots. Up to now, the biggest pot I have planted any Chilli in is about twenty-five-litres. I have done this to restrict the size they grow to. When you grow over fifty plants every year, you don’t want your plants taking over your whole yard. If I put all my plants into bigger pots, they certainly would
However, as mentioned, these Rocotos are a special project. They are part of a series I am writing on Rocotos. I have recorded everything that has happened since they were planted, and will continue until they are harvested. After that, I will write how I will use them in cooking. It is the journey of a single Chilli variety, from seed to hot sauce and more
Now, for me to say I will, placing these Chillies in big pots is quite brave. After all, I have six of them. They are known to grow to five feet tall (1.5 m) and 6 feet wide (2m) wide. Out in the wild, they are known to grow into a vine 13 feet wide ( 4 meters) . If the Rocotos are going to have such a spread, they probably will need some form of support. This means a trellis or something similar will be needed. I will probably also use canes to hold up the branches of the plant, particularly if they get heavily laden with fruits. I will also have to consider planting them in heavy pots, so they don’t fall over when the wind blows
I am not expected these plants to grow as big as Nigel, the giant Dorset Naga grown by Joy and Michael Michaud of Seaspring seeds. Nigel grew to well over eight food tall (2.5 m) and had a massive spread. They harvested over two thousand four hundred pods from him in his final harvest. That is one massive number of Chillies for a single plant. I don’t expect my Rocotos to grow to that size or produce that amount of Chillies by any sense of the imagination, but never the less, they will grow quite big all the same
So just how many Chillies can I expect from a single plant? This varies, but according to growers who have grown Rocotos before, these plants fruit well. You can expect over forty to fifty pods per plant. The pods are the size of small apples. With Chillies that size, I could be in for a whole lot of cooking with these Chillies