Peppadew is a trademark name. The peppadew pepper is a recent introduction to the culinary word, discovered on an errant bush growing in a South African garden near the Eastern Cape. Since its début at the Fancy Food Show in 2002, its unique, delicious flavour, a mixture of peppery and sweet, has become a popular choice throughout the western world. Looking like a cross between a miniature red pepper and a cherry tomato, some people believe that the peppadew pepper is nothing special at all, and is only a normal miniature red pepper that has been processed using a special, secret recipe. However the peppadew company states that is new variety is a sweet piquanté pepper.

Although clearly controversial there is also a mystery that surrounds the peppadew plant due to the complete lack of availability of its plants or seeds on the open market. It turns out that the distribution of peppadew plant material is strictly controlled and the growers of the peppadew ‘fruit’ are made to sign a contract which, if they are found to be distributing seeds outside the company, could face prosecution from the licence holding company. So jealously controlled are the movements of this plant that the production fields are actually guarded! ..

This intense control and security over what is at best a naturally occurring hybrid has resulted in a ‘growing’ underground movement formed by a small group of incensed yet passionate gardeners. Believing that the entire peppadew operation is extremely ‘thug-like’ and that any naturally occurring hybrid should belong to the world, they will go to any lengths to secure, grow and distribute peppadew seeds around the globe. Should you manage to obtain seeds from the sweet piquanté pepper – legally of course - sow indoors around January for if you want them to establish quickly for outdoor planting or sow any time up to the end of March for greenhouse growing.

Sow your sweet piquanté pepper seeds - adequately spaced - into either plugs or a seed tray containing John Innes ‘seed’ compost. Top them off with another 1/2 inch of compost then gently water them in. It's important that the seeds remain moist until they germinate and as such will require adequate ventilation to prevent fungal rots. If ventilation is poor you may need to spray your newly germinating seedlings with a liquid fungicide once a week to protect them.

Once germinated – this will be normally between 7 and 24 days - pepper seedlings will require plenty of light, in fact for optimal growth they will need between 12 to 16 hours of light a day.

If the weather isn't yet suitable for planting outside then they will need to be placed onto a south-facing windowsill but remember to turn them daily to keep them from acquiring a permanent lean.

Once the seedlings have produced four leaves they will be ready to prick out into individual pots, but you need to be careful so as not to damage the fragile root system. The safest way is to gently hold onto one of the sturdier leaves while using either a pencil or slim dibber to lift the roots as intact and undisturbed as possible. When re-potting, use either a standard multi-purpose compost or John Innes ‘No.1’ or ‘No.2’ potting compost. Grow them on for another couple of weeks and they will be ready for either the greenhouse or for planting directly outside into open ground once the threat of frosts is over. Make sure you choose a location that is in full sunlight and - if you have it - mix in some mushroom compost or other organic compost to help keep the soil fertile and moist.

Of course remember that pepperdew peppers are a brand name for processed sweet piquanté pepper. Applications have been made by the Peppadew company to The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, otherwise known as the UPOV. With this in mind there can be no breeding of the pepperdew pepper without the express permission of the owners of these rights - AVI(South African Company).

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teri said...

I'm still not able to find the peppadew seeds. Dang!!!

Lauren said...

I'm shocked to read about the peppadew peppers seeds monopoly! Is it constitutional though or it doesn't matter? Eish, some people!!!


Elizabeth said...

We have lots of peppadew seeds!contact South Africa 021 856 2478 home phone.
Mail to

Lizette said...

Teri, if your still looking for peppadew seed, send your address to me 082 787 4920, and I will send you some.

Craig said...

Hi Elizabeth, i tried emailing you but i think tht email address isnt working. Please if you have any spare seeds or seed that you willing to part from, please, please can i have some. I have been searching day and night for peppadew seeds, to no avail. 0820967648

Linda B said...

Having just returned from a holiday in South Africa (had a wonderful time!) and having eaten Peppadews (yummy) I have been searchng for seeds - and now realise why I cannot find any in the UK. In the end I have today settled for some Corno Rosso Pepper seeds, which is hardly a compromise at all!!

Would welcome a seed or two!!

Ursula said...

What's the hype about peppadews? 40 years ago my mom gave me what she called a "nice decorative chilli" plant.I got sick of it because my hubby liked its bite but I didn't. Anyway I put it outside as it didn't thrive indoors. I have always had this plant in my garden and of course friends dried the fruit and planted them. Today, they are once more growing wild in my backyard.What's the big deal? Isn't that GOD'S way?

Anonymous said...

We are looking for Peppadew seeds. Does anyone know where we can find them.


Anonymous said...

It seem as if some people are looking for seeds and some do have seeds.

I think it will not be wise for people who do have seeds, to place their contact detail here.

Maybe it would be good if you are looking for seeds, to put an e-mail contact here. Who knows, maybe you will be contacted by someone.

Anonymous said...

I would be interested in obtaining some seeds - email me at

Anonymous said...

I would like to buy some peppadew pepper seeds you can e-mail me at
many thanks

Alan said...

This southern guy just had his first taste of peppadew last night. Fabulous taste, very unique! If anyone has a seed or two to share I would love to have them. Contact

Craig said...

I have plenty seeds and plants available. Anyone interested can send me an email to
Im looking to export these seeds, pepperdew chutneys and relishes to foreign markets. If anyone is interested in creating business, please let me know.


Anonymous said...

Take some New Mexico chilis, remove most but not all of the seed, cut to bite size, bring to a boil in 70% water 30% white vinagar and rmove from heat. They taste very similar to the Peppadew.

Anonymous said...

I have tasted and loved it!.. would love to know how i can get peppadew seeds..

Anonymous said...

Please can anyone help me I'm looking for sweet piquant pepper seeds - pepadew ,
Thank you

Sola Scriptura said...

I have 3 little peppadew trees which I grew from the seeds of peppadew fruit. I am picking the fruit at the moment and wondered if anyone would be interested in some seeds? Contact me at I live in South Africa

Cheeseman Fat said...

I am interested in growing some peppadew peppers this year, anyone have a few spare seeds? Thanks -

al521 said...

I would love some peppadew pepper seeds? Please email me at

Mike said...

I had about 6 plants a few years ago. I bought them from a nursery in Midrand. How can I get some more? Or even some seeds? Thanks, Mike Stroud

Catharina Rees said...

I get mine from Living Seeds which is an heirloom seed company in Gauteng. They also give tips on how to grow them and have a marvelous selection of seeds just go to Good luck

Pulseofgems said...

Hi everybody, I would like some peppadew seeds, please email at Live in Bulgaria, but our daughter can contact you. She lives in Jhb. Thank you

Jack Patino said...

I have seeds from peppadews that were in a brine solution, and I have seeds that were in the sweetened vinegar solution. Are these seeds viable at all, or are they done for? I am tempted to try anyway. Any feedback would be appreciated, no snarkiness, please :)