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Pepper, Hot, Lemon

Short Description

HEIRLOOM. From Ecuador, as hot as any Cayenne, but with a truly unique flavor.

Full Description

This pepper from the markets of Ecuador ripens to a pure lemon yellow in about 80 days, but it is delightfully flavorful when green. The skin is tender and the aroma is spicy, with a hint of pine woods. As hot as any cayenne but with a truly unique flavor. Best used fresh, but it's sensational in sauces too. The fruits are narrow, 3-4" long and distinctively wrinkled.
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Item#: 54320A
Order: 1 Pkt. (90 seeds)
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Item#: 20249
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Pepper, Hot, Lemon
Pepper, Hot, Lemon, , large
Item #: 20249
3 Plants
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Product properties

Type Some flowers and vegetables fall into subcategories that may define how they grow (such as pole or bush), what they are used for (such as slicing tomatoes or shelling peas), flower type, or other designations that will help you select the type of a class of plant that you are looking for.


Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

70-80 days

Fruit Size The average size of the fruit produced by this product.

3-4 inches

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

16 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

18-24 inches


Item 20249 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GA, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
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Container Vegetables - Tomato, Pepper & Eggplant
Growing tomatoes, peppers and even eggplants in containers on your deck, porch or patio!
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  • Peppers

    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    First Date: Feb-22 - Last Date: Mar-07
    First Date: May-02 - Last Date: May-30

How to Sow and Plant

  • Only home gardeners who enjoy long growing seasons in the Deep South should attempt to sow pepper seeds directly in the vegetable garden. Most of us must start our own pepper plants indoors about 8-10 weeks before transplanting, which should be done 2-3 weeks after the expected last frost.
  • Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed-starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 75 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Planting in the Garden:

  • To get an early start with your pepper plants, particularly in the North, cover the prepared bed with a dark colored polyethylene mulch at least a week before transplanting. This will heat the soil beneath and provide a better growing condition for young pepper plants. The mulch will also help the soil retain moisture throughout the season as the pepper plants grow.
  • Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Make sure you did not grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes in the bed the previous year to avoid disease problems.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Peppers should be set 18 inches apart in a row with the rows spaced 2-3 feet apart.
  • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball. 
  • Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development. 
  • Fill the planting hole with soil to the top and press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water. 
  • Use a plant tag as a location marker. This is particularly important if you are trying different varieties. It is very difficult to tell which variety is which from the foliage.  
  • Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
  • Peppers may also be planted in containers. Use a container at least 18-24 inches wide and deep and use a commercial potting mix rather than garden soil.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. 
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. This is especially important for peppers as their roots may be easily damaged when weeding, and this can lead to blossom end rot.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2" of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Note that hot peppers tend to be hotter when they have less water and fertilizer. If they receive plenty of water and fertilizer they may be more mild than expected.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • Try planting pepper plants near tomatoes, parsley, basil, and carrots in your home vegetable garden. Don't plant them near fennel or kohlrabi. Peppers are very colorful when in full fruit and combine well with green herbs, okra, beans and cucumber fences in the garden bed.

Harvesting and Preserving Tips

  • Like cucumbers and summer squash, peppers are usually harvested at an immature stage. The traditional bell pepper, for example, is harvested green, even though most varieties will mature red, orange, or yellow. Peppers may be harvested at any stage, but their flavor doesn’t fully develop until maturity. Fully ripe peppers in multi-colors are delightful in the garden as well as in salads.
  • Cut the fruit from the plant with a sharp knife or pruners leaving a small part of the stem attached.
  • Sweet bell, pimento and cherry peppers are delicious eaten green but are sweeter and higher in vitamins if allowed to turn bright red before harvest. Some varieties are yellow at maturity or may mature from green through yellow and red.
  • Hot peppers may be harvested at any stage. Anaheim is usually picked green and cayenne types red.
  • Bell peppers may be chopped and quick frozen for use in many recipes; sweet cherry and banana peppers and hot cherry peppers are perfect for pickling.
  • A popular and trouble-free way to store hot peppers is to dry them. String mature red peppers by piercing the stem with a needle and heavy thread. Hang the string in a warm, dry, airy place (not in the sun!) to dry. They can make a colorful kitchen accent. Pull a pepper from the string when you need one. Hot peppers remain hot even after they are dried. Remember that in recipes a little hot pepper can go a long way.
  • Please note that hot peppers can burn sensitive skin on contact and fumes from grinding or cooking them can irritate the lungs and eyes. When working with hot peppers use rubber gloves and wash your hands before touching your face or eyes.
Days To Maturity
70-80 days
Fruit Size
3-4 inches
Full Sun
16 inches
18-24 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Sow Time
8-12 weeks BLF
24 inches
Pepper, Hot, Lemon is rated 4.1 out of 5 by 39.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful in a large container I planted 3 young plants into a whiskey barrel planter. The plants are very attractive, fairly compact and rounded, and the peppers are so attractive they are almost ornamental. We've been eating them green, and they have a really interesting, flavor, hot without being overwhelming. Good on pizza, in eggs, sandwiches, anywhere you want a little kick. they are thin walled so will not stand up to much frying. I will probably grow them again next year, that's how much I enjoyed them - and I NEVER repeat plants.
Date published: 2015-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hot and tasty! These peppers get crazy hot if you like that. Makes very spicy salsa. Huge producer, I had to freeze/can massive amounts of them.
Date published: 2015-08-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bad Germination and Slow Growers I've tried starting this 3 separate times since February and it's now almost May and the ones that have come up still don't have true leaves yet and the seedlings are dwarfish. I probably have planted 30 of these seeds, 24 recently after the first six didn't do anything and have three alive, two have recently randomly died. I have purchased many seeds from Burpee and all have amazing germination, but these. I will finish this packet and maybe get another one next year hoping my troubles were just a bad batch.
Date published: 2015-04-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Lousy Pepper This is more like a decorative pepper. It takes forever to turn yellow and they are so small it takes a lot to use in anything. It also took forever to grow and never really matured. I would not buy this pepper again.
Date published: 2014-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great tasting pepper these are great tasting peppers and so are the rest of the Aji pepper my two favs are the Aji amarillo and the Aji brazilian starfish :D if you liked this one id say you should give one of the other Aji peppers a try :D
Date published: 2014-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE this pepper! Great flavor Disease and frost resistant
Date published: 2013-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hot Lemon! This is one very hot pepper. Great lemon taste.
Date published: 2013-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ornamental and hot Grew these last year from a greenhouse plant and they did very well in a hanging basket. Grew a couple of these plants from seed this year and the peppers have recently reached their ripe yellow color. Great pepper for container gardening.
Date published: 2013-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hot and delicious We planted our peppers back in March indoors and after a month transferred them to 7 gallon pots on a sunny balcony. Although we have had to deal with Aphids, we have hundreds of delicious yellow peppers coming in and let me tell you we did Ghosts, Scorpions and Habs last year and these are hot like the Habaneros. I like the flavor better and we are doing these again next year.
Date published: 2013-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great producer with unique flavor I am currently in my fifth year with the SAME plant. Very productive, bushy plant. I grow mine in a large container and it has a tendency to droop over the edge and below the soil level. I prune it back during the winter and as of April, this plant is 30" tall and covered in blossoms. This pepper is unique in flavor and the heat is good.
Date published: 2013-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly Unique, Wonderful producer I grew these from plants in 2012 - during the severe drought. They were tiny and seemingly pitiful at first, but grew to about 24" high with tons of flower buds. I watered them through the heat and drought, and while fruit production seemed to be delayed, I finally started getting actual ripe yellow peppers in mid/late August - they're still producing as of late Oct (no frost yet). From my 3 plants, I've probably gotten over 100 of these little peppers. I've used some fresh, some in salsa, and am currently fermenting some to make a tabasco style hot sauce. The flavor is so unique - very citrusy/piney as the description says - and definitely packs some punch. They aren't as versatile as other hot peppers would be for pure hot flavor, but as my first time growing hot peppers, I am definitely pleased!
Date published: 2012-10-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Pepper ! ! I bought these as starter plants from Burpee about 5+ years ago and just now doing a review. The fact that these pepper stick out in my mind should tell you something :) These plants where a very heavy producer for me, I couldn't get rid of them fast enough! I At the end of the season I had so many I had to dried batches and batches of them. I think I had about three 1-qt. zip-top bag packed full of them. Fruit: The peppers are a great color and have a nice aroma. They had a great flavor raw, cooked and dried. A nice addition to any Mexican, Indian and Asian dish and fresh salads. Plant: I didn't have any disease issues, no real pest problem, not sure on drought resistance I didn't let it get that far. An all around its a great addition to your garden.
Date published: 2012-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Pleasant Surprise Late last Spring, I was laughing at them - they were pitiful ! For upwards of three months they grew no more than 1-1/2 inches tall, the absolute runts of the litter. Every other plant soared above these weaklings. More than once I was ready to toss them away. As it turned out, I'm glad I stayed my hand. For as August approached something happened - these tiny sprouts began to thrive, and when they reached three feet tall small peppers appeared everywhere. By Halloween I had harvested dozens of delicious yellow peppers, and as I had grown fond of these little miracles I brought them in for the season. I placed them in a window in a warehouse, cold, though not freezing, where they strained to capture as much sun as a New England Winter can provide. It is now mid-February, and they are looking quite well. They were never bare of leaves, and even in early January new growth had appeared. The fresh leaves are now prospering, and I'm betting that when I place them back in my garden they'll be fresh peppers before July 4th !
Date published: 2012-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great pepper I grew this pepper in South Dakota in 2011. Started from seed and it turned out to be one of the best peppers that I grew this year. Unfortunately only a few turned yellow, but the green ones were great. The plants are robust with lots of fruits that are very good in salsa. I will grow these again next year, God willing.
Date published: 2011-09-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice hot pepper First time growing these and I am relatively impressed. Aside from the negative comments, I had great germination success and vigorous growth indoors under flourescents prior to planting outside in the garden bed. Then vigourous growth and prolific fruiting once outside. Perhaps those few got a bad pod. The plants are somewhat flimsy and the branches tend to droup towards the ground and grow horizontally. Also about 90% of my and my fathers pods have vertical 1-2 brow stripes/spots ranging from 1/8" to 1". Its not rot, just a wierd discoloration. Maybe due to sun damage, insects, ph or mineral deficancy. Not really sure, but taste, yield, size, heat are not affected. The dried peppers turn translucent pale yellow, kinda unattractive. I would grow this again, 4 out of 5 stars due to flimsy branches and odd brown spots.
Date published: 2011-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Decent germination As the title states i got pretty good germination out of mine. Out of 20 planted 16 have germinated and are currently beginning their 2nd set of true leaves. The seeds looked a little extra dry and shriveled up compared to what i'm used to, and i did not expect that many to germinate. Germination tip for this pepper: Keep seeds moist and at a steady 80-85f degrees. 70-75f may not be good enough to get a good germination rate out of this variety. Find a warm place in your home, perhaps above a furnace/water boiler, or near the ceiling in the hottest room of the house. Use a thermometer to verify, don't assume it'll be "warm enough" because you may end up with a bunch of moldy un-germinated seeds.
Date published: 2011-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Personal favorite! My husband is a hot pepper enthusiast and I am an avid gardener. Bottom line, we've experimented with a lot of peppers! Last year (2010) we ordered several Hot Lemon Pepper plants from Burpee and gave them a try. End result: This is easily my new favorite pepper. We had them in 18-24" containers, which they seemed to love. Every plant was extremely prolific. At their peak production, I was picking several peppers every day. Despite using these all the time in curries and stir-frys, we finished the summer with a few hundred leftovers. But that was fine, because they dry well! And the flavor -- well, the name says it all. If you like heat and you like a little citrus taste, you'll love these. I didn't find either the heat or the flavor to be overwhelming; they complimented each other really nicely. Very versatile. I'll grow these again and again.
Date published: 2011-02-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I don't care for the taste. Grew well from seed, but I don't like the taste very much.
Date published: 2011-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great pepper First time grower, grew from seed. Grew in two locations: partial shade, full sun. Full sun definitely better yield. Great taste with a lot of heat. Will grow again. Attractive compact plant.
Date published: 2010-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Hot Lemon Taste Great taste and prolific producer. Used one plant in garden in 2009 and was pleasantly surprised with the number of peppers -- supplied the whole neighborhood. Used raw and in homemade tomato soup. Froze the soup but wasnt smart enough to freeze the pepper from the garden nor preserve the plant in the house for the winter. Couldnt find either plant or seed in VA so far this year so ordered direct ship from Burpee -- hasnt arrived yet. This year, we will try freezing the peppers and at the end of the season, will try to bring the plants into the house (maybe only one due to size) and see if I can save it like my hybiscus plants. If you like gardening and hot peppers, this is the item to use.
Date published: 2010-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Pepper Ever I've grown them for 3 or 4 years now. My all time fav pepper. Great in omelets, chopped liver, on fish. Every pepper has the exact same level of heat. I bring the potted plants inside and prune the back - just over 50% survive the winter in a state of semi-dormancy. Gives a great head start the next season.
Date published: 2010-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great producer I grew this one last year in a 3 gallon pot, It grew tons and tons of peppers. At the end of the season I brought the planter inside and placed it in front of the sliding doors ( it still had fruit on it) I kept up my regular nutrient schedual and it flowered and produced all winter. I just recently brought it back outside and I can't give them away fast enough, I still have a freezer bag full from the winter harvest.
Date published: 2009-05-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from There are better choices I purchased these 2 years ago, and still have not gotten seeds to grow to full fruit. Poor germination rate, and those that do are slow to grow or damp off. I only have 1 out of 10 left this year. Haven't harvested any in AZ yet. I don't have this problem with any other veggie in my garden. There are many better choices from Burpee.
Date published: 2009-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hot Lemom Pepper I grew mine from seed. Germination was slow. Did not produce real well here in the hot Texas sun. Now that the sun is not so intense my plants are loaded. They are a good tasting hot pepper. I will continue to grow these.
Date published: 2008-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from prolific and vigorous plant My husband loves hot peppers and so I'm always looking for new varieties to try. This season I found this plant and ordered three plants (NOT seeds). I am very very impressed with this plant, have recommended it to friends, and will be ordering it again next year. All three plants grew prolifically and are covered with LOTS of peppers which turn a beautiful yellow upon maturing. I am a wimp when it comes to hot peppers, so they are a bit too hot for me, but my husband and son think they're great. I've begun stringing the excess peppers for drying, but it's too early to tell if they will dry as nicely as habanero and some other peppers.
Date published: 2008-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tons of peppers, tons of heat!! Germination rate was @60% and plants were slow to mature. Once they began to fruit, the peppers came in droves. The peppers are a bit hotter than 2 flames, I would go 2.5 or 3!!
Date published: 2008-08-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from terrible germination! The germination rate on these peppers was truly awful. 6 types of peppers were all started the same day in grow kits. 5 varieties germinated well and continue to grow well. The hot lemon heirloom had a 2% germination with all the other varieties at approx 85%. I only had 6 plants to sell. Very dissappointing! I haven't transplanted the the peppers so my review may change later this summer.
Date published: 2008-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great pepper Great and easy pepper to grow and very productive. I'm a beginner, so this guy was on it's own. I will say the heat index should be in the "oh my, I shouldn't have put that in my mouth" category. I used several of these peppers with several yellow sweet peppers and made the best yellow hot sauce. They are also great for canning and didn't lose color.
Date published: 2008-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Our favorite--prolific and great flavor Three plants have produced enough peppers for an entire year (and we cook a lot of spicy food). They seem to do well in the mid-Atlantic states. As has been pointed out, you can chose the heat level by watching the color. The flavor does have a mild citrus element to it. We freeze them in freezer bags (whole straight from the garden). We also freeze small containers with peppers chopped in the food processor (look out for the fumes!!). You can make a nice hoagie spread by chopping them and putting them into boiling vinegar. Our chile-loving friends line up for their share, too. These are not just hot--they have flavor. We bought these as plants from Burpee.
Date published: 2007-10-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Too hot for me and my friends! I took a bite out of one of these babies right in the garden. Though was a little hot, I ate the other half right away. Big mistake! I could feel the burn all the way to my stomach! After reading the catalog description again, I tried one that was still green. Hardly any spice at all. Let the yellow color be your warning!!
Date published: 2007-08-17
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