Fresno peppers

Asked August 26, 2019, 11:59 AM EDT

Why are peppers on some of my plants growing upwards, when the rest of them have downward growing fruits? I started these with seeds from a single pepper fruit. Two plants out of ten that I grow have these upward growing fruits. They are either all up or all down.

Clackamas County Oregon

5 Responses

The Fresno Chili pepper is a medium-sized cultivar of Capsicum annuum. It is often confused with the jalapeño pepper but has thinner walls, often has milder heat, and takes less time to mature. It is however a New Mexico chile, which is genetically distinct from the jalapeño and it grows point up, rather than point down as with the jalapeño. The fruit starts out bright green changing to orange and red as fully matured. A mature Fresno pepper will be conical in shape, 2 inches long, and about 1 inch in diameter at the stem. The plants do well in warm to hot temperatures and dry climates with long sunny summer days and cool nights. They are very cold-sensitive and disease resistant, reaching a height of 24 to 30 inches.

Good luck and happy gardening.

Maybe I was not clear with my question but the plants that I grow were started from seed of a single pod. I was wondering why some plants have fruits growing upwards, while others have fruits downwards. Since you mentioned Fresno has upward growing fruits, then what happened to the other ones? Some genetic mutation?

I apologize for having misconstrued your primary question. I hope that I now will be able to correctly answer your question.

What is causing some of your peppers to point down is not a mutation, but rather a recessive trait. A genetic mutation occurs when a DNA gene is damaged or changed in such a way as to alter the genetic message carried by that gene can more or less become permanent.

Each organism contains two copies of each gene within its genome. This means that each organism’s cells contain half the genetic information from each parent. A dominant allele becomes a trait even if just one copy of it is present. Whereas, a recessive allele does not become a trait unless both copies of the gene, one from each parent are present.

So in other words, your peppers are completely normal. If you prefer to have all of your peppers to grow as intended, I recommend purchasing new seeds from a reputable seed company. I hoped this helped answer your question.

Good luck and happy gardening.

P.S. I ran this by a family member who's in the vegetable seed industry, and he said the up/down variation is a known trait for this cultivar and nothing to be concerned about. To his knowledge, seed growers don't consider it a problem so packeted seeds you can buy might produce the same results. Thanks, Seamus, for your insightful explanation of why this happens!

Thank you, Seamus and Elizabeth for you explanations. You both are very helpful.