Siling labuyo is a chili pepper variety native to the Philippines. Siling labuyo has the scientific name Capsicum frutescens. Siling labuyo translates to English as wild chili. The Filipino cuisine makes use of siling labuyo as a spice. The fruits are mainly marketed for its flavor and spice. The leaves is also sold as bundled leaf shots. Due to many use of the plant, siling labuyo farming can be grown anywhere in the Philippines for high value cropping.
Siling labuyo plant grows between 0.3 to 1.2 meters high and consists of smooth ovate and flat leaves that are 6.5 cm in length from end to end with pointed tips. The fruits are small with less than an inch long. The young fruits are green in color. They develop from whitish green flowers that are self-pollinating. Siling labuyo fruits are small but stands out in terms of hotness as a spice. Fruits are used in many Filipino cooking recipes and also used as condiments together with calamansi and soy sauce as a favorite sauce as well.
Uses and Nutritional Value
Hot pepper is used generally as cooked dish spice or raw as condiment. Its extracts are also used to control borers and other larval insects. Young leaves are rich in fiber, Vitamin A and iron.
The 100 grams edible portion of fruit contains the following nutritional value:
Water 86.0 g
Protein 1.9 g
Fat 1.9 g
Carbohydrates 9.2 g
Iron 1.2 mg
Calcium 14.4 mg
Vitamin A 700-21600 IU
Vitamin C 242.0 mg
Energy value 257.0 kJ
Siling Labuyo Farming
Siling labuyo presents good opportunity to Filipino farmers. It is considered as a high value crop.
Matikas – tapering, long, smooth, dark green fruits, With mild pungency; cooking type
C-1550 – light, smooth, green fruits, with mild pungency; Cooking type
Inokra – tapering, long, slightly wrinkled, light green Fruits, not pungent; cooking type
Pasas – 2-3 cm long, dark green to deep red, shiny fruits, Extremely pungent
Climatic and Soil Requirements
Hot pepper can be grown from low to mid elevation throughout the year. Production is best, however, during the cool, dry months of October to March in sandy loam soil.
It is said that Pinatubo variety produces many fruits per chili plant. Seeds can be bought from trusted seed supplier or can be taken from mature and red chili fruit. To save seeds, planting the seeds can be 1 seed per hole in the seedling tray. Seedling trays are ideal for growing siling labuyo since the plant has small roots and can be grown in smaller and compact beds. The soil that can be placed in the seed tray are loamy soil with organic matter. For seed beds, line sow 200-250 g of seeds, with the soil prepared from a mixture of equal parts of animal manure, rice hull charcoal and loam soil. Make shallow lines spaced 10-15 cm apart. Water before and after sowing. Mulch with rice hull and straw. Provide partial shade. Water regularly. Harden the seedling one week before transplanting.
Prepare the area by cultivating the soil by plow or tractor if a commercial farm. For small areas, make plots 0.75-1 m wide for two- row/plot planting. In bigger areas, make furrows 0.5.-0.75 m apart for single-row planting. Remove weeds and clear the area. Apply basal fertilizer at 5-7 bags/ha 14-14-14 and 5-10 t/ha manure. Transplant at a spacing of 0.3-0.5 m between hills.
Hot pepper grows best under full sunlight although it can also tolerate partial shade. After18 days to 21 days, the seedlings can be transplanted to the field. Prepare raised beds 1 m wide and about 20-30 cm high. The spacing between hills and rows is 30-50 cm with two rows in each bed. Make holes in the beds and place a handful of compost or animal manure. Place 1-2 seedlings in the hole and cover with soil, pressing lightly near the stem for maximum contact between roots and soil. Water immediately after transplanting.
After 20 days from transplanting, put urea or complete fertilizer for making the siling labuyo healthy and fruitful. Hot pepper responds well to inorganic fertilizer. At 45 days from planting, place complete fertilizer and mix with potassium. Potash is required by chili to maintain flowers, and to have numerous heavy fruits,
Apply water once a week or as needed. Watering is needed in container-grown plants. Mulching in both plots and containers can cut watering by at least 50%. Grasses, paper, sawdust, manure and plastic sheets can be used for mulching.
Pest and Disease Management
The main diseases of hot pepper are bacterial wilt and viruses. Bacterial wilt is soil-borne and difficult to control. Wilting in fully-grown plants is usually due to bacterial wilt. Grow in containers with sterilized soil instead. Viruses are systematic, so pull out and bury infected plants (mosaic, leaf curling, fern-like leaves) to prevent spread of diseases through insect vectors.
The major insect pests of pepper are thrips, mites, army worm, fruit fly and shoot borers. Thrips is a problem during the dry season and can be managed by overhead irrigation. Shoot and fruit borer can be managed by removing damaged fruits and shoots.
Harvest mature green or fully ripened red fruits. Pack in plastic crates, cartons, or bamboo crates lined with banana leaves.
Seeds can also be extracted from the ripe fruits. Only after 75 days from transplantation that the fruits will turn red. The more heat coming from the sun, the quicker the fruits turn red. If the market price is cheap, the ripe fruits can be dried under the sun and pulverized. Air-dry and sun-dry seeds for 3-5 days.
Handling the fruits before selling includes placing fruits in plastic bags or clear bottles, seal and store in a cool, dry place or inside the refrigerator.
Cost and Return Analysis Per Hectare
Items Amount (P)
I. VARIABLE COSTS 72,375
A. Labor (P150/MD)
Manure application 2,000
Seedling production (15 MD) 2,250
Mulching with rice straw (15 MD) 2,250
Transplanting (10 MD) 1,500
Fertilization; basal (2 MD) and
Side-dress (6 MD) 1,200
Irrigation (64 MD) 9,600
Spraying (32 MD) 4,800
Weeding (30 MD) 4,500
Harvesting (20 MD) 3,000
Miscellaneous (20 MD) 3,000
Seeds (200 g/ha) 2,000
Animal manure (10 t) 10,000
14-14-14 (5 bags) 1,750
46-0-0 (5 bags) 2,325
0-0-60 (2 bags) 1,200
Chemical spray 7,000
Fuel and oil 5,000
II. FIXED COSTS 23,463
Land Rental 10,000
5 pcs. scythe (2 yrs) 63
5 pcs. hoe (2 yrs) 125
3 pcs. shovel (3 yrs) 75
2 knapsack sprayers (5 yrs) 800
Interest on loans at 24% int. p.a. 12,400
TOTAL COSTS 95,838
GOSS INCOME* 200,000-250,000
NET INCOME 104,162-154,162
*with marketable yield of 8-10 t/ha at P25/kg