Stumpy: A Habaneros Tale

If you’ve been following my site, or my Facebook, or my Twitter with any regularity then no doubt you’ll have heard the name Stumpy. Or then again, maybe not. Let me start again…

Stumpy is Chilli plant I bought about three years ago when I first started to get more interested in the chilli scene. I was told at the time what kind of plant it was. But, I forgot. I know it’s daft to think of plants having a personality, but I truly believe Stumpy is a bit special in that he does have some form of personality. It’s awkward and cheeky.


He earned the nickname Stumpy, because he is just that. A Stump. He didn’t produce any chillies in his first year. In fact, he didn’t grow that much at all. Grew some more leaves, but that was about it. But, that was OK. I just left him too it. I didn’t know anything about chilli plants then so thought it might be normal. I also didn’t know anything about over wintering then either so I just left him be over the winter.

Come 2015 when I first thought about growing chillies properly I got a Greenhouse and he was the first visitor in there… He’d already started to get bigger leaves. He’d more often than not drop them as you walked past him. You know, just in case you wanted a leaf.


But he didn’t like it…


I’m not sure why. Perhaps he’d been a house plant for too long at this point. It wasn’t a particularly warm day.

2015 passed and while he grew some more impressive leaves and through out a proper lot of flowers; they always amounted to nothing.


In fact, he’d continued to grow really big leaves and then drop those off as you walked past him. It was becoming his party trick. I don’t know if it was his way of giving me things instead of Chillies. I could almost hear him laughing.


I eventually decided that perhaps a change of soil might help. Perhaps he needed room to grow? After that, he did actually become more than a Stump, he began to shine. To come in to his own a little bit.

But still didn’t bless me with fruit.


Alas. Winter came and he was back to being a shadow of him former self. This time I knew all about over wintering…


And he was back to being a Stump once more. And, I was no closer to actually knowing what kind of plant he was.

This year though, he was back with a vengeance…

Stumpy 2016

And once again, flowers were rife…


And then, one magical day. This happened…


YES! After THREE years. Stumpy had given me a Chilli! Just a little one. But, it was there.

Soon after I had this…


It wasn’t much, but I gladly took it. I also finally had some clue as to what kind of plant Stumpy was. Best guess is a Habanero.


So. Stumpy had finally given me a chilli… It was only a small pod, but… Would it contain seed? Would Son of Stumpy be a possibility for next year?


No. It wouldn’t :'(

Not going to lie, I was disappointed.

The nights grew cold, time to start thinking about overwintering Stumpy again, I sneaked him in the house in the dead of night and left him somewhere inconspicuous…

Stumpy back in the house

I was getting ready to cut him back and was just randomly pulling off some random leaves when…

Stumpys Second Chilli

He’d had another go! This one being slightly bigger than the last! The pod was beginning to ripen off, it wouldn’t be long before I found it if this one was going to bear seed.

A few more days later, and this…Stumpys Second Chilli

I was SO excited to see it, sure I’ve seen chillies before. Obviously. This one was special though. This one could indeed bear the seed I need to carry on Stumpys legacy.

Stumpys Second Chilli

Except. It didn’t. Nope, the awkward little thing didn’t seem it necessary to put seeds in his second pod either. I don’t know why I’d thought any different.

Chilli Plant before over wintering

So I decided if he wasn’t going to give me anything to work with.

Chilli Plant Ready For Over Winter

He’d just have to come through winter, again.

I don’t know if he’ll survive for a forth year, but I hope he does. I’d miss this plant more than anything if it didn’t make it.

The only plant that ever made me laugh.

C’Mon Stumpy, one more year. For me.

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6 thoughts on “Stumpy: A Habaneros Tale

    1. Paul Speight Post author

      I do hope you’re right Mark – Hopefully next year it’ll be the first to flourish and give me an abundance of fruit, and seed!

      Have you had plants that act like this as well?

  1. Pandora

    Big cheer for Stumpy! Fingers crossed for his 4th year and to seeds this time. May he continue to put smiles on our faces through tales from his daddy!!

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