Chili Plant Turned Wonderberry Plant. Who Knew?

I’m a novice gardener. Luckily for me, almost everything I have planted in my container gardens has been growing like crazy. One thing that has stumped me is a chili plant someone gifted me. I haven’t been able to get that thing to grow a single chili pepper. I’ve repotted it, I’ve watered it, I’ve kept it outside, I’ve kept it inside, blah, blah, blah. I’ve been pinched off all of the flower buds hoping that maybe it will produce at least one damn chili. Nothing, till now. But it wasn’t what I was expecting.

When I was repotting my pea shoot tendrils, I noticed something shiny in the chili plant dirt. I picked it up and thought to myself, “Man, that looks just like a wonderberry,” and assumed that maybe it was a dried chili bud that never grew into a full one. But it was soft, so at first I thought to eat it. But then P’s voice and face appeared in my mind because he doesn’t like it when I eat random berries. We had a very long discussion about this when we took a walk through Randall’s Island and I was tasting berries to see if they were mulberries. Granted, I should have confirmed it first, but I was very happy to say that after eating them, I was right. Still, the disclaimer in this post is to not eat random berries. I will not be held responsible for anyone else’s allergies, rashes, deaths, etc. you might run into by eating random berries, just my own.

Anyway, back to that plant. So the chili plant this gave me in actuality is a wonderberry plant, or at least what I know what a wonderberry is suppose to be. Instead of eating the berry to see what it was, I crushed it between my fingers (also not smart when I think about it) and smelled it.

I’m actually really happy about this switch because wonderberries remind me of being back at my Granny and Mom’s house. However, I’m really bummed because I think that all those buds I have been pinching off weren’t flowers, but were berries. Sigh. Let’s see what happens if I just leave it alone.

Joyce Huang

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