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How about 45 to 49 degree Celsius? In the morning, usually the temperature is quite high, and sometimes it goes up to 40+. I help to lower the temperature in the morning just once before I go to work.

Other plants like holy basil, patchouli, lemon verbena, French lavender are all alive in such condition. All of them are in earthen pots, which helps to reduce the core temperature of the soil because it releases heat from the soil faster. I gave the lavenders some water in their pottery tray and they are fine.

What I wonder is how well can the chili pepper do.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

It sounds like this is Cherry Bomb or if not, then a similar cultivar of C.Annuum with a rounded cherry/tomato shaped fruit (about an inch in size) and a fair heat - roughly comparable to a jalapeno? (hotter than an anaheim but sweeter than a serrano or habanero). 'Sweet' cherry peppers are also available without any of the heat.

As such I think it will survive the heat as well as any other C.Annuum (ie. most pepper cultivars - bell peppers, jalapenos, etc).

This summer we've had sustained highs in the 40-45 range for a few months, and my peppers have survived fine. I water them every other evening. Most of them are in beds, but a few (pepperocinis and ornamentals) are in pots. Give them a lot of water. For your higher temperatures, I would probably water them every evening. A mulch to keep the water in is probably worth investigating.

The leaves will go limp due to drought stress - this is a natural response. Limp like polythene, but should perk up with good watering. In more extreme cases, when they perk up they'll have some dead curling of the leaf edges (I've noticed this on a couple of mine but they are at the edge of a raised bed - so it probably drains/dries more quickly).

Note for your pottery pot: It might cool quicker, but if it is in the sun, it will still heat up quickly - you may need some shade.

If direct sun is a problem, you may also need to shade any fruit - especially if the plants have only moderate foliage. Pepper fruit will scorch in strong direct sunlight.

They say heat is required for decent 'hot' peppers. I've managed to make some good chilli powder from Cherry Bomb (just be careful to wear gloves when cutting them - the capsaicin managed to heat-sensitise my hands for a few days afterwards!)

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The difference of a pottery pot to a plastic pot, is that plastic pot will trap heat, and pottery pot don't. It doesn't matter with heat transmission. However, it does release heat faster due to tiny cracks within them. –  lamwaiman1988 Aug 30 '11 at 1:46
    
A pottery pot in the sun will still heat up, even if the soil inside does not heat up as quickly. Also, if the pottery pot stays cooler longer due to pores, then this must be due to evaporative cooling (it cannot be air because the effect would then be more like wool!). Evaporative cooling will use up water - you will need to apply more water to compensate (a fair trade if it cools the plants enough that they survive/grow better) –  winwaed Aug 30 '11 at 2:21
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Place a pottery pot in a large shallow tray of water. Fill the bottom layer of the pot with expanded clay, sand, or stones high enough your soil wont rot. The pottery will soak up water and evaporate it all day, thus adding some cooling. Fruits still may need shading for protection.

Some chilis need to adapt to direct sunlight when placed outdoors for the first time. Keep them shaded for a week or take them indoors after an hour. Don't be alarmed if they shed leaves grown indoors with scorch marks. Usually they will regrow another set of much hardier leaves soon.

The pot(s) and plant(s) will use up a lot of water. My trays stay filled per a valve connected to a medium sized rain water supply, and it is less hot here.

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