Growing Chilli Plants Easily

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Sowing Seeds

In the UK, chilli seeds will need to be sown early in the year and grown on in a greenhouse or poly-tunnel, even though they may be grown out in a sunny spot during the peak of summer. Germination can be quite variable between types and may take up to five weeks, though the forms we promote on our seed page should all germinate within 10-14 days, some sooner. To assist you begin, we’ve recorded a number of the tips and guidelines that we use to present our chillies the best start possible and also for growing-on in pots.

Soil-based Composts

We advise that you use soil-based seed and potting-on composts – chillies really appreciate great drainage.

Warmth and Surface Watering

Warmth and Surface Watering
Growing Chilli Plants

Germination speed and percentage is greatly improved by applying heat to the seed compost. We utilize thermostatically-controlled heated propagators, but placing the seed pots/trays in a warm environment or onto a straightforward heated tray will also work well. With the seed compost at 27-32°C (80-90°F), you need to see excellent results. Seeds will still germinate down to 21°C (70°F) but germination will probably be slower and more erratic. In the event the temperature drifts towards 38°C (100°F) germination is going to probably be quick but there’ll be a lower success rate.

Try to use surface watering with a spray bottle instead of watering from the base, surface watering has less effect on the temperature of the compost. Don’t over water, and surely do not make them float. Watering with a sprayer causes less impact.

When to Sow

We mainly sow seeds during February and March, but you can leave it afterwards. There’s a good variance in the amount of days taken for a specific variety to reach maturity. Some can produce ripe fruit in 60 days from sowing and others take as long as 120 days.

Bear in mind that types such as Habaneros take 100 or more days (3 1/2 months) from potting on to reach maturity. So these must be launched in good time or the fruit won’t ever ripen.

Germination and pricking-out

Germination and pricking-out
Germination and pricking-out

We are apt to sow seeds around 5mm deep and in tiny pots, using a number of seeds of the identical variety in every pot. Maintaining each variety in its pot is a good idea because germination time varies considerably. The moment the majority of the seeds in a pot have surfaced and are revealing two well shaped leaves, and certainly before they become leggy, they need to be transferred into 3 inch strands. Hold the seedlings from the leaves, rather than the stalks. Be aware that a few seedlings may need a bit gentle help becoming with the seed pod. In case you’ve got the propagator space it’s possible to float into 3 inch strands.

Later Germination

At this point they should be moved to a website where they will get plenty of sunlight; ideally to a heated saltwater or warm conservatory. Continue to keep them warm, moist and well ventilated. They can remain in a 3 inch pot until they are 3 to 6 inches .

Potting On

Potting on chille

When the crops have about 5 pairs of leaves they should be potted-on into larger pots. We develop most of our plants at the ground and this is a possibility if you have a polytunnel or open soil on your greenhouse. Otherwise pot-on to 9 to 12 inch pots based on the variety. You can use smaller pots for compact decorative varieties. As the summer sun intensifies, you may need to provide some colour, as an instance, lining your greenhouse or painting using greenhouse paint.

Fruit Setting

Attempt to keep the plants under 36°C, take care to not feed them a lot of nitrogen (they will grow big, but might neglect to set fruit) and do not let them dry out; that should help prevent blossom-drop and pod-drop. Larger varieties may require support with a cane. Ornamental varieties may be moved to a glowing status in the house or to a terrace as soon as they are well established. If your flowers are falling off there could be numerous causes. If they are outside it’s most likely cold windy weather. Lack of feed can also reduce flower production.


Different varieties are chosen at different phases of their evolution. Vegetables which start green or yellowish usually ripen to red, though green chillies will occasionally ripen to yellow or orange, it is dependent on the variety. Usually, and whatever the color, once they have filled out and become company crisp and glossy they may be chosen. Experiment by picking one to see if it has all it is heat and flavour. The more quickly you decide on the more the plant will create so even if you don’t want them in the time you need to select them and keep them in the freezer till you do.


Most chilli plants could be treated as perennial home plants, but will need some pruning in the winter. Some varieties are better suited than others, smaller popular varieties such as Serrano and Twilight, and Prairie Fire do better than the larger plants like Poblano and Anaheim.

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