Expert Guide to Growing Chillies

Growing Chillies

Growing chillies is a very rewarding process, but often it’s the simplest things that get in the way of a great chili harvest, follow the advice below, andGrowing Chillies with a little care and attention you could be enjoying juicy, great tasting chillies in no time.


Germinating your chili seeds

Many of us struggle with germinating chili seeds and getting them out of the ground!

First of all, make sure that you select a good compost or seed mix, and gently work out any hard lumps from the soil.

Then place your chili seeds on top of the soil, planting them roughly 1-2 inches apart if planting multiple chili seeds. Then loosely sprinkle some soil over the seeds, but do not compact.

There are 2 main points that you will need to keep in mind to maximise your chances of germination.

The first one is moisture – you can soak your pot(s) from the bottom using a tray filled with water the first time you water them to saturate the soil and activate your chili seeds.

For maintaining the moisture in the soil it is best to use a fine mist plant sprayer to water from the top. Aim to keep the soil moist but not soggy as this may cause your seeds to rot before them come up – just use your finger to test the surface of the soil.

Watering your seed trays or pots with a plant sprayer causes less disturbance to your germinating seeds.

The second important point to note is temperature. Chili seeds require a constant temperature range of between 27-32 degrees C (80-90 degrees F).

This is easily achieved using a heated propagator, however an airing cupboard works extremely well for this purpose also.

Remember to keep checking your pots to see if any seedlings have emerged, as you will then need to move them to a well lit area such as a sunny window sill, otherwise you will end up with thin and wispy plants.


Re-potting your chili plants into larger pots

When your seedlings get 3 sets of leaves and are strong enough to handle, now is the time to pot them on into a bigger pot. Chillies need to be potted on as they grow, otherwise their growth will slow and you may well miss the fruiting season because of this.

Be careful not to damage the delicate roots when moving your seedlings and make sure you take as much soil as you can from the original pot to protect the root ball.

When potting on your chili plant seedlings, it is better to increase the pot size gradually to allow the plant to adapt to the increased space and grow strong roots.

A good way to tell if your chili plant needs replanting into a larger pot is by checking the drainage holes on the bottom of your pot – if you can see any root tips emerging from these holes, then now is a good time to transplant to a bigger pot.

In addition, if your chili plant suddenly droops for no reason and it has enough water, then this could also be a sign that it requires more space.

You can also plant your chili plant outdoors once the danger of last frost has gone, although chili plants usually grow quicker in warmer areas such as a sunny window sill or greenhouse.


When to water your chili plants and how much

Often overlooked is the importance of watering. One of the most common situations is over-watering. Chili plants like their soil to dry out before watering them again – they don’t like wet feet!

You can tell if your chili plant needs water by its leaves – if they are drooping, give it a drink. The best way is to use your finger to test the top of the soil.

Again, moist but not soggy is the goal here and if your plant looks well, then it probably is.

What to do when your chili plant flowers

Once your chili plant starts to produce flowers, you are doing well! Soon you will be enjoying the fruits of your labour, but now is a good time to highlight the importance of plant nutrition.

A lot is going when your chili plant is in the flowering and fruiting stage and you will need to make sure that your plant has the correct nutrients it requires in order to produce big juicy chillies.

You can feed your chili plant with a general tomato fertiliser as chili and tomato plants are very similar, however it is much better to feed your chili plants with a special chili fertiliser, as they do have specific nutritional requirements – Chili Focus fertiliser produces very tasty and juicy chillies and is organic based.

Remember to feed your chili plant twice a week when it is fruiting and once a week at all other times to make sure it has all the nutrients it needs throughout the different stages of growth. This also makes your plants strong when it comes to “overwinter” them for next season.


Pollinating the flowers on your chili plant

Unless your plants are outside where they are naturally pollinated by insects and the wind, then you will need to pollinate the flowers yourself as they open on your plant.

You can do this with a small soft brush by gently dusting each flower. You will then notice over the next week or so that the flowers start to fall off and the fruits will begin to grow.

Chili plants can also easily cross-pollinate with one another by insects or by air if the plants are close to each other, so if you are growing several different varieties, you may want to keep them apart as you will probably end up with some hybrids chillies.

Finally, make sure your plant gets lots of sunlight during this period and you will have some great tasting chillies at the end of the season!


Overwintering your chili plants for next season’s crop

A common misconception is that chillies are annuals, but they can and will come back year after year, producing more and more chillies each season.

Overwintering, as it is called, is the process of making sure your plant is ready to “sleep” for the winter. Feeding your plant well throughout the year can help make it’s roots and stem strong enough for the cold months ahead.

With a little care, a properly over-wintered chili plant can bring a larger harvest, which will also arrive a little earlier in the season compared to growing from seed again.

This is because when your plant “wakes up” in the spring, it already has an established root ball, so has a head start in the growing cycle.

The first thing to do when overwintering your chili plants is to pick all of the chillies from the plant when the growing season is over – this tells the plant to produce more in future.

Next you can prune back the plant to approximately 1/3 of its original height. This may sound harsh, but it allows the plant to conserve its energy for the next growing season by not having to maintain all that extra foliage, a bit like when you prune back a rose.

You will also need to keep your plants somewhere with a warm average temperature, where it doesn’t get too chilly in the night.

Remember that you plant will also require a lot less water while it is dormant – once every 2 weeks is enough. Again, you can use your finger to test this.

Your plant will slow its growth as it goes into hibernation, so don’t worry if you don’t see any new shoots for a while.

Come spring time, give it a few weeks and your plant will start to shoot and burst into life, read for the new years growing season with more chillies than you ever imagined!

So, what are you waiting for, plant your chili seeds now and soon you could be enjoying plentiful fresh chillies that you can cook and entertain with.

How to Grow and Care for Jalapenos


Jalapeno is a type of hot pepper that comes from the same family of plants as cayenne and cherry. This popular pepper originally comes from a place called Xalapa, in the capital of Velacruz, in Mexico. It is often served stuffed with seafood, and cheese and also used as a spice for tacos in Mexican dishes. Jalapeno has a rating in between 2,500 – 8000 Scoville heat units, which is a medium range of chili intensity. Jalapeno looks like a hard plant to grow but you can actually grow it easily by providing adequate sunlight and water.

Planting and Germinating the Seeds

Firstly, you must decide how many jalapenos plants you want to grow. Then, you can prepare the containers for sowing the seeds accordingly. The container should have holes at the bottom so that the water can drain away when you water it. You can use seedling pots or soda bottle as the container. In each container, you can plant 2 – 3 seeds. The seeds are to be sowed at a depth of 1/4 inch. Not all seeds will sprout so you may want to sow extra seeds.

Jalapenos don’t like cold temperatures so you must wait for the temperature to warm up to 75 – 85 before sowing the seeds. It takes 2 – 3 weeks for jalapenos seeds to sprout. After 3 weeks, you can move each seedling that has sprouted to a 3 inch diameter pot. It is to be placed on a sunny spot indoor, for example, the window sill or under the grow lights.

The potting mix of the sprouted seedlings must be kept moist but not too wet so as to damage the roots. You only need to water the seedlings 1 – 2 times per week to maintain the moisture level. You will have to gradually move the seedlings to a few more bigger pots until it grow a young plant. This should take about 8 – 12 weeks. The final container size will be about 2 gallons. Terra cotta container is the best option for the final container. They offer better result compared to plastic containers.

Transplanting the Young Chili Plant Outside

The young chili plant cannot be moved outside immediately. Instead, you will need to slowly expose it to outdoor conditions to allow it to adapt to the new environment. When it is time to move the plant outside, be sure to plant it in a place that get at least 8 – 10 hours of direct sunlight. The transplanted plants should be about 14 – 16 inches apart to ensure that there is enough air circulation.

Caring for the Jalapeno Plant

The best potting soil for jalapenos is organic, rich in nutrition with good drainage quality. Fertilizer should be added about 1 month after you have transplanted the young plant outdoor. You will want to choose a fertilizer with a NPK of 10-10-10. The addition of fertilizer ensures that the chili plant will receive an adequate amount of nutrition after all the existing nutrients in the soil has been used up. New fertilizer can be added on the third watering. There is no need to add any fertilizer if you are using a high quality potting soil. Diluted fertilizer is easier for the plant to absorb compared to solid fertilizer.

Jalapenos are night shade plants just like tomatoes and potatoes so make sure you don’t plant them close to each other. This is because the pests from your tomato and potato plant can go to the jalapeno plant. Some of the common pests are cutworms, aphids, and flea beetles. You can spray neem oil keep it away from these pests. Additionally, you should hand pick the caterpillar, snails, and worms on your jalapeno plant.

Harvesting the Peppers

It takes at least 90 – 120 days for you to see the first crop of your pepper plant. When the pepper plant is mature, it will grow to 2 – 3 feet tall. You may see 30 – 40 pepper pods hanging from the plant. The pods will grow to 2 – 3 inches long before it is ready for harvesting. If it yield too much peppers, you can use a plant cage as support. You can harvest pods from a jalapeno plant for a few times. You can harvest the jalapenos green or red. Or, you can wait until the full time at the end of 120 days to pick the jalapenos when it is ripened to red color.

Picking the peppers early can force more new blossoms. Green jalapenos are not yet ripened so they have milder taste. When it is red, it will have a medium intensity heat flavor. Some people have also picked jalapenos with a mix of red and green color. They make a nice presentation for their dishes. To harvest, you simply pinch the pepper off the vine gently. You can store the pepper fresh in your refrigerator for up to 2 – 3 weeks.

How To Grow Chillies From Seeds The Eco-Friendly Way

how to grow chillies from seeds

Do you want to know how to grow chillies from seeds whilst also keeping the planet in mind?
how to grow chillies from seeds

That’s great news! You’ve come to the right place, because we have all the tips on growing these spicy, yummy veggies whilst keeping things as green as possible:


Why Grow Chillies From Seeds?

When you learn how to grow chillies from seed you are creating your very own produce, which has a ton of benefits that go far beyond creating many a yummy dish with the fruits of your labour.

For you, learning how to grow chillies from seed is beneficial for your health in multiple ways.

As well as the physical demand of growing any plant giving you a healthy boost, the mental health benefits are quite far-reaching.

Gardening is thought to reduce stress, boost confidence, and it can even help people who are recovering from illness and accidents.

Let’s not also forget that chillies themselves are super-nutritious and contain many vitamins and minerals, including capsanthin, which some studies have suggested could be powerful enough to help fight cancer!

When it comes to the planet, learning how to grow chillies from seeds is actually pretty great before you even adjust how you grow them to be more eco-friendly.

There might be a third of our global population cutting down on meat to help the environment, but it is important to stay mindful that vegetables and fruits can be impactful too, when it comes to the planet.

For every chilli you buy at the store there is an environmental cost for the water, plastic, pesticide, land cultivation and human labour used to grow it, not to mention the air miles it took to get it to your local store.

By understanding how to grow chillies from seeds rather than buying chillies from the store, you reduce the environmental impact of your chilli consumption hugely.

Lastly, there are some practical benefits to getting to grips with how to grow chillies from seeds. Those who live in flats, small homes or apartments can grow chillies from seed in a small space.

As long as you have a bright, warm, sunny spot, you’re good to go. By starting to learn how to grow chillies from seed, you can also create many chilli plants cheaply, giving you a few to sell or give away in the local community.


How To Grow Chillies From Seeds

Once you have the basics of how to grow chillies from seed down, you can make the right adjustments to keep it as eco-friendly as possible. Here is an easy overview of how to grow your chillies from seeds:

  • Step One – Choose The Chilli

To learn how to grow chilli from seeds, you have to have some chilli seeds, but which type will you grow?

You can grow chillies from seeds creating plants that come in many different colours, shapes, sizes and heat levels on the Scoville Scale. The most fun thing to do is choose a mixture of types you like to eat, and types that look fun to grow.

This video has some really great tips on chilli types and the growing conditions they need.

  • Step Two – Prepare Your Trays

You will want to plant your seeds in seed trays indoors with some seeding soil. Leave enough room for watering, and place the trays in a warm, bright spot indoors.

  • Step Three – Sow Your Seeds

When chilli planting season has started (usually January or February) sprinkle your seeds on top of the soil and cover with a thin layer of soil before watering gently to moisten the soil.

  • Step Four – Propagate the seeds if you can or want to, or cover the trays in plastic wrap until they germinate.
  • Step Five – When the seeds have germinated remove any plastic covering.
  • Step Six – Continue to keep the compost moist without soaking it.

As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot to grow chillies from seeds successfully.

If you want some tips on the next stage of growing after chilli planting season has begun, this video has some handy tips on what to do with your newly germinated seedlings to create strong, healthy chilli plants.

Growing Chillies From Seed The Eco-Friendly Way

77% of people want to know how to live more sustainably, which is pretty awesome. If all of us do a little bit, the world will be a lot better off. Today, your eco-friendly efforts are focused on how to grow chillies from seeds.

There are some easy adjustments you can make to reduce your environmental impact, and grow your chillies from seeds as ethically and greenly as possible, here’s how:

Buy Organic Seeds

If you buy your chilli seeds, buy them organic. This means they were grown without harsh pesticides or other chemicals. They are also bred well to create strong, healthy plants that boost the ecosystem.

If you are going to take seeds from chilli peppers when you learn how to grow chillies from seeds, buy organic chilli peppers to harvest the seeds from.

Avoid Peat Compost

Compost, unless it has a peat-free label, contains up to 100% peat. Peat is not an eco-friendly ingredient because the bogs that it comes from contain all kinds of plants and animals unique to that environment.

Harvesting the peat for compost destroys that environment. Luckily, there is a lot of peat-free compost around to use instead when you start to grow chillies from seeds.

Reuse Your Plant Pots

Usually plant pots are made from plastic, especially seed trays and other smaller pots used for growing. Reusing those pots year on year and giving them away/ selling them when you’re done (or recycling them if possible) is much better for the environment than throwing them away, like 91% of all plastic that our society consumes.

You could also reduce more of your single use plastic like water bottles and yogurt pots by cutting them to size and using them as plant pots, rather than throwing them away.

To help you when you grow chillies from seeds, this handy video shows you how to make a completely self enclosed propagation pot using a water bottle.

Catch Rainwater

Rather than using tap water to water your chilli plants, you can save water by catching rain water in a water butt, bucket or tub. Not only will doing this save water, but it will probably boost your plants health as it is more pure than tap water.

Think Carefully About Pest Control

When you grow chillies from seed, they become vulnerable to pests and disease as soon as they germinate. There are lots of different sprays and products you can use to deal with those problems but many of them could be harmful to the environment.

Whilst they may be labelled as safe to use on plants grown for food, certain chemical pesticides and products contaminate the air, ground and water either immediately or eventually.

Some organic, natural pest products have also been called into question, so they can’t always be relied on. Neem oil, for example, is commonly used to kill pests on plants.

It is, however, considered by many studies as toxic to all insects, including bees and other pollinators, which is bad news for the environment.

The best thing to do to grow your chillies from seeds in a way that is eco-friendly is to do your best to avoid any pests and diseases by:

  • Keep soil moist, but not wet
  • Remove dead leaves and detritus from the plant and soil
  • Always disinfect plant pots and tools between uses
  • Rinse your plants down regularly to remove any pests by water pressure

If you have an issue with pests, you might want to look into biological pest control. Alternatively, do your research on sprays and options you have and use the least harmful product available to you.


Are You Ready For Chilli Planting Season?

Now you know how to grow chilli plants in a way that helps you and the planet, it’s time to use our tips and prepare for chilli planting season!

Soon enough you’ll master how to grow chillies from seeds for crop upon crop of tasty, spicy chillies this season.