How To Grow Sweet And Hot Chili Peppers

The chili pepper was developed in the Assam region of northeastern India. People around the world love the intense pleasure that this novelty pepper brings, and many Chile heads want to know how to grow the chili peppers in their own homes or gardens. With your homegrown peppers, you can enjoy them in recipes, or try your hand at making the next world’s hottest hot sauce or even brag to your friends that you grow one of the peppers on Earth. Learn more about how to grow chili peppers and General Growing Culture or requirements for chili peppers

Seedling of pepper plants in pots on a window sill
Seedling of pepper plants in pots on a window sill

Growing Seedlings

It’s great to grow your own chilies, but for many, the struggle is with germination – getting all those wholesome crops to shoot in the first place!

Luckily the answer is a simple one.

For the majority of seed varieties, you will require two main ingredients, which are warmth and moisture. Let’s take chili seeds; for example, The main reason for unsuccessful or poor germination rates of chili seeds is down to the warmth factor. You see, although you may sow your chili seeds in good soil, and keep that soil moist (but not soggy), the seed trays may be left on a windowsill or in the kitchen, where the temperature is warm during the day, but fresh at night time.

Chilli seeds need a relatively warm and consistent temperature range to germinate properly (between 27-32 degrees C), and the low nighttime temperatures caused by the heating going off means that the average temperature is low, sending mixed signals to your germinating chili seeds!

The answer is, therefore, to use a heated propagator for propagating your seeds for best results, ideally with a thermostat to allow you to control the temperature more accurately. If you don’t have a heated propagator, then the next best thing is to use your airing cupboard where the average temperature is much higher, and once seedlings start to emerge, then you can transfer your seedlings to a sunny window sill so that they get lots of light, which is essential to growing healthy and robust plants.

If you can get a heated propagator with a lid that is ideal, as many seed varieties also like a bit of humidity to germinate successfully, this means you can also water your seed trays less often as more moisture is retained.

So, now all you have to do is to follow these simple tips to start getting better results germinating your chili seeds and solve any poor germination problems you may be getting.

And if you want a headstart and are looking for an easy and consistent way to germinate your seeds, then a propagation kit can also be ideal as they contain special growing media that optimizes the moisture/air ratio, which is another factor that can affect germination, thus eliminating guesswork.

Grasshopper
Grasshopper

Insect And Pest Control

Using insecticides and pesticides does work on the chili garden, but it’s not the only way to do it. Natural garden pest control is another option to be considered. One of the main benefits is that once set up; there is a system there that can take of pest problems.

The first step is prevention. Don’t have conditions in the garden that will attract pests in the first place. You don’t want wet leaves and plants. It’s better to water the soil for most plants than the actual plant itself. Get rid of plants that already are sick or insect prone. Leaving this only cause more problems for the other plants around them.

Don’t have conditions like piles of wood next to your garden as it can attract more pests. Use beneficial insects. Beneficial insects are insects that are good for the garden. They prey on the pests that ruin your plants. These would include praying mantis, lacewings, ladybugs, and others.

Each of these beneficial insects is attracted to the garden because of individual plants. Even if it’s purely a chili garden, flowers can be planted as well to have a full system of beneficial insects.

There are chili plants that can get rid of certain pests. Mint, for example, is not something most pests enjoy. If you have a pest problem, see if that specific pest doesn’t like a particular crop and use those in the garden as well.

Transplanting Pepper Seedling
Transplanting Pepper Seedling

Transplanting

You should do chili peppers transplanting as soon as the seedlings are big enough to handle, from the small pots into bigger pots in which they will remain until they can be transplanted into the garden again.

Although the chili transplanting process is a good option f, it has a more significant effect on other plants. Some seedlings fail to undergo transplantation process, as the process tends to break or bend or their small roots,

Several types of chill peppers do not transplant well from the seed-bed to the garden plot. In some cases, you can use planting pots that can be directly placed in the garden, offering an opportunity to start the plants indoors, without having to transplant them later. Quart berry boxes, Peat pots or pint work well for this use.

Another way is to cut the sod into six” square pieces about two inches thick. Put them, root side up, and plant the chili plant, in hills directly on the loam soil, supported by the grassroots.

Wait for the weather to warms, and “transplant” these seedlings, merely place the berry boxes, sod squares or peat pots into the prepared hole. You can trim the bottom of the tables if so desired.

Controlling Diseases and Problems

You may be faced with many chili gardening problems on your way to set up your own chili garden. These problems may vary from chili diseases and pest attacks to the failure of the plants to bear fruit. We will see some of the common chili gardening problems and its causes.

One of the problems is that after sowing the seedlings don’t come out. This might be because it did not have enough time for germination and you will have to wait for some time for the sprout to emerge. Very cold temperatures, too dry or wet soil may also prevent the seedlings from coming out. The seeds have to be sown at the right temperature, and sufficient water has to be provided to avoid drying or waterlogged. If the birds ate the seeds, you would have to replant and protect the bed with the net. Another reason for the seedling not coming out may be that the seed is too old. Then the only option is replanting.

Dry soil and over-watering may cause most of the chili gardening problems. Seedlings may wilt, and the young plants die because of this. It causes the rotting of stem and roots. The solution is proper and adequate watering. Fertilizer burns, root maggots, and cut-worms may also cause the young plant to die. Fertilizer burns could be avoided by adhering to fertilizer instructions. Cutworms could be avoided by keeping the garden clean. The laying of eggs by flies and moths has to be prevented by using covers.

Plants may wilt because of fungal diseases. The best way to avoid wilt is by using disease-resistant seeds. Too much fertilizer is also not good for plants. This will make plants weak and spindly. Plants won’t grow properly if there is not enough light and if the plants are too crowded. Sometimes the plants may grow slowly, and the leaves will have a light green color. This is because of improper photosynthesis. This is caused by the absence of adequate sunlight or crowding of plants; cool weather, deficiency of fertilizers or over-watering.

Mineral deficiency and improper sunlight will make the leaves yellow, but they won’t wilt. Sometimes the leaves will have yellow and green patches in a mosaic pattern, and the plants get stunted. This is a virus disease, and the infected plants have to be destroyed. Sometimes fertilizer burns may cause symptoms similar to viral diseases. Before destroying the plants make sure that the stunted growth and patches have not resulted from fertilizer burn. Sometimes the leaves will have holes. This can be caused by winds and insects. If it is insects, use organic insecticides, and for wind, barriers have to be provided.

At the end of the plants won’t bear fruit all your efforts will be wasted. Plants won’t bear fruit because of the extreme hot and cold climates; or excess of nitrogen. The seedlings have to be planted in such a way that it bears fruit before the extreme climates.

When are chilies ripe?

Usually, a lot depends on the type of chili. As a general rule chilies turn from green to red while they ripen. Most of the chilies are edible in the green stage and the taste and heat increase as they become redder.

Chopped peppers ready for use
Chopped peppers ready for use


Harvesting


Mature chili peppers are easily plucked from the parent plant, when your peppers are not coming with ease, wait for a little. Harvesting increase the yield because after that the pepper is replaced by month new chili


When collecting the seeds, cut or break the pod, leaving the stem and core intact. Hold the stem; scrape out the seeds with a blunt knife.

Frozen pepper in a plastic bag
Frozen pepper in a plastic bag

Storing

To preserve or store the peppers, keep them in the refrigerator, they can stay for a week. Roast, peel, store in your freezer for not less than six months of use. Finally, ca or pickle your chili to use up to 2 years.

Related References