Growing Chilli peppers, also Hot peppers

Capsicum sp. : Solanaceae / the nightshade family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
        T T            
        P P            

(Best months for growing Chilli peppers in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 18°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 40 - 50 cm apart
  • Harvest in 9-11 weeks. Wear gloves to pick 'hot' chillies.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best grown in a separate bed as chillies need plenty of light and air circulation.
  • Chilli harvest
  • Small, hot, chilli

Small bushy plants. Dark green ovate leaves.

Chilli need warm frost free weather, so protect with glass or plastic covers if planting outside in cooler areas.

Most varieties need a long growing period to produce many fruit.

There are many types of chilli. Some are more fiery than others. As a general rule, the smaller the pod the hotter the taste.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Chilli peppers

Chillies freeze very well. Wash, dry, and free whole. Use them direct from the freezer (no need to defrost).
Wear plastic gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after handling and cutting to avoid accidentally rubbing chilli juice onto your mouth or eyes!

Your comments and tips

29 Mar 24, Gavin Mutimer (Australia - temperate climate)
Keep getting a maggot like larva in my chillies I know it's been infected when I see a little hole been bored in the fruit I do not know if it is a fruit fly or something else no one can tell have asked many people hard to treat if don't know what it is
29 Feb 24, Mike (USA - Zone 5b climate)
What does T and S mean is that when I would want to move the indoor seedlings outdoors?
12 Mar 24, Liz (Gardenate) (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
S means sow (suitable time) and T means transfer seedlings to growing bed. You could harden them off a bit by putting them outside (in their little pots or trays) during the daytime and then moving them under cover at night. Do that for about a week, then going out into a garden bed will not be such a temperature shock for them.
21 Dec 23, Johannes Mojela (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Hello I want to plant chillies for mike comission butI have 500.s/m can you please please advise me what time must I start to plant
02 Jan 24, (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Check the planting guide for your climate zone.
15 Dec 23, Babe Sedile (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
I want to start to grow chilies and I wanted to know the type that of soil that is perfect for it and the type of area that will be good for it see
21 Dec 23, (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Just have good rich loose soil, Soil that has had some manures and compost added to it. Some general fertiliser.
19 Sep 23, Henry steenkamp (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Staying on the east coast of East London south Africa. Can I sow chillie seed now. And the soil composition please advice. Kind regards Jossie
28 Sep 23, Anonymous (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Yes plant now - just good fertile soil. Good crumbly soil.
11 Mar 23, Luis O. (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Will Habaneros or Ghost Peppers grow in Zone 9a?
Showing 1 - 10 of 428 comments

Thanks for sharing!! I have had huge trunks before on ours as well because we planted them in front of our hen house [bedding was tossed out in that garden area all year] and they were HUGE by October and loaded to the point of cracking a few "branches" from the weight... LOL! I think the same thing... They just like a lot of sun and nitrogen and water at least once every week or two.... Didn't seem to matter much about spacing and the closer they were the less breakage it seemed to have. :-)

- Melinda Schwab

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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