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

09 May 08, brad simes (Unknown climate)
my chilli plant is going yellow is that normal
10 May 08, Tammi (Unknown climate)
A question if anyone can. I live in Mandurah WA, something is eating my chilli seedlings off to a stalk. I have used ant and grub powder and also snail pellets. Any advise? Thanks Tam
12 May 08, Clair (Unknown climate)
Tammi - it might be slaters. Put a piece of orange near the plants at night, and check early the next morning. If it is slaters eating the chili plants, they will congregate on the orange, which you can then dispose of, with the slaters! Repeat until you are slater-free. If you don't have pets or kids, you can also crush up snail pellets to a powder as the slater's mouth parts or too small to eat the big pellets.
21 Jun 08, Tammi (Australia - temperate climate)
Thank you so very much for the Slater advice. I will try the orange.
09 Aug 08, Megan Darling (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I was just wondering, my chili's are very small and not very hot. Is there a way to encourage them to grow bigger? It's only 10 months old. Thanks
22 Aug 08, gareth (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
do u plant chillis from punnets or straight into the beds =) =(
01 Sep 08, julie (Australia - tropical climate)
Do chilli's need full sun to grow or just morning? I am just getting ready to put in a vege patch.
03 Sep 08, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Julie, chillies will do better in full sun
13 Oct 08, Joel (Australia - temperate climate)
Megan, I have had the same problem with growing jalapenos, the plants make a lot of fruit, but they all stay very small and not spicy. I have found some other chili varieties grow better, birdseye chilli's especially. Someone suggested that the pH in my soil might be too high, I havent checked it though.
22 Oct 08, Julie (Australia - temperate climate)
My chilli plant was prolific with aprox 3cm sized fruit for the last few years. Now it has flowered again abundantly but the fruit are maturing tiny (0.5cm) and round. What is it lacking?
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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