Growing Chilli peppers, also Hot peppers

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

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

S = Plant undercover in seed trays 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' chilies.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best grown in a separate bed as chillis need plenty of light and air circulation.
  • 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

Chillis 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

27 Aug 21, Marie Blonde Jennings Paul (USA - Zone 13b climate)
Last year I had a great crop of Scotch bonnet peppers from a plant that was given to me and I saved some of the seeds. How do I start making seedlings and when do I start planting them for this year?
01 Sep 21, (USA - Zone 13b climate)
Go by the planting guide here when to plant and read the planting instructions.
29 May 21, Tammy (USA - Zone 7b climate)
Have you considered the Carolina reaper? You may have to order plants but it is a very hot pepper..supposedly hotter than ghost
02 Mar 21, George Hupp (USA - Zone 10b climate)
I live in San Pedro in zone 10b. My vegetables include, tomatoes, snap peas, green beans (not pole), radishes, green onions and cucumbers. Except for tomatoes and jalapeño, serano and pan lamp are grown by seed. I am attempting to grow exotic hot peppers of many varieties. What hot peppers grow well here from store bought plants (very limited ) and seeds? Not interested in bells. Jalapeño, habanero, shishto, ghost, pequins and chiltepins are my main focus. Thanks for any advice and suggestions.
04 Mar 21, colleen (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Any hot pepper you want to grow will do fine in San Pedro assuming you're not RIGHT on the beach as the fog and salty air could pose a challenge. But since you're able to grow all those other veggies you mentioned, you should be fine. I love hot peppers too and find the selection at nurseries disappointing. Seed catalogs and seed swaps are the way to go. I like Baker Creek because they have free shipping no matter how small the order, though sometimes they're out of stock a lot. My favorites to grow are shishito, which isn't hot but is VERY productive, scorpion, cajun belle, kimchi, and Chinese 5 color. The biggest thing I wish I knew when I started growing hot peppers in SoCal is that they NEED shade cloth during the hottest months, or else the plants will get sun scorched and the flowers won't set fruit. If the plants are in
04 Mar 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I suggest you will have to buy seeds and germinate them.
18 Jul 20, Theresa (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Hello, I want to grow chili peppers (Scotch Bonnet) soon but I see that it may be outside of the growth period. What advice would you give? I live in Long Beach, CA.
06 Aug 20, Anonymous (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Wait until it says when to plant is a good idea. The guide here says this is the best time to grow it, to give yourself the best chance of a good crop. Now you can start a little earlier or later but you may not produce as good a crop. Then you have to take your weather/climate conditions into considerations. This website isn't spot on all the time. They might say plant beans from fall (autumn) to spring, but the bean fly kill mine in autumn so I only plant in the spring. Where I live it says grow egg plant in warm weather, spring to late autumn. I have picked it all through winter. Sometimes it is all about trialing things or just having a go.
20 Apr 20, Jim (USA - Zone 8a climate)
Just my observations. I am in zone 8a. I built my first lasagne bed in the fall of 2018. Then planted n spring of 2019. I experimented with a variety of chiles. Poblano, Thai, Cayenne longs, Pasillas, Italian sandwich, Sweet Bells, and Jalapeño. The bed got full sun, I planted closely, and harvested 472 mature chiles. Every variety produced heavily. This would seem to contradict your data, that chiles need growing room, and good air circulation. The “ stems” were more like trunks of a two year old fruit tree. Almost 2” in girth and very sturdy. I submit this data not to gloat, but for further consideration. Thank you!
24 Jun 20, Mairlyn (USA - Zone 8a climate)
Jim what date did you plant your chiles? I'm new to the area and gardening and want to plant poblano peppers. Thank you
Showing 1 - 10 of 17 comments

Jim what date did you plant your chiles? I'm new to the area and gardening and want to plant poblano peppers. Thank you

- Mairlyn

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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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