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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 64°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 16 - 20 inches 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

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!
04 May 20, Colleen (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Hey Jim, How many plants did you plant in the bed? One of each? I'm doing a variety of chili peppers in containers this year and your comment gives me hope that two plants could fit in one 7 gallon grow bag. Thanks! Best, Colleen
02 May 20, Melinda Schwab (USA - Zone 8a climate)
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. :-)
04 Apr 19, jim (USA - Zone 10b climate)
how long does it take for chilli seeds to start to show in a seed tray. I've put mine in almost two weeks ago and no sign of them yet.
15 Apr 19, Sylvia (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Do you use a plant heat mat. It can be bought online or may be found at garden centers like Lowes or Home Depot. Peppers like heat for good propagation
17 Jul 17, Eric Nelson (Australia - tropical climate)
I'm actually in Thailand but your site doesn't list that. Having a hard time growing chilies here and looking for any hints. Soil has plenty of nutrients but does not dry out due to the rains and clay underlayer. At this point I'm thinking of adding sand to the soil to aid in drainage. I've dug a hole in the garden down to the clay layer and filled it with water. It drained within 5 minutes so it's really about my topsoil quality. Thanks!
16 Apr 19, Sylvia (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Sand would be too heavy. You need to add compost or other organic matter into the soil when planting. To loosen soilup. Chilies/peppers do better in soil pH 6.5 to 7.0. Helpful info link https://bonnieplants.com/how-to-grow/growing-peppers/

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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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