How to Grow Chilli Plants
As with any type of plant, Chilli plants can be easy to grow. All you need is the proper supplies, a good plan, loving care for your plants and a taste for the chillis you will have as a result.
If you are an accomplished gardener, you probably have most of the supplies you will need to grow your chilli plants. If not, here is a quick list of the items you may need:
> potting soil
> seed pots
> large pots for transplanting (if you will not put the plants in the ground)
> gardening gloves
> small gardening shovel
> fertilizer and plant food
Once you have your supplies, the next step is to make your plan. In order to do this, you must find out as much as possible about chilli plants so that your plan will be beneficial to their healthy growth. This is when you figure out how the chillis grow best, including how much water they like, if they do better in sun or shade, and how to transplant them when the time comes.
> Chilli Plants – The Basics
Chili plants can be grown inside or out, with approximately 1½-feet of garden space per plant. Chillis can be planted directly in the ground or in separate pots, as long as they have enough room to grow and decent drainage for the soil. Since the chilli peppers can be quite attractive – in green, bright red and orange – they make a handsome addition to a deck or patio in medium sized pots.
As with most vegetable plants, chillis like lots and lots of bright sunlight. Be sure to take this into consideration when choosing a location for your plants. They also need to have a regular water supply. The soil should always be damp, but never soaking wet. Check your chillis every day or two to make sure they are not getting dried out.
> Growing Chillis From Seeds
Growing a chili plant from seed is the cheapest way to go, because you can get the seeds right out of a chilli pepper. Keep in mind, however, that this process takes at least several weeks longer than if you start with a plant that is already mature.
Chilli seeds should be planted in a moist seeding pot – make sure it is not wet, because this will be too much water for the seeds. The seeds can be planted up to 10 weeks before the last frost. Cover them with plastic to encourage germination, and then remove the cover once the seeds have sprouted. Chilli seeds can take several weeks to show signs of life, so be patient.
> Transplanting A Chili Plant
Chilli seedlings can be transplanted when the first leaves grow to about a half-inch wide. Generally, the new plants will grow fine in a good quality potting soil. For a little extra boost, fertilize the transplanted chillis with a fertilizer that has a high phosphorous content. You can tell how much phosphorous is in the fertilizer by checking the middle number on the bag, between the nitrogen content and the potassium content.
When transplanting your chillis, it is important to be sure that the soil temperature has warmed up to above 62 degrees F. The plants will grow in temperatures cooler than this, but they will not produce any chilli peppers. Always use caution when transplanting any plant to avoid damaging the sensitive root system.
> Harvesting Your Chilis
It takes anywhere from 10-12 weeks for chilli peppers to grow. They are ready to be picked when they have developed their full coloring. Once they have matured, your chilli peppers will get hotter the longer they stay on the vine.