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The varieties I've grown so far are short and bushy so didn't really need staking.
I'm about to try 'Numex Twilight' - these look interesting!
Chilli plants do well is warm, sunny places so a greenhouse or conservatory is the ideal place for them. They can also be placed outside on a sheltered spot or warm patio but acclimatize them slowly, bringing them in at night for the first week or whenever the temperature threatens to drop. You can use a cane to support the plants as they grow. Carry on feeding chillies with a dedicated chilli feed or seaweed extract at the rate suggested by the manufacturers. Never exceed the suggested rate as this can actually have a detrimental effect on your plants.
To encourage fruit: Your chilli plants will produce flowers and then chillies on each of its sidestems so the more sidestems you have, the more fruit your plant will produce. If you want to increase the number of chillies your plant produces, you need to increase the number of sidestems.
You can do this by tipping your plant onto its side once it is a substantial size. The chilli plant will try to grow upright by throwing out a number of sidestems. Once it has done this, turn the pot around so that the new sidestems are facing down and it will throw out another series of sidestems, reaching for the light. Give the pot a quarter turn and once another set of sidestems have been started, turn another half turn. You can then return your plant to an upright position and wait for a bumper harvest of chillies.
Chillies can be pollinated by bees but failing that, they are also self-pollinating so a gentle shake of flowers will help ensure that they set. Once your chillies start to flower, start to feed with a tomato feed at the rate suggested by manufacturers to encourage fruit to set.
Overwintering: Chilli plants are perennials and are generally more productive in their second year than their first although most people grow them as half-hardy annuals.
It is worth overwintering them if you have the space on a sunny windowsill or heated greenhouse. Don’t let the temperature fall below 10 degrees Centigrade.
Don’t be too concerned if your plants start losing leaves as low light levels can cause chilli plants to go into dormancy, looking for all intents and purpose dead but come spring, they will burst back into life again. Unless you really have killed them that is!
I found this info on the internet earlier this year.
I must say I'm a bit wary of starting things too early. I couldn't wait last year but after a good start the weather changed and so many of my plants died. No tomatoes and a few chillies, very disappointing. Although how sad is this, I saw some artificial flowers in a shop and felt the urge to rush out and start sowing seeds, hold me back, please!
I'm in your camp maggie-1, can't wait, but wary of starting things too early.
Plants like chillies, peppers and aubergines, if grown from seed, need an early start, as some varieties need a long growing season to rippen and produce fruit, which can take until October .
You need to take into account plants sown early can't go out till the last forcast frost which for many is April in an unheated GH and possibly May for those in the North. If there's a chill plants stop growing...
Hi Sally. Your chillis will keep going fine. I've got 5 plants of a variety called 'Vampire' that I trialled for Which?Gardening last year. I cut them back to bring them indoors when it got cold and they've spent the winter on my kitchen floor. Not brilliant light but I've got lots of plants indoors and I'm short on space! All 5 are now sprouting healthily and I expect a good crop this year.
It's a very attractive variety with purple-tinged leaves, purple flowers, larger than usual, and the fruits start purple and turn red when ripe. (Can you tell I like purple?) Not one fruit ripened last year and they have no heat when unripe, but with the early start this year I expect the goods! I think they're about 14000 on the Scoville scale. If nothing else, they're very pretty plants. Specially if you like purple.
I thought to myself I wonder if I could grow plants from seeds I have taken out of peppers and chillis I bought in the supermarket. Well, I took the seeds out, I let them dry for a while and then planted them and to my amazement every year I actually get plants that thrive and give a good crop. Haven't bought seeds for years. My garage has a clear roof so I grow them both together with my tomatoes in there.
I sowed 7 different Chilli seed varieties, all of which have produced healthy seed (though they sprang up earlier than expected!). Used a heated propogator, which I got for xmas. Would recommend doing this, as well as just making sure they have enough light and moisture...
... Just got to work out what to do with a load of Chilli seedlings in early Feb!
We are often told that we should use seed that is properly produced and not to bother with seed that you get from supermarket fruit and veg, well kflockhart, you proved that it can work, so good luck, it's brilliant when you get such a good crop. Huntertony, I did that last year but because the weather suddenly got very cold most of my plants, tomatoes and chillis, died, I had nowhere to keep them and ended up with hardly anything, very disappointing, I hope you have better luck. I haven't had the heart to start sowing seeds yet.
I do hope the weather improves. Just bought a 4-tier mini-greenhouse thing to out outside for the Chillie's, but no way am I using it until it's at a bare minimum of 10 oC
I sowed two varieties of chillies yesterday, a week earlier than last year and probably to early but I couldn't wait.