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Talkback: Growing chillies from seed

Posted: 22/12/2011 at 18:08

Hello townsend,

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.



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