How to Grow Green Chillies at Home

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Chilli plant with green chillies

To grow a chili plant successfully, you need a temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C), a fistful of good organic compost every 20 days, and full sun when the seedling reaches 6 to 8 inches tall. Keep the soil moist during the germination phase, and later, water only when the soil feels dry to touch. Grow multiple plants in a container for better pollination.

What you need

  1. Chili seeds
  2. Sunlight: 5-6 hours daily
  3. Water
  4. 4 inch pot for seed germination
  5. 8 to 10 inch pot for chili plant
  6. Potting mix for seed germination: 70% organic compost and 30% fine sand
  7. Potting mix for chili plant: 50% garden soil, 30% compost and 20% coco peat or 80% garden soil and 20% compost
  8. Fertilizer: Organic compost

10 Steps To Follow

Here are 10 easy steps you need to follow to successfully grow chillies at home:

  1. Cut open a chili and extract all the seeds.
  2. In a pot with drainage holes, fill it with 70% organic compost and 30% fine sand.
  3. Sprinkle the seeds in the potting mix.
  4. Cover with a thin layer of potting mix. 
  5. Water thoroughly. Keep the pot in partial shade that receives indirect sunlight. Until germination, keep the soil moist at all times.
  6. Once the true leaves appear (after 25 days), you can transplant them at their final location. Keep a 6 inch gap between 2 plants.
  7. After repotting, keep the plant in a location that receives indirect sunlight and water only when topsoil feels dry to touch. Let the soil dry out before you water.
  8. When seedlings are 6 to 8 inches long, pinch the top growth. This will promote the growth of side stems. More side stems = more chillies. Now you can keep the chilli plant in full sun. However, the ideal temperature for growing chilies is between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). If you live in a desert climate, grow it in partial shade.
  9. Fertilize the plant every 20 days with a fistful of organic compost.
  10. Chilies can be pollinated by bees. They can also be self pollinated by gently shaking the flowers

Tips for Growing Chilies

  • Seeds extracted from mature chilies show a better germination rate.
  • When sprinkling the chili seeds in the potting mix, avoid overlapping to increase the germination rate.
  • Do not bury the seeds too deep as it will decrease the germination rate.
  • Seeds germinate in 9-12 days and true leaves will appear after 25 days.
  • If you are transplanting, try to transplant your seedlings early in the morning to avoid/mitigate transplant shock.
  • Plant multiple seedlings in one pot for better pollination.
  • Pull out any growing weeds as they will steal essential nutrients from the soil.
  • Overwatering can cause major problems like fungus, pests and diseases to your chili plant. Only water when soil feels dry to touch. Let the soil dry out between waterings. It also leads to shredding of flowers and a burst of vegetative growth.
  • One chilli plant will provide 100s of chillies. Just a few plants can feed the needs of a home.
  • Lack of flower production or bud drop is due to poor pollination. That is why it is advised to grow 2 to 3 plants in one container, or keep all the chilli pots close to each other.
  • Chillies will change color as they mature from unripe to ripened chillies. You can harvest chillies at any time of their growth cycle as per your needs.
  • Chilli plants are perennials and usually produce more chillies in their second year.

Growing chillies indoors

You may have to grow chillies indoors if your winter temperatures drop below 68°F (20°C) or if you live in a desert climate with harsh and intense summers where the temperatures reach 98°F (37°C) or beyond.

 

You can grow chillies indoors if you have a south-facing window. They need humidity of over 50% to grow well indoors. In the winter, the days are shorter so support the plant with artificial light. You will need to hand pollinate manually when growing chillies indoors.

Sunlight Requirements ☀️

During the germination phase, chili plants only need indirect sunlight. Once mature, chili plants love full sun. However, if you live in a desert climate, grow them under partial shade to avoid sunburn else the flowers won’t develop due to heat.

Temperature🌡️

Chillies are tropical plants which require warm, humid and dry weather. Ideal temperature for growing chilies is between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C). If the temperature reaches 98°F (37°C) or more, the fruit development is affected. Chilli plants defoliate and decompose if there is heavy rainfall.

How fast does Chili grow

Here is a table that explains the rate of growth for Chili plants that you can expect, from germination to harvest.

 

Event

No. of Days

Germination

9-12 days

Prominent seed leaf

11 days

True leaves - time to transplant

25 days

Plant grows 6-7 inches tall

28 days

Fuller and bushier, flowers bloom

45 days

chillies ready to harvest

55 days

Chillies change the color to red

70 days

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