The Chile Peppers plant goes by many names: chili, chilies, and chiles. This diverse plant shows off by producing some very diverse fruits that vary in size, shape, and colors.
Some of these pepper types under capsicum species you already know:
- Ghost peppers or bhut jolokia
Use chili peppers for spicing up food and work amazingly well in almost all kinds of recipes.
You are in for a treat when deciding to grow the Chile plant. Not only do homegrown chilies thriving in your garden provide a culinary delight; their wonderful colors will brighten up your outdoor space as well!
Bushy chile plants differ by variety and species and range for small to medium-sized, growing from just a bare 18 inches to towering 6 feet tall.
Most chile peppers grow as annuals, although they are actually perennials and only thrive for a limited time in warm climates.
The Chile pepper plants sport dark, shiny, medium-sized green leaves. The fruits start off in a shade of green, but ripen in an explosion of wild colors of:
- Fiery red
The way the chilis hang might remind you of candles, as they stand up or hang down. If you want something differently ornamental, choose a chile plant variety with mottled or freckled fruit.
How To Grow Chile Peppers Plant From Seed
Chile plants can grow almost anywhere in the ground, but do well in pots with the right type of soil and sunlight. As such, grow peppers on balconies and yards without small space. However, when growing in pots you need to get the pot size correct.
You’ll need seeds to start. Look for Capsicum Annuum varieties, especially when living in a cooler climate (they also have a shorter growth period).
Buy a packet from your local garden center, or simply buy some fresh peppers from the grocery or supermarket and scrape the seeds for planting.
Related: How To Save Pepper Seeds
Chile Peppers Plant Germination
Some of the most important things to consider when germinating a seed are oxygen, moisture and heat. Chile seeds in particular require a minimum temperature of 68 degrees in order to germinate.
In order for the chile peppers plants to bear fruit, they need a temperature of 86° degrees and greater. Protect them during the night by maintaining a temperature of no less than 60 degrees.
Aside from that, you’ll need more sources of heat to successfully grow the chile plant. You may put them on a warm heated propagator in windowsills. Start the process during the cooler climates in early spring or during the dry season.
If you live in a tropical climate, plant seeds at any time. Keep in mind you’ll need them strong when the rainy season comes.
Chile plants start out by being planted in small pots or in seedling trays. The early life stage requires a careful eye, as they are very vulnerable and don’t grow quite as fast as the other plant types.
Sow the chile pepper seeds on a prepared well-drained soil and stays moist. Cover seeds with a sprinkle of fine vermiculite or compost, then lay them out on a propagator with a set temperature of somewhere around 64 to 77 degrees F until they start to germinate. This can take anywhere from 7 to 10 days.
Transplanting Your Chile Peppers Plant
The Chile Peppers plant typically produce leaves in pairs. The first ones are the seed leaves, while the second set are the “true” ones. When you see your chile plant seedling produce them, transplant them (learn about transplant shock) to a bigger pot so they will have room to grow.
Plant your chilies outside when they have produced about 5 true leaves measuring around 2 inches tall.
This allows roots to spread and facilitate more plant growth.
The taller chile plants may require staking; their branches are weak and when fruits cluster together and grow, the branches invariably droop and snap off.
Chile Peppers Plant Care
Like bell peppers and other solanaceous crops, chili pepper plants also grow best when planted in a nutrient-rich soil but can thrive in a reasonably fertile soil without needing any other special treatment.
Plants need fertilizing when planted in poor soil.
Chilies love a soil rich in potassium. Too much nitrogen can make plants produce plentiful leaves with no fruit. As long as plants get enough light, they will grow.
Focus more on improving the soil to meet the chile plant’s nutritional requirements.
The plant like mulching and being well-watered throughout the day. Mulch does a great job in providing optimum soil conditions while keeping plants moist.
Water regularly but don’t go overboard to the soil being soaking wet. Use a free-draining soil to let out the excess water.
Poor soil conditions can introduce a deadly foe to the chile peppers plant in the form of root knot nematodes.
This can cause your plant to wilt for apparently no reason, and eventually die out. More than having good sunlight and adequate water, soil health is vital to keep out the diseases affecting your plant.
Chili plants really aren’t affected by many other diseases or insects as long as you keep them happy.