How To Grow Chillies

The Gardening Angel guide to growing chillies

Chillies are without a doubt one of the most popular vegetables to grow in our Quadgrow - our customers love growing chilli peppers in pots and have seen huge differences in harvests by growing in our Quadgrow Chilli Planter! There are endless varieties of chillies, with many different shapes, colours and flavours that you won't see at your local supermarket! Some like it hot, growing Scotch bonnets and Carolina Reapers, while some prefer milder flavours like Pimiento or Anaheim Chilli Peppers. Here's our guide to how to grow chillies from seeds in your Quadgrow planter.

When to sow chilli seeds indoors in the UK

 

You can sow Chilli seeds indoors from late winter until the middle of spring. Eager sowers often sow on Christmas day - the earlier you start the more important it is to have the right environment to sow seeds in - preferably sow seeds in a heated propgator with lights (we recommend the Vitopod or Geopod). 

 

Can you grow chillies outdoors in the UK?

 

You will be able to grow chillies outdoors in your Quadgrow as long as there is no risk of frost - the black pots will actually help to keep your compost warm. We would recommend you start your seeds indoors however. 

 

When to pot on chilli seedlings

 

Prick out your seedlings from their seed trays or seed pots into 13cm pot when the roots outgrow the seed tray. When the roots show through the drainage holes in the base, pot on into your Quadgrow pots. 

When the chilli plants are about 20cm (8in) tall, or before if they start to lean, support them with canes using our Mulch Cap and Cane Support Kit. Pinch out the tops of chilli pepper plants when they are about 30cm (12in) tall to encourage lots of branching out and more fruits!

How much water do chillies need and how often

should I water my chilli plants?

 

 Chillies are super fussy with watering - they don't like over-watering or drying out - thankfully your Quadgrow keeps them perfectly watered, healthy and happy! 

 

How does the Quadgrow avoid overwatering chilli plants?

 

Each of the planter's 4 pots contains a FeederMat which pulls water up from the SmartReservoir to the plants exactly when they need it. This slow watering keeps the soil perfectly moist without ever over-watering.

By pulling water up slowly the Quadgrow ensures there are always airgaps in the soil, so the roots have access to oxygen, which fuels more productive growth. Your plants will be bigger, healthier, more resistant to attacks from pests and will produce more chillies- that's what we're doing it for after all! 

 

How to avoid common chilli growing problems 

 

Common pests that attack chillies include whitefly and aphids - we don't want these pests anywhere near your plants! Natural solutions such as biological control are excellent for keeping pests at bay - encouraging ladybirds into your greenhouse can also do wonders! 

 

How long do chillies take to grow? When do I harvest chillies?

 

Different varieties of chillies take difference amounts of time to grow - some chillies can produce ripe fruit in 60 days from sowing, while others can take 120 days to show fruit. Patience is key - they'll get there! 

Chillies can be harvested when they are green or red, however, there are some varieties that will not turn red in our climate - harvest chillies while they're green to encourage additional fruiting. If you pick green chillies and want to ripen them, try placing them in a bag with a ripe banana as the ethylene given off the ripe fruit will encourage ripening. You can also drape a ripening cover over your entire chilli plant which will retain the heat and moisture needed to encourage your chillies to ripen more quickly.

What types of chillies can you grow in the UK? 

 

With a heated propagator and heated greenhouse, you can grow all sorts of varieties of chillies -

here are a couple of our favourites! 

 

Mild

  • Fresno Supreme (annuum) – excellent for stir fries etc., thick, mild flesh.

  • Pasilla Bajio (annuum) – Part of the Mexican Holy Trinity, zesty fruit are dark and brown.

  • Padron (annuum) – Spanish tapas pepper is mild when small and green, and hot if left to mature.

  • Hungarian Black (annuum) – Short, brown/black fruit with good flavour.

 

Medium

  • Georgia Flame (annuum) – Sweet and spicy, thick flesh.

  • Krimson Lee (annuum) – Excellent choice for pizza, thick sweet flesh

  • Portugal (annuum) – Medium hot, large cayenne fruit, one of the first to begin to fruit

  • Rocoto Red (pubescens) – Resembles a small bell pepper, sometimes called ‘Gringo Killer’, slow to mature

  • Joes Long Cayenne (annuum) – One of our favourites, good for paprika as it dries well.

 

Hot

  • Friars Hat (annuum)- Attractive, short, squat shaped fruits are brightly coloured, slow to mature

  • Ring of Fire (annuum) - Thin, cayenne type fruit are good for drying and very hot.

  • Pusa Jwala (annuum) - Popular in Indian curries, excellent knobbly feature.

  • Trinidad Scorpion (chinense) - So called because the curl at the end of the fruit resembles a Scorpions tail, exceptionally hot.

  • Chocolate Bhut Jolokia (chinense) - A chocolate coloured version of the Guinness Book of Record’s hottest chilli in the world

  • Bih Jolokia – Another name for the Bhut Jolokia

 

Sweet

  • Tasty Grill Yellow (annuum)

  • TastyGrill Red (annuum)

  • Corno Rosso or Corno del Torro (annuum)

 

Dwarf Chillies

  • Apache

  • Red Demon

  • Twilight