Growing Chilies from Seeds


Chili adds spice and flavor to all varieties of food, ranging from Mexican recipes to curry dishes. Chilies make great side dishes and they can also be bottled up as hot sauce. If one loves the hot spicy kick in one’s food, home grown chilies are the best option. With chilies growing in one’s yard, one can be assured that there is a lasting supply of homegrown chili to spice up one’s appetite.

Varieties of Chilies
There are a many types of chili peppers, each with different shapes, sizes, colors and varying heat levels. The more common ones are jalapeno peppers, sweet bell peppers, pepperoncini peppers, habanero peppers, serrano peppers, Thai chili peppers and cayenne chili peppers. Different chili types are good for various types of dishes ranging from curries, salads, salsa, sauces and garnishes. One can plant more than one type of chili peppers in one’s yard. That way, they can be used for an assortment of culinary delights from roasted jalapenos to the ultimate bloody mary with habanero hot sauce.

Getting Started
The best time to start growing chilies is during spring or when the frosty danger phase has passed. Chili seeds require about 10 to 12 days to germinate and the young plants need at least eight weeks indoors before being transferred outdoors. The ideal temperature should be between 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit when growing chili seeds.

Start by allocating two to three seeds into each seed tray and cover up with potting soil, up to about a quarter inch deep. Keep the soil moist at all times and place the tray in a sunlit area. However, one should refrain from soaking the seeds with too much water but just to ensure that the soil is moist, which can help to hasten the seeds’ germination.

Once the seeds sprout, it is necessary to prepare for the next stage, which is either to transplant them into bigger pots or transfer them outdoors in the garden. If there are more than one sprout in a seed tray, one may want to separate the seedlings into separate pots or just cut away the weaker one at the soil level.

Planting Outdoors
If there is no danger of frost, one can transfer the small plants outdoors onto the garden bed. If it is still too cold out, one can transfer the plants into larger pots about three inches wide first. Normally, when the plant has reached a height of about three inches tall, they are strong enough to be moved outdoors onto the garden beds.

When planting outdoors, one should prepare the garden beds by loosening up the soil and watering it to keep it moist at least a day before planting. When locating a garden bed, find a spot that has access to full sunlight for most of the day.

Getting some good garden soil that has rich organic matters can certainly provide the plants with sufficient nutrients to grow. A tip to determining good garden soil is to run the soil through one’s fingers before purchasing. If they are grainy and run through easily, they are quite likely to be fertile soil.

When planting, ensure there are about 18 inches of space in between each plant and about two feet of space in between rows. The root of the plant should be fully covered in soil when they are transferred into the ground. Ideally, the soil temperature should be about 60 degrees during the transfer stage.

When the plants are about 6 inches tall, some fertilizer or plant food can be used to enhance the plants’ production. Generally, chili plants take about two and a half to three months from the time the seeds are planted to produce fruits. A mature chili plant will grow to about three feet high. Once chilies are available, one should harvest as frequently as possible so that more fruits are forthcoming.

The most essential thing is to keep the soil moist all the time as chilies love water and sunlight, which are the two secret ingredients to having one’s own delicious, spicy homegrown chilies.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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