Growing Chilli At Home
A really popular plant to grow at home, chilli plants are generally easy to care for, but you must follow certain rules: • Chilli plants love sunshine (naturally) and the more sunlight the fruits receive the hotter they will grow. • The most common cause of problems with chilli plants is over watering – so make sure you only water when the top of the soil is dry to the touch, and never let your plant sit in water for any length of time. • Chilli plants are not very hardy, so in the garden they are best treated as annuals and harvested before the first frosts. • Indoors many varieties will over winter with a bit of care and attention.
Caring for Chilli
Chilli plants are pretty easy to care for. Critically, they need to be protected from any frost, and will do best in a sunny spot out of any cold winds or draughts. A South or East facing windowsill or sheltered patio is the ideal location. Chilli plants should be kept on the dry side. You will have more problems if you over-watering than underwater them. If the soil is soggy, you may see the leaves turn yellow as the roots start to suffocate and eventually the whole plant can shrivel up and die if left unchecked. The rule is therefore to only water when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. That might be once a month in the winter or as much as twice a day in the summer. You can spot when your plant is getting under-watered as the leaves will start to droop quite dramatically. At this point you will need to water straight away but they will perk up again quickly. There is even a common belief that suggests that watering the plants only when the leaves are drooping you can stress the plant into producing hotter fruit!
Chilli plants indoors
Chilli plants indoors should be kept in a small pot. They really don’t like being over-potted and may suffer from placing in too large a pot too quickly. Most of our chilli plants shouldn’t need re-potting in their first year, however if you are struggling to keep up with the watering, or if your plant is 3 or more times the size of its pot then you can re-pot. Just choose a pot that is only 2 or 3cm bigger in diameter, and use a good general purpose compost with some drainage. Chilli plants love sunshine, they originate in sunnier climates after all, the more sunlight your plant can get on fruit, the hotter the fruit will become. Chilli plants will benefit from feeding in the growing season. A tomato feed, baby bio or any other high nitrogen feed or compost will keep the leaves nice and green and keep your plant fruiting longer. Apply in line with instructions every couple of weeks from July through to September.