How to Grow Chillies

Plant 1- 2 seeds per pot, or use coco-peat seed raisers such as Jiffy Peat Pellets (These can be purchased readily at Bunnings). It is recommended that you use seed-raising mix or a good quality potting soil mixed with some compost.

The seeds need a temperature of at least 22 įC to germinate and can take 2 Ė 4 weeks to germinate ( Bhut Jolokias sometimes take 6 weeks depending on the temperature, moisture content of the soil and whether you sing softly to them at night).

When the seedlings have their second (true) set of leaves come through it is time to plant them into larger pots or into the ground. You can leave them to develop longer in the seedling trays but they may develop issues when they are root bound. Chillies like full sun but remember to water them regularly.

Germination Tips

To speed germination, soak the seeds for a few hours in warm water (not hot - ) before planting. The warm, moist environment will mimic the action of a birdís intestines and encourage the seed to sprout.

Fertilising

It's important to provide your chillies with the sustenance they need to grow and produce ample fruit. I recommend a slow release fertiliser (such as Osmocote). You can also use seaweed fertiliser (such as Seasol) or liquid from a worm farm is also great for promoting growth.

Pests

Be careful to protect your seedlings from slugs as these will climb up and eat the young leaves during the night. Aphids seem to love Capsicum chinense even more than other species but I donít recommend using aphid sprays directly on the leaves as it tends to damage the new growth and cause them to curl up. A great way to control aphids is to buy lady bird or lacewing larvae. They tend to fly in of their own accord during summer but wild lady beetles are fickle and unpredictable.

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