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Growing Chilli peppers, also Hot peppers

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                S S T T

(Best months for growing Chilli peppers in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings

September: After risk of frosts

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 64°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 16 - 20 inches apart
  • Harvest in 9-11 weeks. Wear gloves to pick 'hot' chilies.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best grown in a separate bed as chillis need plenty of light and air circulation.
  • Small, hot, chilli

Small bushy plants. Dark green ovate leaves.

Chilli need warm frost free weather, so protect with glass or plastic covers if planting outside in cooler areas.

Most varieties need a long growing period to produce many fruit.

There are many types of chilli. Some are more fiery than others. As a general rule, the smaller the pod the hotter the taste.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Chilli peppers

Chillis freeze very well. Wash, dry, and free whole. Use them direct from the freezer (no need to defrost).
Wear plastic gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after handling and cutting to avoid accidentally rubbing chilli juice onto your mouth or eyes!

Your comments and tips

06 Jun 19, Joan Richardson (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Hello. Does Chilli go out of season, if so, when?
30 Apr 19, Aaron Love (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have a Chilli Peter bush that I have had a lot of peppers off, can I keep it growing for another season? Thanks Aaron
30 Apr 19, Peter (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
In Gauteng, what veggies and herbs can i plant from May month?
04 Apr 19, jim (USA - Zone 10b climate)
how long does it take for chilli seeds to start to show in a seed tray. I've put mine in almost two weeks ago and no sign of them yet.
15 Apr 19, Sylvia (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Do you use a plant heat mat. It can be bought online or may be found at garden centers like Lowes or Home Depot. Peppers like heat for good propagation
30 Mar 19, Paul Masters (New Zealand - temperate climate)
do chillies continue to ripen once they have been picked? Cheers Paul
31 Mar 19, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Yes, they will ripen slowly in the same way that capsicums do. Probably need to be starting to change colour.
20 Mar 19, amelia hall (Australia - tropical climate)
how many types of chilli peppers are there in the world?
23 Mar 19, Sue (Australia - temperate climate)
Wikipedia estimates 50,000 varieties of
25 Feb 19, steve (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi. I have some original old very very hot chilli's that i saved from my Mothers plant which was originally her mothers plant.. They have been in the freezer since 1995. The seeds have an emotional attachment and i would love to be to grow these seeds into plants and hand onto the next generation - if it is possible. Having been in the freezer as a full pod - Would the seeds inside the pod be ok ? Would the plant cope outdoors with constant breeze? Any or all Advice would be much appreciated. Thank you
Showing 1 - 10 of 350 comments

You can sow up to 10 seeds but you must transplant when it is about 10 cm to individual pots for the plant to grow and give abundant chillies

- Hamsa Lingam

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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