Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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

14 Feb 20, Ahmed (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Can chillies be planted in a shaded area
17 Feb 20, Astrid (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Hi Ahmed, It depends on how much shade they get. I live in Johannesburg North and have successfully grown chillies in an area that gets around 3 hours of sun a day in summer (less in winter). Important is that they are in a sheltered location. I have successfully grown 3 chilli bushes - they are now 4 years old. The varieties I have were selected for their longevity (not annuals) and shade tolerance, and bought online from Livingseeds: 2 pepperdew types (Shan's sundew and Carl's sundew) as well as the West Park Birds Eye chilli. The West Park produces so prolifically that I get more chillies than leaves on the plant! You will need to do some pruning of the bushes in spring because they get more leggy than they would in full sun - cut back about 1/3 in early spring before any leaves appear. So unless you have total shade I recommend you give it a try.
27 Jan 20, Sekete Moshoeshoe (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Which areas are best fit for growing jalapeno in South Africa?
03 Feb 20, Anon (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Look up the climate zones to see if it grows in your climate zone. www.gardenate.com/zones/#zone-SA
20 Nov 19, (Australia - tropical climate)
Is there any one in Cairns successfully grow chillies Do you have to grow them in green houses or in the sun I have been told I will have to have a green house as it is to hot and wet Love to hear from a grower in Cairns Fred
25 Nov 19, anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Look for when they say to plant. GROW in autumn/winter not summer.
22 Nov 19, anon (Australia - tropical climate)
I have that wrong with the melons etc. In tropics plant mid-late Autumn. In the sub tropics plant spring but you need to germinate the seeds in late winter- a problem with soil temps then as they are a little low. Germinate indoors in a warm area.
10 Oct 19, Phil Rodwell (Australia - temperate climate)
Just wanted to say what an amazingly useful resource your site is. Thanks for so much useful advice. Regards Phil Rodwell (Thank you, from the Gardenate team)
15 Sep 19, Lucas Potgieter (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where can i buy Red Habanero or Carolina Reeper chillies or some seeds. Call or Whatsup 0818072427
27 Aug 19, Jodie (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
What best month plant chilli seeds please
Showing 1 - 10 of 362 comments

Is there any one in Cairns successfully grow chillies Do you have to grow them in green houses or in the sun I have been told I will have to have a green house as it is to hot and wet Love to hear from a grower in Cairns Fred

- Anonymous

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put GardenGrow in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on GardenGrow. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.