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 18°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 40 - 50 cm 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

08 Nov 20, Claire (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I live in East London. Can i plant chilies ini pots as in flower pots or do you advise directly in the garden?
09 Nov 20, Anonymous (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
You can grow in a pot, make sure it is a big pot. If chilli is going to grow 50cm make the pot that wide also.
14 Oct 20, taylah (Australia - temperate climate)
this information is very helpful;,
01 Aug 20, Constance (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
I stay in Botswana.When can I start to plant chillies?
03 Aug 20, Anonymous (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Look at the monthly calendar at the top of the page, set your climate zone, it tells you the best months to start planting - NOV.
22 Jul 20, Christal van der Byl (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I live in the Eastern Cape and my mom makes and sells chilli paste. I am thinking of growing the chillies ourselves because it can get difficult to find chillies. What advice do you have to make sure that we always have chillies growing? I will be making wooden creates / boxes to grow the chillies in, because the soil on our land is not very fertile if I grow but it will be outside and in the boxes I can move them around for different times of the year where the sun will be catching best.
23 Jul 20, Anonymous (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
I feel you would have more chance of a good crop if you planted in the ground than in boxes or crates. They need to be in sunlight all/most of the day. They are a spring through autumn crop I think, I have never grown them. You need to improve your soil by adding compost and manures regularly, yearly. Soil is only the medium that plants grow in. All soils need to have nutrients added to them, compost, manures, mulch that breaks down, fertilisers etc. Do some internet research on how to grow them.
20 Jul 20, Jyoti (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Best is to plant a new chillie plant.i had a plant which survived winter but did not gave as much fruit as it did before.
18 Jul 20, Theresa (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Hello, I want to grow chili peppers (Scotch Bonnet) soon but I see that it may be outside of the growth period. What advice would you give? I live in Long Beach, CA.
06 Aug 20, Anonymous (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Wait until it says when to plant is a good idea. The guide here says this is the best time to grow it, to give yourself the best chance of a good crop. Now you can start a little earlier or later but you may not produce as good a crop. Then you have to take your weather/climate conditions into considerations. This website isn't spot on all the time. They might say plant beans from fall (autumn) to spring, but the bean fly kill mine in autumn so I only plant in the spring. Where I live it says grow egg plant in warm weather, spring to late autumn. I have picked it all through winter. Sometimes it is all about trialing things or just having a go.
Showing 1 - 10 of 393 comments

I live in the Eastern Cape and my mom makes and sells chilli paste. I am thinking of growing the chillies ourselves because it can get difficult to find chillies. What advice do you have to make sure that we always have chillies growing? I will be making wooden creates / boxes to grow the chillies in, because the soil on our land is not very fertile if I grow but it will be outside and in the boxes I can move them around for different times of the year where the sun will be catching best.

- Christal van der Byl

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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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