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.

Your comments and tips

16 Mar 09, Clff (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi all, new to this growing lark. We have a couple of Chilli plants that are fruiting well with lots of unripe chillis they are grown in raised beds and purchased from a well known DIY hardware store, my only concern is I have noticed that one chilli appears to have a purple coloured mark on its side. I am wondering is this the chilli starting to ripen or is it some Monster about to engulf my chilli plants and I will go out one morning to find nothing but a stem. Any advice would be appreciated.
17 Mar 09, Daniel (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Cliff, sounds like you have bought Siam chillis, usually sold in stores such as this and are more of a decrotive plant (I have a few for extra colour in my front garden grown by my step daughter), personally I'm not a fan of the flavor but are quite hot. Also look good in an Olive Oil bottle that you use for cooking!
18 Mar 09, David (Australia - temperate climate)
Cliff. I have noticed my jalapeno chilli get a purple/brown ish tint before they start going red. It should start going redder in a couple (4) days
21 Mar 09, Daniel (Australia - temperate climate)
Thanks Mick, I tried your technique witht the toothpick, and it seams to be working.
24 Mar 09, Mary (Australia - tropical climate)
Like Ty (25/2/09), I too have small worms/grubs eating my chillies from the inside. Not sure what to spray them with.
11 Apr 09, Nelson (Australia - tropical climate)
David, In their native Mexico, jalapeƱo peppers are eaten when they're green. Wikipedia has a useful article.
14 Apr 09, Craig (Australia - temperate climate)
Same with Mary I too have small red worms / grubs eating my chilies from the inside. Any ideas on how to get rid of them???
23 Apr 09, Jade (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
How do you tell when they are ready to eat or take off the plant ??
27 Apr 09, Matt (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I'm trying to work out what type of chilli plant i am growing, it was given to me, so i have no idea what variety it is. The chilli's seem to be pretty hot, they are about the size and width of your thumb from the knuckle down, they have a white flower and start off as a bright purple colour. As they mature they go a yellowish colour then to orange and finally red. I found a picture of what looks like a very similar plant called ABBRACCIO. But i cant find any more info on the net. Does any one know of a chilli fitting this description?
27 Apr 09, Julie (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
check out the pictures available at - there are at least 20 pictures of chilli - this may help. Cheers
Showing 31 - 40 of 406 comments

Hi. I have my own chilli breeding program going on, and am planning to use a combination of Thai chilli, birdseye chilli, Chilli Diablo, some stock chilli (generic, little spice, huge fruit, and Habanero. All these plants are growing in a full-sun position in neutral soil with some compost and old manure mixed in, making it slightly more acidic, but they seem to love it. I have noticed growth of up to an inch a week if Worm Castings and seasol are mixed with some water and sprayed onto the leaves of the stock chilli and diablo. As the leaves of these two are very large, foliar feeding goes down a treat. The birdseye and thai chillies have smaller leaves, so I just add it into the irrigation water, with equal results. The habanero I have left alone, as a bit of an experiment to see how maintenance-free this part of the veg garden is. All the plants (apart from the diablo) were started from seed in the middle of winter, indoors, and the Thai chilli and Birdseye chillies have been topped as half the crop from them will go into our special family chilli sauce. All plants have abundant flowers, some of which are ready to open, and average about 60cm tall. I hope this helps and inspires some peopleto get into chillies.

- Mick

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