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 408 comments

Tammi - could be mice or rats, they can do this also. Its happened to me in Perth. Megan - Chillies will only grow vigourously during the warmer months, depending on where you are, they will either slow down, go dormant, or die altogether, depening on how cold it gets, a severe frowst will kill them. Wait until summer, they will flower all over, and give you lots of fruit. If you want a hotter chilli, water them less, let them dry out a little (but not all the way). A stressed plant will give hotter fruit. If you want hotter fruit still, get a different variety. Look for a chinense variety. Gareth - Most people raise chillies in punnets/starter pots, then into medium pots (10-15 cm across at the top), then onto final larger pots or garden beds when they have outgrown the medium one. You can tell when they are ready to be moved as they will have roots coming out the bottom. Julie - feed them with tomato food, probably in liquid form, is pretty good for flowering chillies, also, mulch and compost the soil if you can. Murray - depending on the variety, chillies can take up to 6 weeks to germinate, and they also need warm humid conditions to do so. Chillies are originally grown in warmer humid places, so they better you can recreate this, the happier they are. Keep them moist, (but not wet or soggy), perhaps put half a coke bottle over them to keep the humidity up, put them somewhere warm, they dont need sunlight to germinate, so the top of the fridge will do. When they do germinate, move them to a sunny windowsill or similar until they are ready to be hardened off to go outside. Michael - an NPK ratio of 10-5-10 for when they are growing works well, then 5-10-10 for flowering, if using bought fertilizers. Otherwise, a well composted mix of garden waste should work well, with some animal manure thrown in. Dont forget to mulch the soil to stop evaporation.

- Simon

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