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

04 Jul 21, Prakash Chandra (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
To get many fruit from chili plant you need to plant a new plant every year. Last years plant have excessive leaves and very less good sized fruit. In tropical climate chili plant produce fruits up to three or four years.
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.
11 May 20, Gavin (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I bought a chilli plant, very small, and it grew into a lovely plant, heaps and heaps of chilis. My question, will it flower again each year and produce new fruit each year? Or do I throw it away, and plant a new one?
07 Nov 20, carol (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I try to take my chillie plants through the winter by protecting from frost and the ones that survive do really well, better than new plants, so I would try to keepit going
22 Oct 20, villybang (New Zealand - temperate climate)
i have a jelopeno plant that is 5 years old (in a large pot ) It still produces chillies ..loads of them Its a small tree if you google it. produces mostly smaller fruit but . it does yield a few large ones ( probably more then a younger plant will ) pruning it back, sometimes pulling off the new buds, will transfer the energy back into the plant. of course using the right fertilizer, minerals and Nutrients will also help the plant survive overwintering looks like its dead. But it is survivable if done right
12 May 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Best to google it and read up. Can be annual or perennial.
30 Apr 20, Edward de Bruin (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hello, I would like to grow rocoto chilli as I have heard that they grow better here in NZ than other varieties. can you let me know when to sow the seeds and when to transplant into the garden or pots please. I reside in Nelson on the south island. Kind regards Edward
05 May 20, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
The advice here covers all chillies. Look at the notes here it tells you when to plant. When seedlings are about 75-125mm high transplant.
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
11 Aug 19, Peter (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I have a chocolate Habanero plant which I brought inside to over winter and I'm amazed to say it actually flowered and I see it has fruit developing now (mid August). These chilli plants need a long growing season and I'm optimistic that I'll get masses of fruit from this plant in the coming months for my hot sauce recipes. Did you manage to over winter your chilli plant Aaron?
Showing 1 - 10 of 37 comments

Any hot pepper you want to grow will do fine in San Pedro assuming you're not RIGHT on the beach as the fog and salty air could pose a challenge. But since you're able to grow all those other veggies you mentioned, you should be fine. I love hot peppers too and find the selection at nurseries disappointing. Seed catalogs and seed swaps are the way to go. I like Baker Creek because they have free shipping no matter how small the order, though sometimes they're out of stock a lot. My favorites to grow are shishito, which isn't hot but is VERY productive, scorpion, cajun belle, kimchi, and Chinese 5 color. The biggest thing I wish I knew when I started growing hot peppers in SoCal is that they NEED shade cloth during the hottest months, or else the plants will get sun scorched and the flowers won't set fruit. If the plants are in

- colleen

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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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