Chilies or peppers are essentials for our diet. Whenever we need to add some heat, we get some chili. Ok apart from the joke, chili or simply peppers are necessary ingredients not only for flavor but for a balanced diet.
No matter what is your style or taste is. Even if you like hot or not there is certainly a chili available that you can try.
Myth Busted: Are all chilies hot? No, not at all, all chilies are not hot in taste. All kinds of chilies are not the same according to taste. Only the characteristic smell is common. You can find many chilies with nearly No hot burning taste. It is the amount of Capsaicin that makes chilies or peppers unique to taste.
Do you know? Scoville scale is the standard scale to measure the hotness or heat of cillies or peppers. It is the way to measure the pungency of all food materials including spices, fruits, and vegetables.
Read my previous article on How to Remove lectins from Beans and legumes.
About Chili Seeds
Round in Shape, White in Color, Flat 1-2 mm in size
Chilli or pepper seeds are Mostly round in shape. The standard size of these chili seeds is 1-2 mm in diameter. Every single chili pepper seed is covered by a hard covering that protects it from drying. Most of the seeds look flat and uniform in shape. it’s not.
There is a tiny notch like structure in the seed that is considered as the tip. The seeds are attached to the seed pods through these tips. During germination, these tips make a way for the new root to come out and grow easily.
Do you Know? A single Chilli can have up to 100 Seeds. On the contrary, there is a chili variety with only 2-5 seeds per pod– which one is it?
Chilli Plant Root system
Most of the chili or Pepper plants have a fibrous root system. Initially, a Taproot or the main root grows from the seed and later on it develops into a fibrous system of roots.
The roots in chili plants grow not very deep nor too shallow. Just 8 inches deep and 5-6 inch wide container is enough to grow a chili plant.
The fibrous root system is responsible for frequent root-bound soil instead of less space. This is why tilling topsoil every month in a container is recommended for a chili plant.
If you don’t know the basic difference between the taproot and a Fibrous root system then read my previous article on a related topic for help.
Temperature Requirement: Chilli
Seed germination: 18-210C or 65-720F, Plant Growth: 16-180C or 60-650F
Every type of chili and pepper loves hot and humid climate. Sowing seed is recommended when the temperature at night increase above 16degree Celcius or around 60degree Fahrenheit.
The Temperature should always be above 15 degrees Celcius anything less will stop seed germination completely. A mature chill plant can strive at a lower temperature but it won’t bloom below 13degree Celcius.
The ideal temperature for any chili or pepper plant is 16 – 20degree Celcius. For best blooming direct sunlight with a temperature of more than 63 degrees F or nearly 17degrees Celcius is required.
Selecting Best quality of Chili Seeds
Only fresh and best quality chili seeds are required for a higher germination rate. You can purchase some seeds from a gardening store or collect some from your kitchen.
Myth Busted: You Can not grow chili from fresh green chili? No, it is not true. Seeds collected directly from fresh green chilies can be grown easily. The only problem is with the number of seed germination and the quality of seedlings grown.
You can grow chili or pepper from both Fresh and dried seeds. Both fresh chili and the dried ones can be easily found in your kitchen.
Get up and find some, You Know you have a Kitchen in your home right?
Don’t worry you don’t need much. Just 1 or two mature chilies are enough for this purpose.
If you don’t want to use these then you should try my seed selection. Check out my favorite chili seeds on Amazon.
Sowing Chilli Seeds
Chili seeds can be sown directly in the soil if the temperature is favorable. Otherwise, I would recommend growing chilies in seedling trays weeks before placing them out in open.
Use only good quality seedling media for seed germination. Quality of soil is essential for healthier plant growth. It should be slightly acidic and full of Nitrogen and phosphorus. These are the essential nutrients for a healthy chili plant.
Checkout this soil mix on Amazon, it worked for me- Hoffman Seed Stater soil.
Tips for Best germination in Chilli Seeds
- Show seeds directly. Direct sowing of seeds even in the seedling tray is enough for seed germination.
- The seedling tray should be at least 4inch deep. You can measure this depth with your middle finger. One finger deep soil is best for a high germination rate.
- Use organic Compost. The soil should be mixed with quality compost in equal proportion. I would recommend 1:1 proportion for soil and compost. You can use cow-dung compost, leaf mold or vermiculite.
- Equal spacing between the seeds. Each chili seed should be placed at least 2 cm apart from each other. This is the ideal distance for best germination and healthier growth.
- Cover the seeds only with compost or cocopeat. This is a very important part. The seeds of chili or pepper are very light and cannot germinate under load. So place the seeds and sprinkle some compost or cocopeat over it. Seeds should be placed just 2-3 mm below the surface.
- Regular watering is required. As the seeds are close to surface the chance of seeds to dry is very high. So it is advised to water regularly for the first few days and then after alternate days or whenever required.
- Place the seedling tray in direct sunlight. The seedling tray should be placed directly in the sunlight at least for 4-5 hours every day. This will increase the faster germination rate in chili and pepper seeds.
- For potting soil, you should read How to make potting soil for indoor plants?
Chili seed germination Time: 7-15 days
How to grow Chilli from seeds
- Step 1: Selection of Best seed. Choose only the best quality chili seeds to grow. Flavor and taste can be a parameter for selection. Other than that, You should choose chili compatible with your surroundings and climatic condition.
- Step 2: Show the seed on Time. Early spring is best for germinating chili seeds. If you prepare everything on time then you can get some precious early fruiting in the summer. Though chili seeds can be germinated throughout summer in most parts of the globe. Usually, chili seed germination will take around 6-10 days but in colder days you may have to wait for 15 or more days.
- Step 3: Provide Direct Sunlight. Cili seeds need 3-4 hours of direct sunlight daily. High temperature and moisture encourage faster germination.
- Step 4: Water Regularly, Avoid Waterlogging. It is a Myth that Chili can grow in dry soil. You have to water the seeds regularly, only to keep the soil moist. Watering every alternate day is the best practice for chili plants.
- Avoid overwatering, it can cause root rot. Root rot is very common with soggy soil and chili plants are highly prone to root rot disease.
- Step 5: Add some contact fungicide and compost. You should add a teaspoon full of any contact fungicide with the water. Apply this mixture to the seedling soil once in every month. This will protect the seedlings from any fungal attack. Also, add some compost in the soil in every 25 days, This will speed up the plant growth.
- Step 6: Transplant the seedlings on time. The seedlings of chili or pepper are prone to many diseases. So it is always advised to transplant the seedlings quickly when 2 -4 secondary leaves develop. This is mostly between 15-20 days after germination.
- Step 7. Transplant the seedlings in Smaller pots. Seedling transplantation in chilies is a two-step process. First, you should transplant the seedlings to a smaller pot of size 3-4 inches. After 10-15 days transplant these chili plants to bigger 8-10inch pots or containers. At this stage, you can directly plant the seedlings to the ground.
- Step 8. Proper spacing between each plant. You can grow 2 plants in a 12inch pot or container. Generally, only 1 plant should be grown in a pot size less than 10 inches. If growing in the ground or vegetable beds, each plant should be grown at least 12 inches apart from others. 10-12 inches is an ideal distance for best chili plant growth.
- Step 9. Regular fertilization is Important. Chili plants are very nutrient hungry. These plants require regular fertilization for best result. NPK 10:10:10 is best for chili plant, add 1 teaspoon to each plant per month. Other than that you can add organic compost with some urea and phosphorus. Take care with synthetic chemical fertilizers, they can harm your plants. Watering is a must after fertilization.
- Step 10. Regular Harvesting. You should harvest chili regularly. If some of them are left to be aged then the plant will stop further blooming and reduce the growth. Always remember that reproduction is the ultimate goal of any plant. If you leave the seeds to develop then this objective if complete for the plant. Therefore, the plant will reduce its general functioning.
Pick the tender and hard chilies for the best flavor.
How to Grow Chilli Plants Faster
To grow the chili or pepper plants faster, you have to control three different factors. These are-
- Selecting fast-growing chili or pepper seeds
- Faster seed germination
- Increasing plant growth
Selecting seeds with faster germination and development rate is highly recommended for this purpose. Though this factor is mostly controlled by the availability of seeds. You can buy several fast-growing chili seeds online on amazon.
The second factor is getting a faster Germination rate. You can achieve it on your own with little help. Just follow any of the given Methods for faster germination in chili or pepper seeds.
Methods for Faster Chili Seed Germination
- Method 1. Overnight Pre-soaking of chili seeds. You can soak the seeds for 10-12 hours or just overnight before sowing. This method is tested to reduce 20-30 % time of germination. In an ideal condition, you can get germination within 6 days.
- Method 2. Wrap the chili seeds in damp tissue or paper cloth for 3-4 days. Wrapping the seeds in damp cloth or tissue for 3 days will reduce the generation time by 40%. Recorded germination time with this method is 5 days.
- Method 3. Mix seeds in moist compost and wrap in a plastic bag. This is the fastest way of germinating chili seeds. Actual, it is a combination of all known methods with some extra push. Moisture and temperature will stay trapped inside the plastic bag and compost slowly release nitrogen which encourages root growth. Chili seeds will germinate within 4 days with this method. This method is fast but not very easy. Separating the germinated seeds is a tricky job.
- Method 4. Place your standard seedling tray inside a greenhouse or poly bag. This method is not the fastest method of germinating chili seed yet it is the most adopted one. It is easy as well as a highly effective method of germinating seeds. This method is even effective in growing seeds inside without proper sunlight.
Steps to Increase Chili plant Growth
- Step 1. Add 50% high-quality organic Compost with the potting soil. The soil used to plant a chili seedling should be high in Nitrogen. This Nitrogen will help in rapid growth for the first month.
- Step 2 Add NPK 19:10:19 to the soil once in a month. For Faster Growth, you should add NPK or Urea, DAP, and potash in equal quantity once in a month to each plant. Use a half teaspoon of this mixture for each plant once in a month. After adding chemical fertilizer you should water the plants.
- Step 3. Remove dead Branches and dried fruits regularly. Deadheading in chili is Important and highly recommended. It is important to keep the plant healthy and encourage faster growth. If you don’t remove the spent branches and fruits, this will utilize the nutrients and can cause nutrient deficiency.
- Step 4. Place the Chili or pepper plants in direct sunlight. Trust me this step makes a lot of difference. You can notice 100% growth in 1 month with this simple change.
Tips for best results from Chilli Plants
- Remove the first few flowers to regulate growth. It is a good choice to remove the first few flowers to increase plant growth and ultimately increased fruiting in the long run.
- Regularly pinch the tips. Pinch the branches once they attain a height of 10-15 cm. This will make the plant bushier. Remember chili flowers grow only on new branches.
- Don’t let the plant or soil to dry completely. Chili plant can survive hot dry summer but the flowers don’t. So you should keep the soil moist and full of nutrition for the best result.
- Once flowering stops prune the branches and fertilize regularly. Pruning is necessary to encourage new growth of branches and then fresh blooming occurs in chili. Fertilization and proper watering are also very important to protect the plant from shock after pruning. Always prune chili plants in the evening time, never do this step in the day time.
- Apply Epsom Salt to the chili plant regularly. The use of Epsom salt is optional but for the chili plant, it is a miracle solution. Epsom salt is full of Magnesium sulfate and helps the plant to absorb nutrients faster.
Aphids, Whitefly, and Spider mites are common pests dangerous for your chili plants. Simple soap and oil solution is effective in controlling these pests.
Growing chili and peppers in pots or containers from seeds are not that difficult. It is just a matter of knowledge and proper effort. If you have some time and a little space then you should try to grow your vegetables including chilies. Believe me, it is healthy and a better way to live your life with the green.
Please write your opinion on How to grow chili or pepper plants faster from seeds.