How to Grow Chillies in Containers
The Capsicum family includes bell peppers or sweet peppers, chillies, cayenne, jalapeño, habañero and Serrano. Peppers come in a variety of shapes, colour, texture and flavours.
Location, Soil & Watering –
Chilies are heat-loving plants, and are the most successfully grown in areas that have plenty of sun.
Chilli peppers need a well drained fertile soil. Add compost, rotten leaf and cow manure in the soil before planting.
moderately- whenever the top one-inch of the soil feels dry. Chilli plants should never be overwatered as the leaves may turn yellow indicating suffocation from soggy soil and they may shrivel up and die if left unchecked.
1.Germinating the seeds
- Although you can directly sow seeds, it is better to grow the plants from seedlings.
- Seedling : Use a damp paper towel and plastic bag to soften them up. Place a folded damp paper towel in a plastic bag and then place the seeds inside of the towel. Put the bag in a dry, warm place, such as a cupboard in your kitchen and leave them there for two to five days. The seeds should start to sprout within this time frame and then you can plant them.
- The seeds will sprout a pair of leaves to start, known as ‘seed leaves’. After a bit, a second pair of leaves will sprout; these are known as the ‘true leaves’ and signals that the chilies are ready for transplanting
- Make a hole about -5 inch deep and place the seedling in it as deep as it was in the original pot. Fill the hole with soil and water well.
- Keep a distance of about 30 cm (1 foot) between the two chilli plants
- add a layer of mulch to the top of the soil, to lock in moisture and block out weeds.
- Chillies can be harvested green or left to ripen on the plant. The ripened colour will depend on the variety grown and can be red, yellow, orange or black. If they are left in the plant until they are ripened, the chillies will have a better sweeter flavour.
- If you’re aiming to make chili powder or pepper flakes with your chilies, leave them to shrivel and dry up on their own on the branch before harvesting.
- Chillies suffer from a variety of pests and diseases that may include greenfly, potato blight, thrips, blossom end rot and botrytis. They may affect the lush growth of the plants and lead to the decrement in the health of the plant.
- Spray the chili plants with the garden hose or sink sprayer, as the powerful water spray effectively dislodges the insects from the plant. Make sure to shoot water at the undersides of leaves.
- Use neem oil, liquid soap and water spray. 10 ml neem oil for 1 liter of water.