If you love a bit of heat in your dishes, why not consider growing your own chillies?! The humble chilli plant is relatively easy to grow, making it a great choice for beginner gardeners and those that are time poor. Chillies are a great plant choice for both apartments or large backyards. For those with limited space, they can be grown in a pot on a sunny kitchen windowsill or balcony.
Want to learn some tips for growing your own chillies? Read on!
Decide if you want to grow from seeds or seedlings
Before you begin the growing process, work out whether you wish to grow your chilli plants from seeds or seedlings. If you’re looking to grow your chillies from seeds, take a look at the range we have available! We have both Cayenne and Jalapeno chilli seeds in our online store. Choose cayenne if you prefer a bit more heat! If you’re growing from seed, it can be a good idea to start them off indoors or in a greenhouse, as they need a nice warm and consistent temperature to germinate well.
Use fertile soil
As with most fruits and veggies, fertile soil is needed for ideal growing conditions. These plants aren’t fussy, and will be happy with just about any kind of fertile soil. Just be sure not to over-fertilise your chilli plant, as this can lead to less chillies. They also prefer free-draining soil, no soggy feet thank you!
Plant them in a sunny spot
Chilli plants love sunlight, so be sure to grow them in a spot that gets plenty of sunshine. The chilli plant originates from Mexico, so the warm Australian climate tends to make good growing conditions for these plants.
Be sure not to forget to water your chilli plants. These plants tend to like frequent, smaller amounts of water. However, experienced chilli growers sometimes practice under-watering their plants to produce chillies that are hotter. We would love to hear from you if you've tried this method!
If you're growing your chilli plants in pots, it can be a good idea to avoid using a water catching device under your pot - water consistently instead. Remember, your chilli plant will like to be moist but not soaking wet.
Keep them away from frost
Despite their name, one thing chilli plants greatly dislike is being chilly. Be sure to bring your chilli plants inside, or provide them plenty of protection from the cold when it comes. With a little bit of care, chillies can be kept alive in winter, but it’s a good idea to trim them back and follow chilli winter care instructions.
Pick when to pick!
One beautiful thing about chillies is they can be picked at just about any time during their growth. You can pick the chilli fruit when it is green, or leave it for a few weeks to ripen more. If you’re feeling impatient, or want to test out how your chillies taste at different stages, pick them as it takes your fancy, and give them a try! If you find that your chillies are way too hot for you, why not try your hand at making chilli oil! It's super easy and a little dash to your dishes will give them a nice little kick of flavour and heat. Chilli oil is super delicious drizzled over noodles, dumplings and pasta.
Can't decide where to start? Try a chilli grow kit!
If you’d like a little help with setting up your home grown chilli plants, take a look at the ‘Some Like it Hot’ Grow Kit from Urban Greens. This handy kit includes 5 seed varieties (Jalapeno, California Wonder, Sweet Banana, Chilli Serrano Red, and Purple Beauty), 5 plant labels, 5 peat pots, 5 growing substrate discs, and a booklet of recipes and instructions. With such a range of varieties, you can give a bunch of different chillies a try and work out which ones are your favourites!
Garden as though you will live forever. ~ William Kent