Posted by Wayne
How To Grow Chillies Indoors

6 Top Tips On How To Successfully Germinate & Grow Your Chilli Plants Indoors

So let's start off with the most common question asked.

When should you start growing your indoor Chilli plants?

January/February are the best months to start sowing your chilli pepper seeds indoors. Although you can still sow the seeds right up until the end of March, early sowing gives your chillies plenty of time to ripen before the end of summer.

1. How can I speed up germination of my chilli plants?

If you want to give your seeds a head-start, get two paper towels. Moisten the paper towels and lay seeds onto one paper towel in a single layer. Place the other paper towel on top and carefully roll it up.

Place your moistened seeds inside either a ziploc plastic bag or a plastic container with a lid. Place somewhere warm for a few days, such as an airing cupboard.

After 2-3 days you will see that the seeds have increased in size and may have already started to sprout. You can now sow these seeds as per the instructions below.

2. How do I ready my trays/pots for sowing Chilli seeds?

Fill a seed tray or 10cm pots with moist seed compost and level the compost down. Sow a few seeds on top of the compost and cover with a fine sprinkling of vermiculite or compost.

3. What's the best temperature to help germinate my Chilli seeds indoors?

Chilli Pepper seeds require consistent heat to germinate. Ideally, place the seed tray/pots inside a propagator at a temperature of 21°C. If you don’t have a propagator or heat mat, use a plastic bag to cover the tray/pot as this will increase humidity and help keep heat in, then place in a warm airing cupboard. You can also place the seeds on a warm sunny windowsill, however, you will need to move them at night time as temperatures will drop and may hamper germination rates.

4. How long will it take for my Chilli seeds to germinate?

Germination usually takes 7 - 10 days. When seedlings start to emerge, take them out of the propagators or bags. If you're using a propagator, keep the pots where they were planted at 16–18º C. Keep the compost evenly moist but not soaking wet, it is also advisable to use room temperature water as cold water from the tap may shock the seeds.

5. Should I transfer Chilli plants from trays to pots?

When your chilli seedlings are big enough to handle without breaking (about 2.5cm to 5cm tall), gently transplant them from seed trays into individual pots of compost.

The seedlings can remain in this pot until they are about 20cm tall at which point they will need to be re-potted into 2-litre containers.

6. How do you encourage chilli growth?

As the plants grow taller you will need to support them with a small bamboo cane. Gently tie the plant to the cane. Chillies can be quite heavy for the plant to support.

When the Chilli plants are about 30 cm tall, pinch the shoot tips to stimulate branching, which should help create a bushier plant with more fruit

Ensure that the Chilli plants still obtain consistent heat, ideally 15°C for optimum flowering.

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