- Pick your variety
- Sow your seeds
- Provide proper temperature and light
- Feed your chilies
- Feed again
Let's look at each of these steps a bit more in-depth so that you can get your containers of chilies started. Without further ado, let's get into it!
Picking The Right Variety Of Chili Plant
There are a number of chili varieties that will grow well in pots. Here is a list:
1. Shishito Peppers
This is a mild sweet pepper, easy to fry up and delicious as an appetizer with just some simple salt and olive oil.
2. Hungarian Hotwax
These beautiful chilies are mild with good flavor.
3. Poblano Peppers
Another mild pepper, it's a large plant so place in 5-gallon large containers.
4. Ring Of Fire Chillies
This productive plant produces an abundance of tasty chilies.
5. Bulgarian Carrot Peppers
This is a hot pepper on a small, productive 18" plant. They are pretty to look at, too.
6. Cherry Bomb Chillies
This plant produces heavily. The chilies are round and red and have great flavor.
7. Bolivian Rainbow Peppers
This gorgeous heirloom plant produces multi-colored chili peppers that look like flowers or Christmas bulbs.
8. Goat Horn Peppers
This chili is great for making pepper flakes and should be grown in a 5-gallon container.
9. Thai Hot Chillies
These are super hot chilies grown on a small plant. Don't let the sweet look deceive you. These bad boys are fire in the mouth.
Sowing Your Seed And Choosing The Best Soil For Growing Chilies
Start by sowing your seed in seed compost in either 3" pots or use jiffy coir pots.
Jiffy coir pots are easy to order in the mail.
If you want to start your seeds as early as January, you'll need a sunny warm windowsill or a grow lamp. You can start them as late as March, and for some of the small plant varieties (like Thai Hot) even later as they won't take as long to mature. Once germinated, you can thin and replant into larger pots. Use a soil-based compost when you transfer them.
What Are The Best Containers For Growing Chillies Indoors?
The type of chili will dictate the size of your container. For small plants like Thai Hot or Bulgarian Carrot Peppers, you can use a pot as small as 15" in diameter, but for the larger peppers, you'll want at least a 5-gallon container for planting.
These awesome soft-sided pots allow for ease of use and more aeration for your plant. When planted they hold their shape well.
If you need something a bit more visually appealing, then this 5-gallon veranda planter will do the trick easily. It comes in a number of different colors but is shown here in terra cotta. It's made of plastic so is lightweight, durable, and easy to handle before planting. The square shape is attractive for the dressiest of patios or balconies.
Provide Proper Temperature, Water, And Light
Like so many of our potted vegetables, chilies need at least 6 hours of warmth and light per day to do their best. They like moist soil, and because these are going to be planted in containers, they'll need to be checked frequently. You don't want them to dry out between waterings or they may not produce as well.
How Long Do Chillies Take To Grow Indoors?
It really depends on the variety. Some plants will start producing fruit in as little as 60 days, while other larger varieties like Habaneros will take more than 100 days. Because of this, it will be in your best interest to get your seeds started as early as you can.
How Can I Make My Chillies Grow Faster?
The best way to make your chilies grow faster is to sow your seeds earlier. You can start as early as January, but you'll want some indoor grow lights to help your plants along. These full-spectrum lights emulate the light from the sun to encourage your seeds to germinate quickly. Be sure to keep them in a non-drafty and warm spot in your home to give them a head start.
Feed Your Chillies With The Best Fertilizer For Chilli Plants
Though chilies don't need as much fertilizing as other plants, they do still need some feed. When starting out, we recommend a fertilizer that's high in Potassium or a potash feed. This helps them to produce loads of chilies.
Harvest Your Chillies
You've put in the work and gotten your chili bounty growing in your containers. After a few months, you'll start to see fruit shaping up (if you get early flowers on seedlings, pinch them off to let the plant save its strength for growing rather than early fruiting). Wait until your fruit has turned the brilliant color and size it is supposed to before picking it off the stem.
Use a simple pair of scissor snips and, with chilies, be sure to wear gloves because the oils can be hot if you've planted a variety with heat. It's no fun to rub your eyes if you have chili oils on your hands.
Little snips like this come in handy when you're harvesting and don't want to rip the fruit or vegetable off of the vine.
Keep Feeding And Watering Your Chili Plants
You've harvested your first chilies and used them in a variety of ways. But don't let it end with the first harvest. Keep taking care of your plants by making sure they stay moist and hydrated and be sure and give them a dose of plant food every 6 to 8 weeks to help them along. They'll thank you with an abundant crop of hot, spicy vegetables.
Please check out a few of our other posts on container gardening: