Growing Chillies From Plug Plants
Here are some handy hints for growing on your chilli plug plants and reaching that ultimate chilli nirvana.
Your plants should arrive with you in good shape. If for any reason they don’t, please let us know straight away, using the Contact Us page.
Allow the plants to slowly get up to a normal room temperature. Don’t be tempted to plunge them straight into a heated grow area.
Give them a day or so to get over the shock of the postal service, then 'pot on' using a potting mix for young plants and a handful of perlite. They may suffer transplant shock and droop significantly. They will get over it.
Place plants near a window, or in an area with as much natural light as possible. Don’t place plants in full sun to start with. Introduce them to a full sun area over about a week or two.
Don’t place plants anywhere near cold draughts or touching cold window panes.
Before putting plants outside for the summer you need to ‘harden them off’. Pop them outside, in partial sun, for about 30 mins the first day, an hour the next, then a few hours etc, and after a week or 10 days, they can go out overnight. If you just place them outside, without ‘hardening off, the top leaves will get sunburn and go white, then drop from the plant, stunting their growth considerably.
Keep the plants frost free. At the first suggestion of frost, bring the plants in. See the overwintering guide.
Try not let the compost get water logged. Try instead to keep compost on the drier side of damp. Too much water prevents enough oxygen getting to the roots. If your plants are outside, don't use pot saucers. Rain collects in them and the plants become waterlogged.
If a plant wilts and goes droopy, just water it and in an hour or two it will be back to normal.
Consider watering from the bottom, if you can. Place the base of the pots in water for 7-10 seconds. This will stop or reduce fungus gnats being attracted to the damp, top compost.
Use Chilli Focus/Tomato feed or similar, at half strength once a week. More feed will not make it grow quicker, it will subsequently burn the leaves and stunt growth.
Pot your plants up to larger pots, when you see roots emerging from the base of the pot. Make sure any pot has plenty of holes in the bottom for drainage.
Try not to compact any new compost, as it reduces oxygen to the roots.
Don’t worry, if plants drop a few flower buds, and the odd leaf. It's normal.
Consider staking plants as they get bigger. Some may fruit so much that branches could get heavy and snap.
Before the first frost, bring the plants in and only water once every week or two. Don’t feed the plants, overwinter. The leaves may fall but the plant will still be alive. Keep in frost free area.
Most plants die from being overwatered, over fed and too much attention!