Chillies are very well suited to growing in pots.
They are a great all-rounder to add to your garden, as they add incredible colour to your garden and can be used in your cooking. Chillies contain key vitamins that encourage a healthy immune system. You can add them fresh to your dishes or dry them out to make home-made chilli powder.
There are many variations of chilli, some can be harder to grow if you are not in a humid hot climate, while others can be grown in most climates.
You have a few options when growing chillies in pots – you can either buy seedlings or easily grow chillies from seed.
If you’re a first-timer at growing chillies in pots, or you simply want to increase the quality of your fruit, we’ve put together a helpful guide to help you get the most out of your chilli plant.
Chillies grow well in pots in most Australian climates. While most chillies are grown as an annual plant, in their natural habitat (humid and hot) they are normally perennials. As a result, chillies tend to live a lot longer in tropical and subtropical regions of Australia.
If you live in the colder regions of Australia, most chillies are grown as annuals as they die back in the winter. Harvest your chilli seeds so that you are prepared to plant them in new pots for the next season.
If you live in a consistently cold climate, it’s better to grow your chillies in pots because you can move them in and out depending on the temperature of the day. In periods of frost, it’s best to bring them inside to protect them from the elements and keep them alive longer.
The best time to grow chillies from seed will depend on the type of Australian climate you live in.
if you decide on growing chillies from seed, as a rule, in hotter climates sow seeds between August and December, while in colder climates sow between September and mid-November. Chillies need to be at a consistent 20 °C to germinate so keep this in mind when deciding when to sow.
It’s important to choose the correct pot size and soil. Opt for a pot that is at least 30cm wide. Chilli plants are very sensitive and do not take well to transplanting so ensure you have the right sized pot before sowing. Use a high-quality premium potting mix and add in mildly acidic compost with good potassium levels.
Plant seeds or seedlings approx. 45cm apart as they can grow quite tall and bushy depending on the variety. As some types will grow to different heights and widths, always check the planting advice on the particular variety you choose to grow.
Hot tip: Chillies have shallow roots which means they can easily topple over. Once the seedlings have grown to become young plants, support them by adding a stake. You should also add a layer of pea straw mulch when the plant is established to avoid drying out the soil.
Chilli plants love the heat and will thrive in a sunny position. If the climate is quite extreme with very hot days, direct sun for too many hours could cause the leaves to scorch and dry out.
If you are growing your chillies in pots, you have the flexibility to move them around to catch the sun when the season changes. Growing chillies indoors can be successful, just ensure you pick a sunny spot near a window.
While chillies love the heat, they also require constant moisture.
During summer, if you live in a dry climate, you will need to water your chillies two to three times a week. If you live in areas with heavy rainfall in winter, water sparingly.
By growing chillies in pots, you have the option to add a water dish to the bottom to ensure the soil is kept moist. Only do this if you live in very hot and dry climates, as they don’t like to stand in the wet for long periods.
Fertilising your chillies growing in pots is essential to promoting healthy growth. Charlie Carp’s All-Purpose Fertiliser will promote strong roots and lots of fruit.
You should aim to fertiliser your chilli plants every 1-2 weeks.
Chillies will take about one to three weeks to show signs of growth. Most fruit is produced from December through to April. As there are many varieties of chillies, they can ripen from green to shades of yellow, brown, purple and red.
Chillies can be picked at any stage from early green to fully ripe. It’s important to pick the fruit off regularly to extend the plant’s productivity.
Hot tip: The more mature a chilli gets, the hotter it will be.
As with all plants they are prone to common garden pests & diseases. Chilli plants are prone to root-knot nematode, which are microscopic roundworms that cause damage to the roots. You can prevent this pest by regularly adding compost to the soil. Charlie Carp Fertilisers are made from European Carp. The natural fish oils in our fertilisers have the added benefit of deterring common pests.
Chilli plants are also prone to getting the two-spotted mites. To control this mite, you will need to regularly spray the plant with horticultural oil.
After the plant dies off in the winter, always replace the soil before planting your next chilli plant.
If you looking to grow chillies in pots, it’s important that you give them regular feeds. If you have any questions about how Charlie Carp’s fertiliser could benefit your chilli plants get in touch today.