Chillies can take up to 30 days to germinate and then fruit can be ripe for picking any time between 90-120 days after germination.
When To Plant
Chillies should be planted once all risk of frosts has passed, and overnight temperatures are warmer.
They require similar growing conditions to those for Tomatoes, Capsicums and Aubergines, but even hotter temperatures.
Chilli plants grow can grow as large as 1 metre, depending on the variety. Particularly when grown as Perennial Chillies, they can grow much bigger as they are overwintered and allowed to keep growing.
Most grow to approximately 30-40cms.
Chillies like to grow in hot, sheltered conditions.
They will grow and fruit happily when temperatures are no less than 15 degrees Celsius overnight and begin fruiting when temperatures raise during the Summer.
If you are not living in a warm – hot climate, Chillies will do best grown in a greenhouse or conservatory.
Water and fertilise regularly.
Keep an eye out for aphids, spider mites and blossom end rot.
If overwintering, prune approximately 1/3 of the plant once the fruiting season is completed.
The more chillies you pick, the more you will usually get.
Chillies should be harvested when they are fully grown, plump, shiny and easily come away from the plant. They should snap off with hardly any effort. If you need to twist or bend them too much to remove them, they’re not yet ready.
There are many ways to store your extra Chillies if you don’t use them all fresh.
You can dry them out, thread them and hang them (called Ristras), freeze them, preserve them or grind them up into a powder.