In this post, you will find information on how to grow chili from seed. Although the focus will be on how to grow indoors much of the guides information also apply for growing outdoors (e.g., in your garden and/or green house). If you stumbled upon this site you may be thinking “why the hell should I grow chili?”. Don’t worry, see our post on why we love chili. It will probably convince you! That said, move on to our guide!
We have a newer post about growing peppers, check it out!
When to germinate your chili seeds
If you are new to growing hot peppers, you may have asked yourself the question “when should a put my seeds?”. That is, when is the optimal time for growing seeds. The answer to this question is, of course, depending on where in the world you are living. These are conditions and can be more specifically pin pointed to the temperature (and humidity, peppers love humid climate) and the amount of sun light.
If you are living in the northern hemisphere and the winter months range from December to February, they still are the perfect months to turn up the heat and start sowing some hot chili peppers! When growing peppers where it’s a winter climate, early germination of the seeds and sowing them is the secret to give the chili peppers a lot of time to ripen before the end of summer. This is especially true for the super hot varieties of the Capsicum Chinense species. Why? Because the seeds take longer to germinate, the plants grow slower, and the fruits take longer to ripen. You can, of course, can still sow your pepper seeds right up until the end of April for a successful crop.
How to germinate chili seeds
There are a number of different ways you can propagate your chili seeds. The cheapest, and easiest, way is to put the seeds directly in the best chili soil you can find. This way you will not have to buy anything else than the containers and soil. What I typically do, if I plan to put them in the soil directly, is to put the seeds in a glass of lukewarm water. Prepare the day before and pour tap water into a glass. This way, the pH value of the water also get gets better. When this is done, put the seeds in the water and let it be over the night. See this great guide for more information on pH.
Next step is to prepare your chili soil mix. First, put it into your container (i.e., pot) and moist it with water. Second, place your seed into the soil (about 5 mm deep). Third, put a plastic bag over the pot. I typically put some straps around the plastic bag and make a few holes in the bag. This way the soil will stay moist longer and you don’t have to water it. Beware, if the soil is to moist your seeds (and seedlings) may rotten and die.
Now you just have to wait for up to 2 weeks until your seedling appear.
If you are interested in growing chilies from India see our post 6 Hot to Exteremly Hot Chili Peppers From India.