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When growing chilli plants from seed, late winter is usually the best time to plant. Chilli seeds need constant heat to geminate, and it is thought the perfect temperature is 28C, but anything between 24 C – 32C is fine. Place the seeds in small pots or trays, with about 2-3 seeds per pot and good seed raising mix. Light is not important till the seedlings appear so you can keep them in the hot water cupboard but make sure you keep them moist but not soaked and do not let them dry out. Most seeds will germinate in about 10-14 days but some can take longer so have some patience. Bhut Jolokia/Nagas/Scorpions/Reapers etc can take up to 6 weeks!
Once the seedlings start popping up, put them in a sunny place inside until they get to about 10-15cm in height. Then put them into large pots with the soil mixed with compost, manure or organic fertilizer to make sure your chillies don’t lack any essential nutrients. Place your pots in nice sunny spots in the garden so the chillies soak up as much sun as they can.
Before you know it, they will start to flower and then your first chillies are on the way. It’s good to cut the chillies from the plant just before they ripen. If you do this the plant will keep producing more chillies and you will have a bumper crop. If you leave the chillies on the plant to rot it is most likely the plant will die. Make sure your plants are protected from frosts, and they should give you many years of good chillies. So if you live somewhere cold bring your plants inside at night.
Note: Our chilli plants are not isolated so cross pollination is possible! We take the seeds from the best looking chillies available and have been selective breeding the World’s HOTTEST chilies in the Hokianga since 2008! Cheers and happy growing!