chilli peppers

Anyone have any hints or tips on growing hot chillies? We have a greenhouse, poly tunnel and a south - facing patio but have so far failed to get fruit. We are in the north east so our growing season is a bit shorter than most but I think we should be able to get something. All advice gratefully received.


  • Hi Barbara... I am a bit of a chilli head!! Firstly which variety are you growing or have you tried to grow in the past? A lot of the hotter chillies have a higher germination temperature and will require a heated propogator to germinate. They also have a longer growing period some 90+ days which as you will appreciate is not conducive to the uk...... Pm me if you like 

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892

    Barbara I heartily recommend you quiz Stacey til you're blue in the face - she's an extra amazing lady when it comes to chillies! 

  • image

    Aahhhhhh clari such praise u will make me blush

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    I'm in the north east too but had good fruit every year except when I tried to grow with just one plant. I had to buy an Apache to act as pollinator and hand pollinate. I always hand pollinate as I grow in the porch. Maybe that's your problem.

  • I always grow mine outside him so don't have to hand pollinate but when I bring some in over winter I use the flick method!!!!  Chillis like to be treated rough as well... Always let them wilt a little before watering and don't feed until they flower ( chilli focus is the best)

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751
    Stacey Docherty wrote (see)

    I always grow mine outside him so don't have to hand pollinate but when I bring some in over winter I use the flick method!!!!  Chillis like to be treated rough as well... Always let them wilt a little before watering and don't feed until they flower ( chilli focus is the best)

    ~When you say the 'flick method' what do you mean?

  • I flick the flowers gently this helps distribute pollen I don't want fruits in the winter as in my experience this slows production in the summer. This method is obviously hit and miss works better with flowers higher up the plant.... If you want to self pollinate during the winter then a q-tip or paint brush is the best method ( or black biro lid so you can see the pollen)

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    I didn't get a single chilli set when I had just one plant. I'd managed to keep one plant going over the winter a couple of years ago but despite having loads of flowers every single one fell off despite me going around with a paint brush. It wasn't until I bought the Apache that I then started to get fruit setting.  When I say one plant I mean one individual, I'd taken cuttings so actually had that one individual in four pots, in other words four clones. I realise they have both male and female parts in each flower but so do many self sterile plants.  Maybe there was some other reason for the plants not forming fruit. Why do you sometimes get fruit forming but not growing. You get tiny stumpy ones with no seed. See, I thought that was when it had self pollinated. It happens in tomatoes too. I go around every day shaking the tomato plants but towards the end of the season I don't bother and you get tiny sterile ones forming. I quite like them because they're incredibly sweet. 

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,902

    I start my chillies off about now sowing them in a heated propogator and as soon as they appear vent the propogator before putting them on a window ledge which gets most light. I put them further inside the room if it's cold outside so they don't get a chill through the window, then it's a case of waiting for the last frost before they go out in the GH, potting up when roots appear at the bottom of the pot.

    Apache, I've found is always a good cropper. They seem to take forever to flower though but once in flower the fruits grow fairly quickly. Mine polinate without help, would have thought there were enough good guys in a GH or poly tunnel to do the job for you.

    I'm in the NW and chillies/peppers are usually the last fruit harvested in the GH. When there's enough chillies on the plant I cut it off at the stem and dry them in the GH hung from the ceiling. They were brought in at the end of October last year to finish drying in the kitchen.

    It could be you are sowing too late. As a back up I buy one one or two seedling plants. If you are only growing a few plants it works out more economical than sowing from seed and in my case usually ahead of home sown one's.


  • Some great advice, thanks. I have just bought a heated propagator so that should help. I know we have grown jalape??os sort of or but I can't remember the others. Stacey, I will be getting back to you for sure. Up until now we have tried other pots and in the poly tunnel border. When we tried overwintering they died. Will keep trying.
  • Apache over winters very well I normally cut mine right down... I never grow one chilli plant lol normally about 125 so!!!! jalepeno have a long (90-120) fruiting period so! Also with chillis and no seed sometimes the f1 varieties are sterile. Flowe. Drop could be many things but is normally lack of pollination as I grow all mine outside this is not anything I encounter. It can also be if they are over fed with too high a potassium feed.... Although it's ok I never feed with tomato feed as it doesn't give them what they want ... Chilli focus is the best... Also square pots I have said to all don't know why or the science behind it but they do better in square pots..... zoomer do you smoke? Chillli plants can be affected by nicotine I will look up the article now .....

  • Pete8Pete8 Posts: 2,831

    Over the last few years I've grown Superchilli (Thai style chili) with amazing harvests.
    3 plants in a 15L pot against a S. wall and I've had hundreds of chilli's off them.
    Jalapenos also work well, but get fewer but much bigger chilli's with great flavour.

    I treat them like tomatoes, no feed until the flowers appear(as said above) then follow the same sort of feed schedule as for the toms.
    I've had better results in a greenhouse with the jalapenos, but suprchilli is really good on a S wall

    Good luck!



  • 4thPanda4thPanda Posts: 4,145

    Crickey Pete! That's an amazing crop image

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,902

    SD I only smoke when I'm angryimage

  • Lol Pete great crop super chillie is a great cropper for outside growing  so is Thai dragon that makes a lovely patio pot chillie


     Saying that I think this is firecracker with cherry bombs in the back.... So hot heads what are you planting this year? A few nagas?

  • We sow our seeds at the end of December and put into a propagator under lights overnight. Our plants are about 8 inches tall and will be going into a heated greenhouse, along with the chilli plants we cut down to sticks and these are already producing leaves and in some cases, flowers.

    The only downside is that the greenhouse gets packed with plants that are taller than me (5ft 3), and I have to pick them as my other half is colour blind.

    We also use chilli focus and also something that my husband puts in the water for the plants called Superthrive, literally just a drop and it really helps with the growth. We also pollinate the chillis with a small brush, and leaving the greenhouse door open, we get bees in there too.


  • Verdun I recommend you visit south devon chillie farm website and get a few plants off that! it depends what you want ... Decorative, hot, mild, long, unusual?

  • Edd they are a good cropper but i tend to find they are not as hot over here have you tried cherry bomb? It has the sweet/ hot tang and is spectacular and tasty with a thick flesh ideal for pickling but is a tall (2ft) plant

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