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Chilli experts - Advise please


I will be shortly buying my chilli seeds for the new year and will be sowing them next month in my heated propagator.

I will be buying/sowing around 7 or 8 different varieties as I did last year and am hoping for a successful growing season again.

Last year out of all the chilli's that I grew the only one that failed to fruit was a Numex Suave Orange chilli. The plant grew to a good size but the fruit never developed (bar 1 or 2 small chilli's) and then it got to cold for them to ripen further.

I have a feeling that this was because the Numex Suave is a Habenero and Habenero's take a lot longer to set fruit from the day they are transplanted. All my other non-habanero chilli's developed quite quickly and gave a good yield.

My question is - This year I want to buy Chupetinho and Apricot chilli's which are also from the Capsicum Chinense Habenero family. Is it a given that these will also need a lot longer to fruit than say some other varieties of chilli?? Could I be in for disappointment again? Or can you get Habenero's that are successful in non tropical climates.. ie my garden?

For a heads up. I live in Essex and transplant all the chilli's out into a south facing sunny garden in May.

Thanks.. Chris


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,846

    Not familiar with Habanero idiosyncrocies but I do know you can bring chili plants indoors and grow them on as a houseplant and thus allow late fruits to ripen.  Just give them a spot on a bright, sunny windowsill and protect from cold draughts.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    Hi Obelixx,

    Thanks for your response. Although that is a good idea the varieties that I will be growing will get large and I very much doubt my wife will like me having an established pepper plant growing in our flat hehe. :) 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,846

    IN that case you need to rig up a polytunnel/greenhouse thingy to keep your chillies warm and speed up ripening.  It can be DIY or bought online or from your local DIY store or garden centre.  Have a google.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Try to buy the seeds that have been growing in UK climate.  It does help. Also there is a chilli lovers group  at

  • Waz200Waz200 Posts: 56

    I have grown different varieties of chilli over the last few years but I always sow the seeds indoors and bring them on early, when the threat of last frost has gone I grow them on in a greenhouse. Numex are a variety I particularly like and have always had success with them, I did also grow a habenero too, so I would recommend growing undercover. One thing I also do is pollinate myself by brushing the pollen of the flowers on to each other with a fine pencil brush, this helps guarantee pollination should the insects not visit the plants. 

  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    Thanks Waz.

    I will start growing indoors inside a heated propagator within the next couple of weeks. Just got my first batch of new seeds through from Sea Spring Seeds. I've got Numex Twillight and Bolivian Rainbow so that I can compare the 2!

    Problem I have is that our garden is not really a garden at all, its a communal car park that is slowly being taken over by all the plants myself and my wife keep buying. I have a mini greenhouse and a freestanding plastic greenhouse but neither can hold many plants hence why most have to grow unprotected outside. That said most of the varieties I grew last year were fine and produced strong plants with plenty of peppers. I fed them with Chili Focus from mid summer onwards last year and they seemed to love it.

    The only Habenero I ended up purchasing the other day was 'Chupetinho'... so only time will tell if its a success or a flop.

  • Waz200Waz200 Posts: 56
    Hi Torg, I sowed some chilli seeds indoors and put them on an electric propagater on Sunday, they've germinated already, just 5 days later. It might be a good idea to get yours going now, give them a better head start.
    Good luck and happy growing. ?
  • Waz200Waz200 Posts: 56
    BTW, I sowed Naga, Jalapeño, Numex and Espelette Pimento de Basque. ?
  • Leif2Leif2 Posts: 12

    You won't be able to grow C. chinense outdoors, our climate is unsuitable, they need more warmth than most Capsicum species and they grow slower. You can try C. annuum, C. pubescens and C. baccatum. I failed with C. frutescens outdoors, there were lots of pods but none ripened. A C. baccatum - Lemon drop - did well outdoors during the dreadful lightless wet summer a few years back.

    What about a smaller variety? I had a mild C. chinense (sold as a hot one!!!) which grew to about 12"/30cm tall. It was happy on a windowsill.

    If you must grow outdoors, try and find a sheltered spot, out of the wind, with lots of sun.

  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    Thanks Leif,

    That's good to know! The only C. chinense I have bought this year was the Cheputinho so I will have to see if I can get anything from it.

    Funnily enough I grew lemon drops last year and they were very productive indeed!

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