With few specific conditions chili plants are one of the easiest crops to grow at your home in containers. Chillies belong to capsicum genus and have lots of varieties. The hottest one is Carolina Reaper and the mildest one is Cherry Pepper.
In India if we talk about geographical locations and environmental conditions, we have numerous varieties of chillies. It is also known as Mirch here and is one of the essential items in Indian cuisine. The Portuguese brought chili to India in the 16th century. Because of the taste and flavor chillies gained huge popularity and people started using it in almost all dishes.
In India we have lots of ways to grow chillies in containers at our home, whether it is the hottest chili – Bhut Jolokia or the popular one – Jwala Chili.
You need to get seeds first from seed supplier, local nursery, buy online or from a manufacturer. Even you can get seeds from dried chillies from your home garden.
You can use a variety of seeds in your containers. There are lots of types which are easy to grow with very little effort like Guntur Chili, Aji Lemon, Byadagi, Naga Viper and can have different color shades. The color and sizes are also varied.
You can use containers on your balcony or near windows because they need at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight. One chili plant can have more than 100 fruits in a year.
Tips for growing chillies at your home
- Use a mix of loose soil mixed with compost. Water it slowly until plants start showing outside and then use proper watering regularly.
- To germinate hot and spicy chillies like Ghost Pepper or Naga Viper, soaked them in water or use a damp paper towel.
- The direct sunlight should not be more than 5-6 hours as it will dry the seedlings. The growing of plants will be different according to the climate conditions.
- If you see 4-5 leaves on plants you can put them in other containers as per your requirements.
- Plants which are grown indoors will not be able to survive same way when put outside later.
Soils have the presence of Potassium that will be very helpful in their growth. Only after a one month, chili plants start flowering and fruiting. To keep necessary nutrients you can also add compost to the plant.
Pollination is required since chillies have male and female flowers. You can use a brush or leave it to do naturally with the help of bees.
When chillies have fruits, avoid overwatering. You can use a spray bottle for watering. You need to harvest the plants regularly. This will allow the plants to use its energy for new fruits.
Once the fruits get proper length you can use them as per your needs. Even dry them to use red chili powder. To make dry fruits you can take them off from the plant and let them dry in direct sun.