Growing some delicious chili peppers is definitely one of the best ways to spice up your garden!
It is a wonderful feeling to sow chili seeds and then be there to watch the various chili plant growing stages process before your own eyes. Believe me, when you are harvesting your spicy peppers, you will cherish those plants like little babies.
Although growing chili plants is not a hard task at all, still, there are some things you will need to know before getting started. Knowing about the right time to plant or even if you are using the right soil type are at the top of that list.
Of course, you don’t need to worry at all as we have everything you need to know right here.
We are not only going to go through all of the different growing stages of the chili plant, but also explain the forms and looks of them at each stage and how to encourage its growth and development.
We can provide you with all of the solutions if you happen to run into
What Are The Different Chili Plant Growing Stages?
Chili plants are also known as Capsicum Annuum and all share the same growth stages regardless of if you grow them outside in the garden, in a greenhouse, or in an apartment:
Here is six Different Chili Plant Growing Stages :
- Sowing chili seeds
- Seed germination
- Chili seedlings
You can directly sow the seeds into the soil if you happen to live in a warm climate region. If you are not in a region with a warm climate, you will need to start the plants inside first and then wait for the soil to warm up before transplanting them outside. Hence, you will be able to extend their growing season and will produce many more peppers!
Whatever the situation may be, the rules are the same for all chili peppers. You have to keep them in a location where it is sunny and has moist soil. Also they need fertilizer during their growing season.
1.Sowing Chili Seeds
You have the choice of sowing the chili pepper seeds into the ground directly or in containers first and then transplant them outside. Or else, just leave them in the pots to continue growing and developing.
It is very crucial to only sow the seeds directly in the soil only if you live in a warm climate area. Remember, they simply cannot tolerate the frost. Furthermore, this shouldn’t be any issue if you have a heated propagator.
The ideal time for sowing would be late February and early March if you are planning on growing your seeds in a greenhouse.
On the other hand, if you are planning to transplant your growing plants outside later, then April or May would be perfect. It would give your plants just enough time to become established and also the soil will warm up.
How To Sow The Seeds
In order to sow the seeds, there are a few things that you will need: a tray for the seed and loam-based seed compost mixed with vermiculite. Don’t worry if you don’t have any of those items as you will easily find them at your local garden shop.
Here is a step by step Chili Plant Growing Stages guide for you to follow:
- You will need seed trays that have drainage holes at the bottom, or else small plastic cups.
- Then fill the trays ¾ of good quality compost that is suitable for your seeds.
- You need to evenly spread a few seeds on top of the soil.
- Use the rest of the soil to cover the seeds. Also, you can use coco-peat.
- As you let the soil moisten, keep the trays in a warm and sunny place. You must do this in order for germination to take place.
Useful tips and suggestions: You may put the seeds in a paper towel and sprinkle the seeds with water. My doing this on a daily basis will keep the towel moist. It is better to find a location with a temperature that is above 68 degrees Fahrenheit for the seeds. You can transplant the small sprouts into small pots and of course keep the soil moist.
As mentioned before, you will have to provide your seeds with a warm temperature of at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit in order for germination to occur. Also, you must keep the soil moist.
After about 7 to 10 days of sowing the seeds, germination should occur, but sometimes it may take a little bit longer. So you must be patient. Even though once I did everything as I normally do, it still took about two weeks for my seeds to germinate. So a little delay is nothing to worry about.
The type of chili seeds sometimes makes a difference. Although Cayenne seed germination happens within a few days, Habanero seed can take just about 3 to 4 weeks.
Since wet soil can literally drown the seeds, be very careful not to overwater your seeds. It will be very disappointing if the germination does not take place just because of some silly mistake.
It will be my recommendation to only water on alternate days.
How will you know that the seeds have successfully germinated? Well, you will be able to notice little sprouts coming right out of the soil as your sign of success!
First, there will be green shoots coming out of the soil and then it will develop into green leaves. Referred to as cotyledons, these are false leaves.
In the following week, you will see a formation of a new pair of leaves known as true first leaves.
Soon enough, you will see a lot of leaves as the little sprout continues to grow and develop.
Keep in mind that these little sprouts need good lighting. Try keeping them on a windosill where they can get at least 6 hours of sunlight throughout the day.
Even though you can reduce the watering to every couple of days now, you still need to keep the soil moist. Before watering , it is better to first check the soil. Just use your finger and see if the soil has dried out or not. If not, then postpone watering the baby pants for the next day.
Look out for once a small plant is established and a few pairs of leaves are there, you will need to transplant or repot your plant. At that point, the plant will need much more room or space to grow and develop.
May is the best time of the year for you to transplant your seedlings outside. With the soil temperature being warm enough, it will be a great environment for the seedlings.
However, there is an option to repot your plant into a bigger pot if you like. This is preferred by those who feel the need to bring their plant back indoors due to the weather not being suitable when it gets past a certain point in the day. Also, you can carry it and put it in a greenhouse.
It is important to look out for signs that will let you know that your plant has most likely gotten too large and used up all the space in the pot. So if you happen to see the roots coming out of the drainage holes or the plants look unnourished and sagging even though they have received enough water and sun, then it is time to repot them into a larger pot.
Transplanting Seedlings Indoors
It is necessary to transplant your seedlings into a new and larger pot if they have outgrown their tray. Before you can finally transplant it outdoors, you may need to repot your seedling a few times as they will continue to grow and develop.
Transplanting Seedlings Outdoors
As we discussed earlier, it is best to transplant your seedling outside in May. Until then, you will most likely have to repot your plant a few times while they are still indoor. Just be sure to use slightly larger pots every time you repot so they can have enough room.
If you do not live in an area with a warm climate all year around, then just calculate about three weeks after the last frost occurs and that will be a good time to transplant your plants.
Of course, you will need specific materials such as potting mix with good drainage, a large size container, fertilizer and compost (can be optional).
Since they will need at least 8 hours of full sun during the day time, if you are planning on transplanting them into a garden, then you must make sure you put them in a place where it will be sunny enough.
As long as you have provided your plants with the best growing conditions as we discussed, soon you will notice little white chili flowers growing all over your plants!
It is these white chili flowers that will eventually turn into the pepper plants that you have been waiting for.
However, pollination needs to occur before they turn into pepper plants. Since pollination is done by pollinating insects, you will need to be in an area where there is a high bee population. Or else, you will have to take matters into your own hands and pollinate the flowers on your own.
You can do this on your own with a pollinating brush. There are some growers who have the experience and can pollinate by rubbing the male and female flowers. However, that can be a tricky process and not recommended for first timers.
Ohh, also it is important to know that cross-pollination does occur between different varieties of pepper plants if left together. So if you want to grow specifically let’s say jalapenos for instance, then you will need to keep them separated from your chili plants.
Remember to continue to water and fertilize your plants and try to use rainwater if possible because tap water does c0ntain too much chlorine. You can even use distilled or filter water if you choose to.
There are some issues that can cause the pepper flowers to fall off. Fluctuating temperature, overwatering, over fertilizing and undersized containers are mostly the main causes.
Since these factors contribute a lot to flower and fruit production, you should always keep a close eye on these things.
As long as pollination is successful, your plants will start to bear fruits before you know it!
During this stage of the plant growth, some of the flowers may still be blooming and growing while others will turn into small chillies.
While continuing with regular care for the plants, you can start harvesting. Do not harvest the plants until the end of their growing season if you prefer your chillies and peppers to be spicy. The longer they are attached to the plants, the more spicier the chillies and pepper will get.
You will know that the plant is near the end of its life cycle when all the flowers have become fruits. After that, the only thing left for you to do is start Harvesting!
Obviously, harvesting is the last and final step in the gardening process. It is definitely a very proud feeling when collecting fruits from plants which you have planted and cared for yourself.
It is up to you if you want to harvest them as soon as they are large enough to eat or wait until they are fully matured and much spicier.
Quick Tips For Chili Plant Growing Stages
During the harvesting process, you can use pruning equipment or a knife to cut the peppers.
Of course, the more peppers you cut from your plants, the faster you will have new blooms and fruits growing. To avoid having any broken branches, it is better to avoid hand plucking.
Just do remember that pepper spray is a very common self-defense weapon for a reason. So please don’t forget to use gloves when working with the spicy peppers.