We have already told you a little about the cultivation of pepper in general. Today we give you another approach with the cultivation of chili peppers . Use varieties to plant in pots but not in the garden but inside the house. We propose the cultivation of chili in a pot as a decorative and edible indoor plant (if you can endure the spice).
WHAT CAN WE PLANT IN A POT?
Within the Capsicum annuum species we have countless varieties, shapes and colors … There are no limits. We propose the cultivation of chili peppers or hot peppers. Jalapeños, habaneros, arbol chiles, serranos … a whole catalog with very varied levels of spiciness. These levels are measured with the scoville scale that we talk about a little below. Even if you don’t like spicy, you can always consider it as an ornamental plant with an extra advantage. They will decorate their flowers and decorate their fruits.
CARE FOR GROWING CHILI PEPPERS AT HOME
The general care for this type of peppers or chili peppers is very similar for many of its variants, so let’s see how to be successful and enjoy both its visual and organoleptic qualities. There are varieties that are better adapted to growing in a pot than others.
It must be borne in mind that if it is grown indoors, by not lowering the temperatures in winter (19-21ºC) we can try to keep the plant in winter standstill until the following spring, at which time when it has enough hours of light, it will begin to take out flower and later fruit. For now let’s see how to grow them.
TEMPERATURES AND LIGHT
The chili is still a variant of pepper, so as a good nightshade it is, its light and thermal needs are high. Inside the house we will need heat and sun.
It even supports direct rays, although it is not a question of scorching them, because they will ripen too soon and even the fruits can suffer if they are heated excessively.
Obviously, its fruiting covers spring and summer . In addition, indoors we have the advantage of being able to advance the sowing a little. Not too much because for flowering they need quite a few hours of light a day.
A GOOD SUBSTRATE FOR A GOOD CHILI
A good substrate is essential for a good chili . We need loose, light, fertile and well-drained soil to ensure good nutrition and avoid waterlogging. They are quite demanding crops in nutrients. Be careful with nitrogen.
If nitrogen nutrition is excessive, they may not flower. If you have well decomposed compost, it is a good option for mixing. Mulch or peat are other complements to make the mixture with a normal substrate. Some drainage is also important. Gravel at the bottom and some sand in the substrate mix is sufficient.
IRRIGATION OF THE CHILI
It is a plant with high water requirements. Frequent and moderate-abundant watering . Mostly in summer. Also, growing chili peppers in a pot may need a little more frequency to maintain a suitable level of humidity in the substrate.
We must never flood the substrate or wet the leaves. We will favor the appearance of fungi. Remove the excess water from the dish once it is watered.
The sowing will be done at the end of winter in a protected or warm bed seedbed . With a germination temperature of 25 ºC and a gentle and frequent watering we will have the seeds germinated in 3 weeks.
When we have somewhat consistent plants we proceed to the final transplant in a pot.
As for sowing, you will see that the supply of chilli and chilli seeds is very wide. There are many varieties and easy access. Here is an example of different types of seeds.
VARIETIES FOR GROWING CHILI PEPPERS IN POTS
If we put all the varieties that exist we would not finish this post in years. There are hundreds. We are going to give you a few that are the best ones to grow in pots:
- Numex Twilight : It is one of the most cultivated as an ornamental due to the variation of colors of its fruits according to the state of maturity. It is quite spicy. (Main photo of the post).
- Aurora : Another very similar to the previous one. Also very spicy and with such vivid and varied colors.
- Black pearl : This one is somewhat exotic. The coloration of the entire plant is black and it produces round, black fruits that ripen to red. The name comes to mind. (view photo).
- Holiday Cheer: It produces very round peppers that also turn from purple, yellow to finally red.
- Jellyfish : Another very popular pot grown. The level of spiciness is not very high and it is a plant that produces a large quantity of chili peppers of yellow, orange and finally red colors. They look like flames (see photo).
- Chile serrano: Another classic of Mexican gastronomy. It is not as spicy as the habanero we talk about below. For someone used to spice, it shouldn’t be a pain. Here we leave you an article dedicated to the cultivation of serrano pepper.
- Jalapeño : A classic among chili peppers. Its flavor is very good and it can also be grown in a pot.
- Purple Rocket : As its name suggests, it is a chili whose ripe color is purple. Easy adaptation to pot growing as well.
- Chile de arbol : Another Mexican classic with a good pot adaptation. It is also very spicy. This is elongated that turns from green to red when ripe.
- Black chili : When ripe, it goes from red to brown, and ultimately to black. It is not that it is so attractive from the ornamental point of view but it is still curious. It tastes similar to habanero. If you haven’t tried habanero, it is a chili that, although it is very hot, has a sweet pepper flavor “understand sweet like something fruity, not sweet like sugar.”
- Habanero chili : Although there are hotter chilies in the world than habanero chili, it is considered one of the hottest stars in Mexican culture. If you want to know more about the habanero and its cultivation, we have an article on the habanero pepper.
- Carolina Reaper HP22B: We put this one for a simple matter of numbers, not the name of the variety but because it has broken the Guinness Record of Records for the hottest chili peppers in history. Below you have a link to the article about spicy. Look on the Scoville scale how spicy this variety is if we tell you that it has about 2,200,000 SHUs. We do not know if it lends itself easily to potting.
These are a very few varieties of chili peppers. Navigating you will find hundreds of thousands. It is an endless world.
HOW DO WE MEASURE THE SPICINESS? WILBUR SCOVILLE HAS THE ANSWER
First of all, we must know what makes a chili hot. The substance that causes it is known as capsaicin. Depending on the concentration of this molecule, chili peppers can range from not hot or very slightly hot to being the deadliest chili in the world, only suitable for the very brave or with a mouth full of wax as Homer Simpson taught us 😉. Wilbur Scoville was the first at the beginning of the 20th century who decided to put a numerical value on spicy based on the organoleptic sensation that it left in the subject’s mouth as a function of concentration. If you want to delve into the subject, you just have to click on the article dedicated to the Scoville scale.