How to Plant and Grow Green Chili Peppers in Pots From Seeds

Updated on April 4, 2016

Pepper Seeds inside the Pod

Seeds are loose inside the chili pepper pod. At this point they are ready to be sown.
Seeds are loose inside the chili pepper pod. At this point they are ready to be sown. | Source

Why should you care about planting chili peppers?

The green chili pepper is one of the best types of chilis to grow in your garden. Along with Jalapeños, they are versatile and you will find lots of recepies where they will shine.

Besides they are easy-to-grow, sturdy plants that will give you lots of satisfaction with almost no effort on your part.

Chilis can be used in dried form, and even frozen, but for some recipes it is best to have them fresh and nothing it’s fresher than obtaining them right from your garden.

First let's get some pepper seeds

You can always buy the seeds (ensuring their quality to some degree) but if you can get your hands on fresh peppers in your region you can obtain seeds from the pod.

  1. Choose a ripe chili pepper. You will know it's ripe because rather than green it will be orange or red. Or you can choose one that's still green but with ends changing color.
  2. Put it in a moisture free environment and let it dry (the edge of a window is usually a good choice).
  3. The pod will become redder and then brittle and translucent (see image above) and the seeds will become loose inside.
  4. Open the pod and get your seeds.

How I know when it is ready?: if you shake the pod it will rattle.

Word of advice: the pod may look like a thin brittle shell but it is still very hot. Be careful not to touch your eyes, mouth or any sensitive skin because it will burn like hell (I learnt this the hard way, don't let it happen to you).

Chili Pepper Seeds

This is how green chili pepper's seeds look like.
This is how green chili pepper's seeds look like. | Source

Who cooks with green peppers?

Chilis (also called hot peppers) are an important ingredient in Asian, Latin-American and Southern U.S.A. cuisines.

What a sad thing would Nachos be without green peppers or jalapeños!

Germinating the seeds and potting your pepper plant

  • Sow the seeds into a seed starting tray. They must be covered with 5 mm of compost or garden earth. (You can use egg cartons as starting trays).
  • Peppers will germinate within one to three weeks, depending on the variety and climate conditions.
  • A good practice is to sow three seeds together to increase the chances of germination.
  • If all seeds germinate you'll need to pull out the weaker plants.
  • When your pepper seedlings have two pair of leaves, you can move them to their final container or pot.
  • The container should be medium to large (at least a 5 gallon container).
  • If you live in a warm area you can sow the seeds directly to the pot.
  • Set them 5 to 10 cm apart and make sure they receive enough water (it may filter quickly to the bottom of the pot).

Taking care of your chili pepper plant

  • Provide plenty of light and water.
  • They are warm weather plants, protect them from low temperatures.
  • The fruit that is exposed to harsh sunlight may decolorize on the exposed surface. You can move the pot to another area at noon or you can put them close to other plants so they shade each other.
  • They are very hardy, but you must protect them from extreme wind, rain and hail.

Chili Pepper Seedlings

These seedlings have two pair of leaves. They will be ready for transplant in a few days.
These seedlings have two pair of leaves. They will be ready for transplant in a few days. | Source
  • Like with all plants that grow in pots, you must check for adequate drainage and try to avoid wetting the leaves when watering to prevent diseases.
  • Best time to water: early in the morning. Second best: late in the afternoon or at night.
  • Keep the container weed free. Remove weeds early before it gets too difficult.
  • You may need to tie up the chili plant to a pole or stake as it grows to avoid bending. Don’t tie it up too hard and don’t use cords or wire that can damage the stems. My recommendation: use a discarded pantyhose.

Chili Pepper Berry

The pepper berry starts to grow after the flower lost its petals.
The pepper berry starts to grow after the flower lost its petals. | Source

What is the appearance of a chili pepper plant?

The chili pepper plant grows about 60 to 70 cm tall, it has dark green ovoid leaves and five petal flowers that grow in the axillary bud.

The flowers are small, hermaphrodite and usually white. After two days the flowers wither and fall and the chili berry starts growing.

Before it reaches maturity it is dark green, measures three to four centimeters long and it is a little curved.

Ripe peppers change colors to orange and/or red, however it is pretty common to consume chili peppers while they are still green.

They are a perennial plant that survives several seasons.

Chilli Pepper Flower

Green chili pepper's five petal white flower.
Green chili pepper's five petal white flower. | Source

Picking up the Chili Peppers

You just have to cut at the stem, or pluck them carefully.

Use gloves or wash your hands thoroughly afterwards (Remember, it will burn like hell if you don’t).

Enjoy!

Fun Facts

  • What makes chili peppers so hot is capsaicin, a protein that is found in all the fruit but especially in the white pith that holds the seeds.
  • Capsaicin is not water soluble, so it is pointless to drink water to calm down the burning sensation it produces. Your best shot is cold milk or tequila (or any other beverage with fat or alcohol content).
  • Birds don’t experience that burning sensation. Nature needs them to eat and carry the seeds away.
  • There is a method to know how hot a chili pepper is. It is called the Scoville scale and it measures the pungency (how spicy) of different foods.
  • The green color of the chili pepper is due to the large ammount of chlorophyll they contain.
  • Peppers are good companion plants for tomatoes and herbs such as cilantro. Throw a few onions and you have everything for making pico de gallo sauce.

Ripe Red Hot Chili Pepper

The red one is ripe, however we usually eat chili peppers while they are green.
The red one is ripe, however we usually eat chili peppers while they are green. | Source

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Cool 

        5 weeks ago

        Cool! We don't need to spend 1000 pesos on 1 kg of chilli pepper

      • profile image

        Jolina Jakabot 

        11 months ago

        Cool! wish we had a chili in our garden in our place , Marshall Islands .

      • profile image

        tim 

        15 months ago

        Just wondering how to successfully keep them for consecutive seasons mine tend to die

      • profile image

        Rahul 

        3 years ago

        Here in my place it's high temperature 35-40 deg. Celsius,

        please give me some tips for chilli and tomato.

        rahulverma1790@gmail.com

        thank you for sharing this valuable stuffs.....

      • profile image

        Rahul 

        3 years ago

        awesome experience..... thanks to share

      • CandyTale profile imageAUTHOR

        Gabriela Hdez 

        4 years ago from Valencia, Spain

        Thank you! I'm glad it was helpful.

      • profile image

        Persis 

        4 years ago

        Very simply explained.....Great work...

      • profile image

        Shaikh Muhammed Ali 

        4 years ago

        I have planted my chili peppers in March in Islamabad, Pakistan where the current temp is 27 Deg. Celsius but they are very small and are growing very slowly. Is that normal

      • CandyTale profile imageAUTHOR

        Gabriela Hdez 

        4 years ago from Valencia, Spain

        You are welcome, I'm glad you liked it.

        By the way, it is highly possible birds are doing it!

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        4 years ago from Germany

        I have chili peppers in my garden. I have not planted them and I think it´s the birds who are planting those chilies as I have seen a lot of them growing everywhere in my garden. Thanks for sharing the information about this plant.

      • CandyTale profile imageAUTHOR

        Gabriela Hdez 

        5 years ago from Valencia, Spain

        You are very welcome!

      • thumbi7 profile image

        JR Krishna 

        5 years ago from India

        I got some chillies which are purple in color when they are raw. Planted them from ripe seeds. Plant has grown tall and started to flower.

        Thanks for sharing this beautiful hub

      • CandyTale profile imageAUTHOR

        Gabriela Hdez 

        5 years ago from Valencia, Spain

        Thank you Kathryn!

        Peppers are great plants to try. They were the first that I grew from seed and it's been very satisfying so far. Thanks for the warm welcome, and yes, I am thrilled and very proud of the HOTD award, never thought I would get one so soon!

        You too, have a wonderful Sunday!

      • Kathryn Stratford profile image

        Kathryn 

        5 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

        I have never planted chili pepper seeds, although my boyfriend has started ghost pepper plants. It has been slow-going, but it's interesting to watch them grow.

        This is very interesting, and I enjoy the tips, as well as the fun facts. Very well done.

        I noticed you are new to the community, so welcome to HubPages! I see that you have already won a HOTD award on another hub, and that is quite an achievement! You have made a splash already, so I look forward to seeing how well you do.

        Have a wonderful Sunday, and good luck to you.

      • CandyTale profile imageAUTHOR

        Gabriela Hdez 

        5 years ago from Valencia, Spain

        You're welcome. I'm as proud of my photos that of my peppers. Both turned out very nice.

      • Taleb80 profile image

        Taleb AlDris 

        5 years ago

        Very useful Hub, thanks for sharing.

        Your photos are very nice, you let me feel hungry.

      • Eco-Lhee profile image

        Eco-Lhee 

        5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

        They are pretty tough little plants for sure, and I have been trying my luck at container gardening. I brought a tomato plant and the jalapeno plant into the house last fall, just to see what they would do (and lucky you - no minus 30 weather :). The tomato plant died completely, but the jalapeno plant is still flowering and I have quite a few peppers started on it. Maybe it did do better because I cut off all the branches to start with, I didn't think of that.

      • CandyTale profile imageAUTHOR

        Gabriela Hdez 

        5 years ago from Valencia, Spain

        Thanks for the comment. I'm looking to growing a Jalapeño myself.

        If you care to try, maybe if you cut all branches and keep it covered in winter it may grow back in spring.

        I cut everything off a few months ago because I got a bad case of mildew, and the plants recovered pretty fast. Of course Mexico's weather is nothing like Canada's in the winter, but I have found these small pepper varieties are tough plants and I think maybe they'll make it.

      • Eco-Lhee profile image

        Eco-Lhee 

        5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

        Great information! I grew a red jalapeno plant last year, I cut it back in the fall and shouldn't have, I put it in a sunny window in the house to see what it would do and it's been flowering all winter.

      • CandyTale profile imageAUTHOR

        Gabriela Hdez 

        5 years ago from Valencia, Spain

        You are very welcome. I'm glad you liked it.

        I was going to buy seeds, but a fellow worker told me I was nuts, since you could get them almost free from the supermarket. It turns out my chili pepper plant grew pretty good. I still have to try this with sweet peppers, but haven't had the time.

      • wabash annie profile image

        wabash annie 

        5 years ago from Colorado Front Range

        What a great idea ... I'll have to try it. Thanks for sharing and the suggestions. Also. the pictures were great. Thanks much.

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