Why do many young men like growing their own chili plants?
1. Caring for potted plants is otherwise a little bit feminine, but chilis are rather masculine.
2. Ripening, the chili fruit becomes stronger and stronger but it is not obvious unless someone tastes it. Similarly a young man develop his skills in various areas but nobody will notice.
3. It is nice to know what is in your food.
4. And it is really fun when your guests try out the fruits thinking they are so small that it should be possible to eat them even though they are pungent.
Some of the most common chili species are:
Bell pepper/paprika and cayenne belong to this group of relatively mild variants. It is hard to make them survive more than one year but they grow fast and produce lots of fruit.
Very ordinary variants, often called Aji xxx.
The bush is hairy, leaves are thin and seeds are coloured dark.
Means Chinese chili, but actually from South America as the others, although popular in China too. These are the strongest sorts including Bhut Jolokia and Habanero. In this picture you see my neighbour Assim help me repot a two-year-old Habanero. The diametre of the pot was increased by 12cm which is too much, but it is hard to find large pots in exactly the right size.
Fundamentals of growing chili
Chili is used to arid places and will send its roots far into ground to find water. Use therefore a small pot to begin with. When the roots reach the bottom they will follow the inside of the pot around and around. If you use a large pot, there will be no roots in the middle of the soil. Consequences may be fungus, that the plant will fall in wind, or a very small plant in a large pot.
After sowing, keep the seeds moist and supply heat with the sun if possible or, if you sow in the winter, with a lamp which has blue wavelengths (among others).
When the roots begin to show in the bottom holes of the pot, it is time to repot in a slightly larger pot until the plant has grown as large as you want it. Never increase the size of the pot more than a few centimetres a time.
Temperatures from 1°C to at least 30°C are fine and the plant will grow slower if the temperature is low. Frost kills them.