Growing chillies from chilli (UPDATE)

I have done quite a lot in the past five months. I have ushered in a New Year, eaten one of the best Christmas dinners of my life, and been to Japan (and Kuala Lumpur… and Sri Lanka!). And yet all of these developments are mere context, the changing landscape of life. Far more important have been my efforts at life-creation; specifically, my chilli-rearing.

Since documenting the first steps on how to grow chilli plants from chilli seeds, I have fastidiously watered and encouraged my seedlings, and upgraded them to pots of ever-greater size. I say “seedlings”, but over time this has metamorphosed into just a single “plant”. Indeed, it would appear that chilli-rearing is a bit of a zero-sum game. Below is the survivor of the bunch, the embodiment of Darwinism in action, and living testament to my green(ish) fingers: mon piment.

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Isn’t he/she/it magnificent?! Possibly the most handsomest chilli I have ever laid my eyes upon. Certainly one that is too good to eat. Well, almost…

Self-congratulations aside, the process of chilli-rearing proved to be littered with little learnings (learningettes, if you will) that may or may not be useful to others looking to walk the path of spicy parenthood. These be they:

  1. Chillies are slow growers. I mean, really slow.
  2. Chillies need their space. Don’t crowd them; don’t make them compete; one-seed-to-a-pot (or eggshell) is enough.
  3. Chillies love eggs. Their shells especially. Best type of fertiliser there is.
  4. Chillies change colour. Green chillies are little more than immature red chillies – give them (yet more) time and your greens will turn red, after transiting through a rather unappetising shade of brown.
  5. Chillies aren’t particularly high-yielding. See above. Or maybe mine is just… special.
  6. Chillies are beautiful. Just look at this thing…

That’s it! Good luck!


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