Grow Chilies in Pots – Chilies are an invariable part of Indian food. It spices up the taste and adds to the flavor of various vegetable dishes, curries, and other menus. There are many varieties of chilies and they come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Whichever type of chili plant you want to grow, the best thing is that you can easily grow them in pots, right in your kitchen or terrace garden. In fact, growing them indoors makes it easier to offer the best care to them in terms of watering, fertilizing, and so on. Let’s offer you a few tips about the best ways to growing chilies in pots.
CHOOSING THE CONTAINER
Choose plastic containers over clay pots as the rate of evaporation of water in the latter is faster which dries up the soil fairly quickly. Since the chili plant thrives in a warm and humid climate, it is best to choose plastic containers as they retain heat and moisture in the soil for longer hours. However, placing pebbles or pieces of bricks, etc. at the bottom of the pot will ensure proper drainage of water as well.
A well-composted soil is the best medium for the chili plant. Enrich the soil with compost made of organic matter such as kitchen scrap, fruits, and vegetable peelings, dried leaves, cow dung, etc.
THE PLANTING PROCESS
Mid-April is the best season for starting the planting process for chilies as it offers the warm and humid climate that these plants prefer. Sprinkle several seeds on the soil surface and cover with a thin layer of soil. Moisten the soil with water and let the seed germinate in sunlight. In a few days, seedlings will arise from the soil which you can plant one per pot.
WATERING THE PLANT
Keeping the soil moist is the key to a good chili crop. Look for signs of water strain in the plant such as droopy leaves. Also, look if the soil looks dry and cracked. It’s time to water immediately. However, don’t over-water. Let the soil dry out before two consecutive watering sessions. You can also moisten the plant and leaves it with a sprayer.
SUNLIGHT AND TEMPERATURE
Abundant sunlight is necessary for the chili plant. Keep the container of a chili plant in a spot where there is plenty of sunlight, such as the terrace, balcony, window box, etc. where the plant will receive direct sun rays for 6-8 hours. Offer shade in hot afternoons, though. A temperature around 27 to 32 degrees is beneficial for the seed during its germination period.
FERTILIZING THE PLANT
Fertilizers should be added to improve the foliage, flowering, fruits, and strength of the plant. Slow releasing granular fertilizers or diluted liquid fertilizers can be offered to the potted chili plant.
Once the chilies are fully grown and ready for harvesting, they will become glossy green or red according to the type. Gently pluck them off the plant or use scissors.
As you can see, with the above tips in mind, growing chilies in pots in your kitchen garden are not all that difficult.