How to Germinate Chilli Seeds

Chillies are so versatile and easy to grow at the same time. It is full of flavor, heat, and colours. These bright-colored chilies can be delicately mild or fiercely hot depending on their variety. They can be easily grown in home gardens and even in sunny windows by your kitchen. Containers can easily hold chilli plants

It is very commonly grown in houses and the main thing that people talk about is the starting. And starting refers to the question, how to germinate chilli seeds? 

If you want to plant chillies at home, first you must be aware of popular varieties of chilli seeds. A variety of chilli seeds can be rated based on their hotness. 

Chillies contain capsaicin, a material that determines the hotness in chillies. They get their characteristic pungency from capsaicin. Capsaicin stimulates nerve endings in mucous membranes in the body of organisms. That is the reason why it feels hot when you bite chillies. 

The amount of heat in a chilli varies with different varieties. Further, it is also affected by maturity and growing conditions. Few varieties of chilli seeds are sizzling hot while few can be very mild or delicate. 

The heat of chillies can be measured by the Scoville scale. In 2017, a welsh fruit grower named Mike Smith grew the hottest variety of chilli, accidentally. The value of hotness on the Scoville scale was 2.48 million. The name of that variety is ‘Dragon’s Breath’. One bite of this chilli variety is enough to give the person an anaphylactic shock. 

Few varieties of chilli seeds are mentioned below- 

  • Big Bomb F1- it has medium heat and is round in shape. It is great for stuffing and baking. 
  • Jalapeno M- Medium heat is observed in this variety. It is great for salsa and toppings on pizzas. 
  • Padron- these chillies are generally picked when they are small and green. It is because greener chillies are at lower stages of hotness. To obtain hotter and red chillies, you can wait for some time and then pick them. It is great for stir-fries. 
  • Hardware improved mix- these beautiful looking chillies are hot and ornamental too. 
  • Demon red – they are hot and dwarf chillies. They are bred for making them suitable to grow on windowsills and containers. 
  • Tropical heat- this variety is extremely hot. It is a mixture of red and orange Caribbean and yellow and red Scotch Bonnet. 

Bright color combinations in chillies make them ornamental. These beautiful looking plants can be a perfect decorative piece.

Varieties like black pearl pepper and bishop’s crown pepper are beautiful and can be used for decorative purposes. 

Now that you are aware of what variety suits your needs, you need to be aware of further steps. 

So, January and February are the best months for sowing seeds of chillies. They grow best in hotter climates. 

You can easily sow them indoors in Jan and Feb. It gives your plants plenty of time to mature before the end of summer. Longer growing periods make chillies hotter and spicier.

How to germinate chilli seeds?

It is very easy to grow chillies and begin their growth at home too. 

The first step is to use well-drained and fertile soil for the best chillies. Place soil in a seed tray or a 10cm small container. The main point of planting seed indoors is to give them plenty of time to ripen before hotter months end. in colder months, yield decreases dramatically. 

Soil can be mixed with moist compost to increase its nutritional value. Sow seeds on top of the soil and cover them with a layer of vermiculite in compost.

Now, you must know that the germination of chilli seeds occurs best at warm temperatures. Therefore, either place them in a propagator with temperatures ranging between 18-25C or can cover pots with polythene to retain heat. 

It takes around 7-10 days to germinate chilli seeds. Warmer climate fastens the germination process. Germination time for chilli plants can be as long as 6 weeks depending on the variety of chillies. 

Jalapeno takes 1-3 weeks for germination. However, habanero seeds take 6 weeks to germinate.

When it germinates and grows into a seedling, you can keep them in a sunny window and give your chilli plants a dose of sunlight every day. 

The soil used should not be too wet or too dry. Ensuring proper moist soil for chilli plants is appreciable. 

Chilli seeds not germinating. 

Here are a few reasons why your chilli seeds are not germinating. 

  • Poor seed quality- As seeds age, their ability to germinate quickly decreases. After 3 years or more, seeds become almost useless.
  • Lack of moisture- water is necessary for seeds to sprout. If you do not provide water to them regularly then do not expect any germination. 
  • Very Hot weather- very high temperatures can kill seeds. 
  • Very cold temperature- cold temperatures do not let seeds germinate. 

Heat and moisture requirement for germinating seeds

Heat and moisture are the basic two things which if changed can damage seeds and even kill them. Therefore, creating optimum conditions is necessary. 

The germination temperature for chilli seeds is 27-32C. As we are opting for germination indoors, keep them on the airing cupboard or top of the fridge to provide additional heat. More Heat will fasten the time of germination. But keep in mind that increasing temp above 38C will damage them severely. 

Must Read: Chilli Flowers Dropping Off – Plant not flowering

You can also buy a heating pad for your chilli seeds. 

Moisture makes the pods soft and sprouting easier. It speeds the process of germination. Do not add too much or too little water to seeds. Both Of these conditions can lead to the death of seeds. 

Get a mister or spray bottle for watering seeds. 

Germination of seeds using a towel

You can also germinate chilli seeds with the help of paper towels. This way if germination is functional and simplest at the same time. It speeds the process of germination. 

Process of seed germination-

  • First, take a damp paper towel. You take a clean and dry one and then spray it with water. Do not just dip it in water, it will make the whole process useless.
  • Scatter seeds on a damp paper towel and then place another one at the top of it. The damp paper provides enough moisture to seeds for completing germination easily.
  • Seal the paper towels in a plastic bag with a zip lock to seal them.
  • Leave them from 2-5 days in a warm place with temperatures from 23-30C.
  • If you are performing in this warm climate, you can even leave them outdoors. 
  • After germination is completed, take seeds and place them in seed trays or pots with compost filled in it. Avoid using garden soil. It contains pests and fungus and causes diseases. Fertile and good quality compost is preferred. 
  • Further, spray it with water or use a mister for the same. 

Transplantation of chilli seedlings and growth

Before transplanting, you must be sure about the condition of the plant. You can transplant chilli seedlings when they are strong enough to handle and do not break when touched. 

Make sure the temperature conditions must be favorable for their growth. Frost can harm chilli seedlings. Therefore, waiting till frost ends can be better. 

You can place seedlings in pots or grow bags too. Before directly planting seedlings into the ground, you should give them a taste of outdoor conditions daily by placing them outdoors for at least an hour for a few days. 

Now when they are completely prepared for outdoor conditions you can place them in a field or your home garden. Make soil fertile by the addition of compost or fertilizers. Soil should be moist and well-drained. Loamy soil is not suitable for growth of chillies.

Next plant them 50 cm apart from each other. Overcrowding can lead to stress in chilli plants and it also affects crop yield. 

In the growing season, regular watering should be ensured. However, when they mature, you keep them a little dry to make chillies a little hotter. Further, the addition of potash tomato fertilizer is preferred weekly after the appearance of chillies on the plants. 

Tip- tips of the first flowering shot should be pinched to promote branching. Moreover, it also makes crops better and more flavourful. 

To add to this, staking of taller plants is advised. Weeds can challenge plants and be competitive. Therefore, use a mulch to suppress weeds near plants. Plus, mulch retains moisture in the soil and this is beneficial for chilli plants. 

If you are practicing chilli farming indoors then keep windows open for sometime in a day. First, plants love air circulation and moving a little every day. Opening windows will cater to their need for wind. Second, it will attract insects and ensure pollination. 

Next, you can also perform hand pollination from flower to flower by yourself. You can use a painter’s brush and brush flowers a little to collect and transfer pollen from one to another. 

Harvest of chilli plants

Chilli plants must be harvested before colder months. Chilli Plants favour long sunny days for better growth. Cold temperatures can spoil hotness and the whole crop in total. 

Early sowing in January or February gives plenty of time for chillies to mature before cold seasons arrive. You can sow them directly into the soil in March or early summers.

In the UK, sowing late is not good because summer does not last long. If your region experiences a short summer too, then plant in Jan and Feb. 

Chilli plants are ready for harvesting in July. You can pick chillies whenever you wish and wait for your chilli plants to grow more of them. Isn’t that amazing. You will be surprised by how much crop yield you get with this method. 

Further, if you want dry and hotter chillies, then leave them for more time on chilli plants. Let them turn red and wait. In this way, they will mature and produce more intense flavours.

If the colder season arrives and your crop does not ripe, transfer them into pots and take them indoors. Place them in warmer conditions like sunny windowsills or the greenhouse for good results.

Harvesting can be done by picking chillies or cutting them using secateurs. 

How to store chilli seeds?

You can follow two steps for storing chilli seeds. Either dry them out or freeze them. 

  • Drying chillies- take a thread and pass it through stems of chillies. Make a chain of it and hang them in a warm and ventilated place. Leave them there for 4-5 weeks. During this time, they will dry completely. Then, place them in containers or bags and use them as you wish. 
  • Freezing chillies- freezing chillies can preserve them without loss of flavour. Though it will lead to softened flesh flavour and taste stay intact. Put chillies in plastic bags and close them properly, then place them in the freezer and use them when necessary. 

Health benefits if chillies

Chillies contain a lot of nutritional components and are rarely harmful. Red chillies contain large amounts of vitamin C. Provitamin A beta carotene is present in other species of red chillies. 

Vitamin B6 is also found in chillies. 

Next, they help treat nerve disorders and alleviate pain in arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetic neuropathy. 

Cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels can also be controlled with the help of it. Also, it increases our ability to dissolve fibrin. Fibrin leads to clotting of blood and that can even lead to a heart attack or death. 

Next, the spiciness of chillies can help clear mucus secretions from stuffed up nose or congested lungs. 

The high content of vit A and C can help in increasing immunity in organisms. 

Eating hot chillies takes energy which forces you to burn calories. So it can be a great way to lose some weight. 

Therefore, it is evident that eating these spicy and hot chillies won’t go in vain. 

Planting and growing these versatile chillies is so fun and an easy process. Who knew one could find peace in looking at these beautiful plants grow. Growing chillies is interesting and easy at the same time. Getting benefits for harvest can’t be matched. So do not wait and start planning. These chillies will make your home garden look more beautiful than ever. 

Chilli Flowers Dropping Off – Plant not flowering

Chilli is one of the most used spice crops in the world. There is no better way to provide the harsh and bitter taste in your food than using chilli. It is an absolute delight to use chilli to bring out the flavour of your food and make it worth it. Indian have always been very excited about their rich spices, and they never lagged behind in this. The Indian chillies are worldwide known and are amazing to taste.

Chilli is a part of the botanical family Solanaceae. The flowers seen on the plant are small, white ones, and they often are downward facing. Even the chilli fruit which grows on the plant is similarly growing downward, and hence they hang beautifully from the main plant.

But this transformation of the flower to the main fruit depends on a number of factors. The fruit bears seeds and without this, it is not possible to have the next growth. There can be a number of reasons why a situation of chilli plant flowering but not fruiting is seen. It is really hard to get close to perfection and then later losing the result of the fruit.

Flowers growing into fruit depends on a number of factors such as the intensity of the sunlight, humidity, water content, air, and many other such things. Chilli drop is a usual event, but a situation where chilli flowers dropping off is seen as very tragic.

Why does such a thing happen?

The gardeners very easily face this problem of chilli flower drop in their plants. It’s also a natural phenomenon as these shrubs do drop the flowers for giving a balance to the plant.

The main stem of chilli is so weak that due to excess flowering, it is seen that the plants do shed their flowers. It’s very normal for a healthy chilli plant, but there can be many other reasons for having this “blossom drop.”

Optimal temperature matters-

This factor really plays a lot for flowering and fruiting. The chilli plant is very limited in the temperature range. They are very sensitive to high temperature, and due to this factor, the gardeners face problems in maintaining the crop.

The morning temperature ranges from 20-10 degree celsius in the daytime. The plant drops the flower as an option to survive. This is a typical case of chillies flowering but no fruit. There can be other temperature-related facts, but you will have to see and analyze exactly which part of your plant gets damaged by the heat variation.


Another big point in chilli flower dropping off is the misuse of fertilizer. Many gardeners don’t get the entire concept of fertilizing, and hence they often think that using extra fertilizer is beneficial, but it is completely a myth. It can just backfire, and hence one needs to have a clear and keen analysis of the type of fertilizer, and the quality of fertilizer one should use. A better way would be consulting an expert for this—one who can analyze and work in detail.

Water Content-

Water plays a very unique role in plants. When you analyze the situation and see how it can work, you can observe the fact that both extreme water and low water can be harmful to the chilli plant. Both of them can cause chilli flowering but no fruit. When the water content gets lowered up in the soil and eventually in the plant, the chilli plant goes for an option to save the water from transpiration so that the water can be there for useful processes involving its life.

Flowers have their own water requirement, and also the surface area of the flower gives more surface for the water to escape; hence one can see chilli flowers dropping off. Similarly, in the case where water is in excess, the plant becomes heavy. Even the flower becomes loaded up with water, and the stem is full of water. In such a case, the flower can drop easily. The weight is a big factor in chilli plants, and hence they can’t make it easy if the plant gets full of water. It can even break the main stem.

Also Read: How to Grow Lavender with Maximum Productivity


It is a process in which the male spores from the male plant are transferred on the stigma of the female to form a zygote and later a seed. This process in chilly does happen via an agent. It can be air, water and many other such things. In the chilly plant, pollination is mainly via an insect.

Garden bees are a very common vector for this transfer. It is amazing to notice that lack of these vectors can cause the stoppage of pollination. Most of the gardeners aren’t aware of this fact. It will eventually lead in the death of the flowers.

The flower without being pollinated gets dried up, and hence the flower sheds off the plant. In such conditions, the flower needs to be pollinated by artificial means so as to make the flower stay on the plant. Even the gardener can do such a thing by using a cotton brush and artificial techniques.

Improper and incomplete pollination

Basically, even if anyone of the given conditions doesn’t match with a compatible pollination environment, then the process could be a complete failure. Any type of poor air circulation and improper agents can lead to such a situation. The life span of these flowers on the plant is very short, and even with a small change in the complete process, the pollination misses. This leads to Chilli Flowers Dropping Off the chilli plant after being dried up. The solution to such problems is easy, and a g can easily take some of these.

How to increase pollination?

It’s not very hard to increase the pollination rate in chilli plants. In chilli growing in gardens, the main pollinator is bees. This bee is one of the most amazing organisms in nature. To attract bees, you can plant many colorful flowers in the main garden or field where you are growing the main chilli.

Bees easily get attracted to the fragrance and sweet smell. Also, the big attractive looking flowers are very pleasing to the bees, and they like to come around these. This will accidentally help in the pollen transfer so moreover a great technique. But, you can never be sure of the success story. It is a complete case of hit and trial, and luck only can make the pollination better. If you are in an area with poor aeration or less attractiveness to pollination agents and if the pollination is the reason for Chilli flower dropping off, then you have nothing to do rather wait.


yes, don’t be surprised to know that the gas which is found the most in the atmosphere is one among the deficiencies responsible for chilli flowering but no fruit. The main reason behind this is the presence of nitrogen in free form in the soil in which the plant can use it. The nitrogen is very much important for the proper growth of chilli flowers.

Being one of the most essential macronutrients Nitrogen is very important for the blossom to remain perfect and later to transform into the chilli you want. Not only a deficiency but also an excess is very much harmful to the plant. In any case, if you took a chance to increase the nitrogen level much above the optimum, then the consequence could be a crop full of foliage bosom, and eventually, it costs in the toxicity of the land. There can be a shocking drop in the number of flowers in chilli plants, so be very strict in maintaining the appropriate amount of nitrogen for proper growth.


not only nitrogen but also air is a reason for such events. There can be many points on how air can affect the plants. The first case is itself the pollination rate. Chilli pollen is also travelled by air currents in the atmosphere which gives you an option of air pollination.

Unavailability of this airflow can reduce the pollination, dry up the flower, and then shed the flower. The second is the air content in the soil. Aeration is important for the roots. Due to tight soil, the air cannot get inside, and the roots don’t get the proper air. Further, this may lead to a lowering in the number of flowers. Even if the plant will grow, but the chilli plant flowering but not fruiting is seen.


The density or the area in which each plant is placed on the field is also a determining factor. If there are any plants on the field and the spacing is a problem, then the consumption of air and the circulation becomes weak. This may lead to chilli flowers dropping off. Sensity can be another factor by which the number of flowers can variate. The lesser the distance between pants, the lesser the growth is seen.

Humidity is very dangerous-

This plant likes to grow in dry areas. Proper and moderate humidity is required for easy and quick pollination. If the moisture content in air increases, the stickiness of the pollen also increases. The humidity is also a very important reason that can make the flowers heavy. This might be a very good cause for chillies flowering but no fruit. The content of the air is very determining, and hence small plants such as chillies do need the optimum condition. The blossom drop is very much significant in the areas with high moisture content.

Watering in the soil-

The water in the soil is important. If the water on the land where chilli is growing then it completely vanishes the fruiting in the plants. If the water level goes down the situation can be very stressful for the chilli plant. Due to such harsh conditions, the flowering might drop.

Water is very important for the overall growth, when overall is hampered the fruit is destroyed automatically. The chilli flowers dropping off can be seen in such situations, and water is something that can be really managed well. Even if the water is very much in the soil, it creates a lump. The aeration further decreases.

How to prevent this drop?

There are many factors for all these situations, and a gardener always wants a solution to it. So here are some of the things you can do to take of the problem-

  • You cannot change the environment, and hence it’s not on your choice, but you can select the area where you are going to cultivate chilli. Even some solutions such as artificial heating and greenhouse gases are beneficial, and one can try using these artificial techniques for getting the plants back on track.
  • Fertilization- it is very much sensitive in chilli plants. Most of them provide ammonia to the soil and hence are great with fixing nitrogen and providing other ions for the growth. Try providing a good amount of fertilizer just enough to support the flowerings.

 Here is a key point with fertilizers.

Excess of fertilizers on your plant is very much more harmful than less content or no fertilizer. One has to be very specific with the amount.

  • Try providing good water to the plant. Chilli is very sensitive to water. If they don’t get a good amount of water, the growth degrades a lot. Chilli flowering but no fruit is a very basic thing seen on the plant due to water.
  • Sometimes there are many growth factors in the plants responsible for fruiting. One can easily get these chemically synthesized chemicals from the market and use these for use. Cytokines, Auxin and other chemicals are growth initiating hormones.

Dropping of flowers from the main plant is a very common phenomenon and sometimes it is even very natural. Chilli is so sensitive that even a tinge of variation in the conditions and your fruits are spoiled. The best a person can do is to make the situations favourable and more worthy for the plant.