Heat Up Your Windowsill With Chiles

Chiles are easy to grow in a pot if you have a warm windowsill or a hot, sunny patio. Sow seeds in spring and you can look forward to fresh chiles from summer to fall.
Container Chilies

Container Chilies

A warm and sunny windowsill is a perfect place to grow containers full of chilies.

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Start: mid-spring
At Their Best: summer to fall
Time to Complete: 1 hour

Materials Needed:

  • chili seeds
  • 3-1/2" pots
  • seed soil
  • clear plastic bag
  • larger pots
  • multi-purpose soil
  • small stakes
  • tomato fertilizer

Sow Seed

Select seed to suit your taste — some are much hotter than others. You can also sow seed from dried chiles grown the previous year, but they may revert to a common type if you planted a named hybrid. In spring, fill small pots with moist seed soil. Place about two or three seeds on the surface and cover lightly with more soil. Water, label and place pots in a plastic bag. As soon as the seedlings appear, remove the bag.

Extracting Seeds From Dried Chilies

Extracting Seeds From Dried Chilies

Take dried chilies from the previous season and empty their seeds, which can be used to sow new chilies.

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Seedling Care

When 1 inch tall, separate seedlings into their own small pots and set on a sunny windowsill. Keep well watered. When they're about 8 inches tall, pot them on into larger containers.

Growing Potted Peppers

Growing Potted Peppers

Once chili pepper seedlings have sprouted, transfer them to their own pots and place in a sunny spot.

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Grow Them On

Pinch the growing tips out when the plants are 12 inches to encourage more shoots, and stake as necessary. Harden plants off if you plan to keep them outside. Feed weekly with tomato fertilizer when buds appear, and pick the fruit when green for a milder taste or leave until they're red hot.

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