Planting chilies yourself is worthwhile: The fiery pods thrive in the garden or on the balcony. You can choose the variety yourself and then enjoy a bountiful harvest.
Chili plants need little care and provide a rich harvest. The pods from your garden are guaranteed pesticide-free. If you grow chilies yourself, you can also influence the degree of heat – just the way you like it.
Planting chili: From mild to fiery hot
Chili plants are nightshade plants and belong to the genus of peppers. There are countless different varieties of chili, which differ in taste and hotness. The pods also vary: Some are round, others are pointed, and they grow up to 30 centimeters long.
The best-known varieties also grow well in Germany:
- Jalapeno is a classic chili variety. It can be harvested green or red and is medium hot.
- Joes Long is a variety with large red pods that grow up to 30 centimeters long.
- Cayenne chili is a variety with rather small but very hot fruits.
Instructions: How to plant chili
Chilies are originally from Central and South America and accordingly love a hot climate.
They prefer bright, sunny locations.
Also, your chili should grow protected from the wind.
Chilies do not tolerate frost. Therefore, plant them outdoors only after the Ice Saints. You can grow them indoors beforehand or buy small chili plants.
Chili plants need a neutral to acidic soil with sufficient nutrients. You can mix garden soil with potting soil and compost in equal parts. Be sure to use peat-free soil to protect the bogs.
Your chilies will grow faster if they have good neighbors. They especially like lettuce, parsley and radishes – but please space them at least a foot apart.
Tip: One or two chili plants are usually enough for a good crop. If you plant more chili, make sure you have enough spacing. The strong growers need a lot of space.
Planting chili on the balcony
Some chili varieties are also suitable for the balcony. For this you need a large container that can hold at least 20 liters. In addition, water should be able to drain off, so that no waterlogging occurs. This can cause the roots to mold. Therefore, your pot needs a drainage hole in any case. In addition, you can lay a drainage, so that the water flows off better. First fill the pot up to half with gravel, clay shards or granules. Then you can pour the soil over it and plant the chili.
Tip: Choose low chili varieties with small fruits for the balcony. Other varieties with large fruits do not receive enough nutrients in the pot – the plant suffers from this and also the harvest.
How to care for chili plants
Chili plants are very easy to care for, especially if they get enough sun.
Regular watering is important – at the latest when the soil has dried slightly. Water your chilies best in the morning or evening with soft collected rainwater. Do not water under full sun and make sure to water only the root area.
Fertilize your chili plants about every two weeks with an organic vegetable fertilizer or homemade nettle manure. This will give the plant important minerals and help it grow better.
When your chilies are ready for harvest is up to you. Some pods can be harvested when they are green or yellow. The longer they ripen in the sun, the tastier they are. As they ripen, the heat of the chilies increases. Try a pod now and then and then decide if you want to harvest yet.
To do so, simply cut the pod with scissors. You can eat the chilies directly or dry or pickle them.