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How to Grow Chillies with a Heated Propagator

As the UK doesn’t have the appropriate weather to grow chillies in the garden, a heated propagator tends to be the ideal choice. It provides the plants with the heat they need over a long growing season so they can best grow from seed to fruit.

You can easily control the temperature and the growing conditions to the exact environment the plants need to grow healthy and strong.  

Sowing: February

Planting: May 

Harvesting: July-October 

Sowing Chilli Seeds

The X-Stream Heat Propagator can accommodate up to 450 seeds or cuttings with any growing medium. Garden soil shouldn’t be used because it contains both bugs and fungi, which will interfere with the seeds’ proper growth. This propagator can fit three trays of Grodan cubes - ideal for serious growers.

Place the seeds or the cuttings on the propagator’s heated base with your medium of choice. Make sure to water seeds so they settle; you can do this easily with a spray bottle. To be able to germinate, the chilli seeds need a temperature between 26℃-29℃. A heated propagator is ideal because it provides bottom heat.

Make sure to keep the medium moist. Avoid overwatering so you don’t damage the seedlings. It can take up to a month for certain chilli varieties to sprout but you can see sprouting around two weeks after sowing with most varieties.

After germination, the seedlings will need a temperature around 18℃-26℃ with sufficient light. 

Time to Transplant

After the seedlings grow several sets of leaves in the propagator, it’s time to move them to individual pots with a deeper base. Simply fill them with fresh compost and water them lightly before placing the seedlings. Make sure not to disturb the roots so they don’t suffer ‘root shock’.

Chillies create roots alongside buried stems, which allows you to transplant even the spindly seedlings by covering them up until the bottom cluster of leaves. As a standard, the growth progression of these plants will require bigger and bigger pots. This tends to be pots with 7 cm to 15 cm and 20 cm - keep transplanting your chillies into bigger pots for even bigger plants.

It’s Harvest Time...But There are No Fruits?

July tends to be the ideal month to harvest chillies but you might notice the plants flowering without fruits. This can sometimes happen due to the majority of hot pepper plants and a few sweet pepper plants requiring insect pollination. Without it, the plants will flower but never produce, or set, fruits.

This can be done manually to have almost 100% fruit set. Pollen tends to ripen daily between 12 pm and 3 pm on the stamens, and you can use a moist paintbrush to pick up the pollen and transfer them to the centres of the other flowers.

Watch Out For

Growing chillies indoors in a propagator gives whiteflies and aphids a comfy life. A warm environment, tender plants, no predators, and a regular watering - these pests thrive in indoor chillies. 

A good bugicide will keep whiteflies and aphids away, not harming plants, bees, or birds, so it’s also safe for use should you transplant the seedlings outside. You can use it up until harvest without the fear of pests becoming resistant.

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