Why I Love To Grow Chillies…In Pots

Updated 27-Sept-2015

“Next to jazz music, there is nothing that lifts the spirit and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili.”
Harry James

My prized Jalapeno

Ah, chillies (plural of chilli), the epitome of all things spicy.
I love to grow chillies for many reasons. See if you can relate to any of the reasons cited below:

  1. Easy. There are few plants that germinate so easily. Just sprinkle the seeds (each chilli….be it one of the numerous chilli peppers or one of the capsicums…they all have abundant seeds in each pod) on some good soil mixture, water them generously and before you know it, the seeds have germinated; much more than you need.
  2. Variety. There so so many different types of chilli peppers and capsicums that it has become a pastime of mine to keep a lookout for any new chilli pepper that I may not have yet, to add to my collection. From very tiny ones to large ones. From the cute Mexican Jalapeno to decorative round ones. And the Traffic Lights capsicums, Red, Yellow, Green. I want to grow them all!

Now comes the crunch!

Healthy looking foliage from the top
Infestation of aphids and mealy bugs on the underside of leaves

Chilli plants are VERY susceptible to attacks by white powdery aphids and mealy bugs on the underside of the leaves. The problem may be hard to detect because the foliage may look very healthy and strong from the top while the infestation is growing and spreading at the undersides of the leaves. Early signs of trouble include some dropped leaves and twisted or deformed leaves.

And here is my punch line: Why I love to grow chillies in POTS.

Turn the pot upside down to see the infestation
  1. You can easily lift up and turn the plant upside down to check for the aphids and mealy bugs attack. Just remember to wet the top soil first, so that nothing falls out when you turn the plant (turn the pot) upside down.
  2. You can easily take remedial action by spraying the underside of the affected leaves to get rid of the aphids and mealy bugs. Dilute dishwasher soapy suds make a common safe spray, but I personally use enzyme which I make myself. Learn to make “garbage enzyme” here. You need to
    Hold the pot upside down and spray at the infestation

    experiment with the dilution factor yourself as your enzyme may differ in concentration from my enzyme. The bonus is that the enzyme spray and drips from the sprayed leaves also act as fertilizer for the plants.

  3. I notice that some of my chilli plants tend to flower when they are very young. So you can get the chilli fruits  very early even when the plants are very young and small when grown in pots.

And that’s why I love to grow chillies in pots!

“Chilli”, “Chillies” : British spelling
“Chili”, “Chilis” : US spelling