Chili Breeding Guide

In this guide to growing chilies you will learn how easy this is. You can grow chilies, peppers and Habanero yourself from seeds.

Chili seeds, growing soil and a mini greenhouse are sufficient for the beginning. The only difficulty is that chili seeds need a germination temperature of about 25 °C (77 °F). We will discuss this in more detail in the greenhouse section.

How to germinate chilies🌶

Chilli seeds🌶

Chili seeds can be taken from mature chilies in the supermarket. Your vegetable retailer will certainly sell yellow, orange or red chili peppers, habaneros and other chilies. You cannot use green chilies for this guide as their seeds are not yet germinable.

Pure chili seeds are available frequent online. Shipping is usually quite cheap. Only a small envelope has to be sent. The selection of chili varieties at some seed dealers is gigantic. Nevertheless, you won’t find anyone who has any chili varieties.

Without ever having counted all single chili varieties, you can expect 4,000 different chili varieties. Local garden centers offer a small selection of common seeds such as Cayenne, Paprika and Jalapeño.

Chili Seeds coconut tabs
Chili Seeds coconut tabs

At online seed merchants you can sometimes choose from hundreds of varieties according to severity, taste, size and color. If you are unsure about your choice, Capsicum annuum varieties are usually easy to grow.

If you want to harvest in the same year, April is the last month worth growing in cooler regions of Europe or North America. Better you start earlier. In this breeding guide we recommend starting the preparation at the end of December on the in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere accordingly in July.

If you live in America, India or Australia, you can be happy with your climate and you can always start growing chilies at home. It is important that temperatures are not below 20 °C (68 °F) and not hotter than 35 °C (95 °F).

Soaking🌶

Your chili seeds soak you one night in chamomile tea. Brew a cup of tea and let it cool to room temperature. Soak the seeds in it overnight.

This shortens their germination time and chamomile strengthens the seedling against microorganisms1.

Growing substrate🌶

Most greenhouses for growing have small troughs for spring tabs. These are also the cleanest to use. Coconut source tabs provide the right base for chili seeds to germinate in. Important is a neutral pH-value and that no nutrient salts interrupt the germination process.

The coconut tablets swell up by placing them in water. It is optimal for the plants if you dilute half of the tap water with distilled water. This lowers the lime content and dilutes other chemicals such as chlorine.

Sowing🌶

Sow the soaked seeds about 0.5 cm deep into the prepared growing substrate.

Sprinkle soil on top and press lightly. Chilies are dark buckets and need no light to start the germination process. In a propagator with high humidity and 25 °C or 77 °F inside temperature your seeds germinate after one to two weeks. Some seeds take three days to germinate and sometimes 25 days until the first, delicate green appears.

How long it takes for chili seeds to germinate cannot be answered 100% accurately for all varieties and growth conditions. With most chili varieties, however, the seedlings will appear after 8 – 14 days.

Repotting🌶

As soon as the first real leaves form alongside the two, rarely three, cotyledons, re pot the chilies.

Young Chili plant
Young Chili plant

It is that easy to germinate chilies, habaneros and peppers.

Greenhouse for indoor use🌶

A heated Greenhouse for rooms with lighting is recommended for the successful cultivation of chilies. Chili seeds germinate more reliably at 25 °C to 28 °C. At temperatures below 25 °C the germination rate decreases. Already at 18 °C (~65 °F) you have to expect that no chili seed starts to germinate.

The safest way to solve this problem is to use a heated greenhouse. Heating mats are often cheaper. Sometimes even a window to the south or a warm location is enough to provide the necessary heat in the greenhouse.

A greenhouse offers your plants a climate in which your seeds germinate more reliably. It must be warm and there should be high humidity inside the greenhouse.

We use indoor greenhouses with adjustable temperature. In some cases even a day and night gradient can be programmed. Adjustable ventilation slits help to regulate the humidity.

Most chili growers start to prefer chilies in December or January. In this time the days are short and the sun is only rarely visible. Plant lamps help the seedlings to develop well. For our chili breeding we use such a model in winter and can easily recommend it.

We also prefer chilies in summer. Especially chili varieties that do not germinate so readily are sown in summer. A simple greenhouse as we used it according to these instructions will do.


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