Starting Chilli Pepper Seeds

Embarking on Your Chilli Growing Adventure: A Starter Guide

So, you’ve just received your chilli seeds from — congratulations on taking the first step towards your chilli-growing journey! With these seeds, you’re not just planting a garden; you’re sowing the seeds of excitement, flavour, and the joy of watching your very own chilli plants come to life. This guide is designed to navigate you through the initial stages of growing chilli peppers, ensuring that your experience is as rewarding as the harvest you’re looking forward to.

Proper Seed Storage Before Planting

The journey to a successful chilli harvest begins with how you store your seeds. It’s essential to store your chilli seeds in the fridge before planting them. This mimics their natural dormant state, keeping them viable until you’re ready to plant. However, it’s crucial to note that if seeds aren’t prepared and dried correctly before storage, refrigerating them could potentially cause damage. Luckily, when you purchase from, you can rest assured knowing that your seeds have been meticulously prepared for this very purpose, ensuring they’re in perfect condition for planting.

Seed Soaking

Once you’re ready to plant, start by soaking your seeds for two hours in room-temperature tea (chamomile or English breakfast tea) or plain water. This pre-planting ritual helps to soften the seed coats, making it easier for the sprouts to break through. It also helps After soaking, plant the seeds about 5mm deep in a seed-starting compost, an environment that supports their initial growth stages.

Temperature: The Warmth They Need

Achieving a soil temperature of around 28°C (82°F) is key for optimal germination. A good propagator or heat mat can help with this. Alternatively find a warm spot in your home…on top of the fridge can often be a warm spot. This warm environment encourages the seeds to sprout. If the temperature falls below this, germination can be significantly slower, and some chilli varieties might struggle in cooler conditions or not germinate at all!

Keeping Seeds Moist, Not Wet

Moisture is critical for germination, but there’s a fine line between moist and wet. Use a misting spray to gently keep the soil moist, and consider covering your seeds with a propagator lid to maintain humidity. You’ll know you’re doing it right when you see condensation inside the propagator.

Germination Time: A Matter of Patience

Germination times can vary, with Annuum and Frutescens species typically sprouting within 5 to 10 days, while Chinense varieties might take up to 21 days. It’s important to remember that these are estimates, and factors like the age of the seeds can influence germination times. When you choose, you’re getting fresh seeds, which helps ensure quicker and more consistent germination.


Light becomes crucial as soon as your seedlings break through the soil. While a sunny windowsill can suffice, providing at least 8 hours of light daily through a grow light may offer better results, especially in less sunny locations or during shorter days.

💡Want to go in-depth about lighting? Check out this article with everything you need to know about light for your chilli pepper plants.

Feeding Your Seedlings

Your seedlings won’t need feeding for the first month, unless you are growing in an inert medium like coco coir or rockwool. After this period, introducing a seaweed fertiliser or tomato fertiliser at half strength will give them the nutrient boost they need without overwhelming them.

Watering: The Bottom-Up Approach

Bottom-watering your plants is the recommended method. This approach encourages strong root growth and helps prevent common issues like root rot. Allow the soil to mostly dry out before rewatering to promote healthy plant development.

Starting your chilli peppers from seeds can be an incredibly gratifying experience. With patience, care, and seeds from, you’re well on your way to growing a vibrant and tasty chilli pepper garden. Remember, every big chilli plant started as a small seed — your chilli-growing adventure is just beginning!

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