Pair of Chilli plants
These instructions are sent with the plant gift
These chilli plants (capsicum annum) love sunlight. In summer they will be happiest on a sunny windowsill, in a greenhouse or conservatory, or outside on a sheltered patio.
As soon as the autumn frosts arrive they need to be under cover. If you have not got a greenhouse a sunny window sill will be fine.
Whilst chilli plants are in small pots they will need regular watering. Remove the plant from its basket or pail and water from the top and let the excess drain away. Allow the top of the soil to dry out completely before watering again, particularly during the cold months.
The natural inclination of these chilli plants, being annuals, is to die back after fruiting. However we have found from experience that it is possible to coax them into a second year if you cut off all the chillies and prune the plant heavily at the end of the season, and then wait patiently for new growth to reappear in the Spring.
Any problems are usually associated with overwatering. If the plant becomes waterlogged its roots need to be allowed to dry out and then a normal watering pattern re-established.If the leaves start to droop and the flowers start to curl you know it is thirsty, so water straight away. Yellow or brown edges to leaves is normally the result of low light levels in the winter but very yellow leaves are a sign that your plant is lacking nutrients so give it a good feed with any general houseplant or tomato feed and remove any discoloured leaves. Your plant will also benefit from being repotted in mid Summer - choose a good general purpose potting compost and a pot that is only slightly larger. Our plants are grown in a pesticide free environment. In the unlikely event that you find any pests (including aphids or caterpillars) on your plant use a soft soap or pest spray to wash off the offending creatures and pick off any damaged leaves to keep the plant tidy.
These peppers are quite hot and are delicious in curries, stir-fries stews and Mexican dishes. Store in a sealed container in the fridge if you can"t use them straight away.