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Chilli plants make great gifts for chefs and those who like to grow their own.

Easy to care for on a sunny windowsill or patio, our new season chilli plants are now fruiting and flowering nicely and make great gifts.

The warm autumn has helped extend the season of our chilli plants this year and we do have just a few varieties below that are still fruiting well and that will continue to crop on a sunny windowsill right through until Christmas. Hurry though when they are gone they are gone.

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Why Give Chili Plants as a Gift?

Chilli plants are one of our most popular plant gifts in the summer months and for 6 good reasons:

  1. Thoughtful Gesture: Gifting a chili plant shows that you’ve put thought into the present, considering the recipient’s interests and passion for gardening or cooking.
  2. Visual Appeal: Chili plants bring vibrant colours and attractive foliage to an indoor or outdoor space.
  3. Long-lasting: Unlike traditional cut flower arrangements, chili plants can be nurtured and enjoyed for an a whole season, reminding the recipient of your gift every time they see the plant thrive.
  4. Culinary Adventure: For foodies and home cooks, you can beat the taste and range of flavours from home grown chilli plants. Whether you go for the hot smoky Habernero style of a classic Scotch Bonnet or gift a colourful purple chilli plant, growing chili plants offers the recipient to experiment with fresh, homegrown chilli peppers in their recipes and to dry, freeze or preserve the fruits of the labour for the future too.
  5. Sustainable Gift: Growing your own chillies is a much more sustainable option that flying fresh produce in from the other side of the world. Most of our chilli plants are grown on site in peat free compost at our Sussex nursery where we employ a whole range of environmental tools to ensure our plants are as sustainable as possible. Growing and harvesting just what you need is a great way of reducing food waste too.
  6. Symbolism: In some cultures, chili peppers symbolize good luck, prosperity, and protection, making them a great gift for a new job, new house or new project.

A beginners guide to Chilli varieties

Chilli plants are part of the wider pepper and capsicum family. They have been bred since Inca times in South America and there are literally hundreds of varieties in a huge range of sizes, colours and shapes.

All of these varieties fall in to 5 main categories:

  • Capsicum annum: smooth pointy chillies that usually hang downwards on the tree. Cayenne, Jalapeno and Frezno chillies are all classic examples.
  • Capsicum chinense: Haberno type chillies are typically very hot with a squashed or rounded shape, such as a Scotch Bonnet
  • Capsicum frutescens: Thai demon, Tabasco and Birds eye are all good examples of these compact spicy chillies, where the fruits often grow upwards on the plant.
  • Capiscum pubescens: It's rare to see these plants growing outside of South America as they are a bit more specialist, but many of us would recognise the sweet and spicy pickled Rocoto peppers.
  • Capsicum baccatum: Again these are a much more unusual group of chillies including some unique lemon and citrus flavoured varieties.

What is the best chilli variety to grow in the UK?

Each chilli variety has a unique flavour, growth habit, chilli shape, heat colour and productivity and these are all good things to consider when choosing the best variety to grow or gift. Here are some good questions to get you started.

Do you or your gift recipient like particularly hot chillies?

Scotch bonnet are a favourite with chefs and a little goes a long way. These taller Habernero chillies make great gifts for those who love spice. Their harvest is usually ready a little later in the year, with seriously fiery chillies ready to pick from mid August.

Is space limited?

If you are looking for a chilli plant that produces heavily in a small space, then dwarf chillies including our Quick Fire and Thai demon, produce amazing quantities of small and spicy chillies on a compact plant that will fit neatly on a sunny windowsill.

Looking for a milder chilli that is still packed with flavour?

Our Cheyenne chillies are a variety that originate in Mexico and have a milder, smokier flavour and a fruit that is great for stuffing or using in slow cooked dishes. They are striking looking plants with colourful fruits that ripen early, use orange for the most heat or pick green for a subtle fresh flavour.

Looking for an unusual variety to gift a chilli collector or experimental chef?

Our Pot Black chilli plants are a stunning plant with pretty purple flowers that will ripen in to deep purple/black fruits before finally ripening to red. The fruits are usually harvested red for the strongest flavour but when picked black and used raw they make a fantastic and colourful addition to salads and salsas.

Looking for the best all rounder?

Basket of fire chilli plants are a great all rounder that starts yellow, turns orange and then eventually a deep red making them really colourful addition to a windowsill or table top. Super productive, compact and easy going plants these chillies are a great option if you're not sure what to go for.

For more help on the best chilli variety to gift to someone specific, you are of course always welcome to give us a call at the nursery and our knowledgeable plant team can talk you through the best options.