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Hungarian Hot Wax Chilli Plant

During the first week of lockdown i decided to try my hand at trying to grow my own chillies. I did a bit of reading about germination and planting and set out on my quest.

First evening I soaked the seeds in cold black tea, this helps with germination because it softens the seed casing making it easier for the sprout to break through. Its called SCARIFICATION (pre-soaking). I soaked mine for about 24hrs.

The next step was planting into a propagator tray. I filled each slot with soil, almost up to the top of the hole, using WESTLAND multi-purpose compost. Then carefully placed a seed into each section and placed a little soil loosely on top. Don't push the soil down. Water heavily and put the propagator lid on.

Now usually you have special lamps etc, but all i used is the lights underneath my kitchen wall cabinets. The temperature was rough 20c-25c. I kept an eye on them and sprayed with a little water if the soil was looking dry. Don't over water at this stage or going forward. In lockdown was the ideal time because I had everyday to talk to them. It was amazing how fast they grew.

After about 12 days they were pretty big for the propagator and they had there first TWO leaves. Some even had there first two TRUE LEAVES. Now during lockdown everywhere was closed so I only had a few pots but I had 21 plants so I had to decide which plants would get there own pots. Fingers crossed. To re-pot gently hold the plant and lift the soil into a new pot filled with more compost. Water the hole you put the plant into then spray a little more water just to help it settle into its new home. At this point I moved the plants by the window to get plenty of sunlight. I didn't want to waste the other plants so i give them away to a friend and they give me a few 10 litre pots for the next stage.

After a few more weeks a moved them into bigger pots, this will be there home now going forward, again gently lift into a watered hole and spray with a little more water to let them settle nicely. I talked them through this stressful time and told them that this is the last time they will be moving home. They looked amazing.

Mist the leaves with water at this stage and every few days to stop mites etc finding a home. there was a night i left the window open and in the morning there was a green little bug but i sprayed it off and have never seen them again. They seemed to enjoy there new pot. for the next month i watered them everyday but just a tiny amount. Now i did read indoor plants don't need watered everyday but the soil looked a little dry and i literally only watered approx. 100ml for each pot. It seems to have worked.

I was amazed to see the first buds and white flowers spring through but sadly they just fell off so i was bemused and asked for advice from a chilli grower i know. She advised the next time the flowers come through, because there inside, i need to pollinate them myself. I used my partners make-up brush (she didn't need it) and the next time the flowers came out i brushed the middle of the flower so gently and then low and behold a little pollen came flying off. It was amazing. The flowers turned yellowish and then i got my first ever chilli.

I forgot to mention at this stage i bought some bamboo sticks and put them in place for support, just in case. I currently have 5 plants and 27 chillies. Grown from seed i can't believe how tall they are. Apparently a tall variety anyway but they are extra tall.

Look out for more updates on my social media. I'm planning on doing recipes using the chillies I've grown so watch this space. Thanks for reading.

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