Growing Scotch Bonnet chillies indoors from seed

Growing Scotch Bonnet chillies is no different to growing any other variety of spicy chilli pepper. They prefer to be in a greenhouse or in a conservatory. Chillies of any sort are not really suited to our UK climate so although they can be grown outside the crop will be far less than for plants grown indoors.

Scotch Bonnet Chilli grown indoors from seed
Scotch Bonnet Chilli

I start off my chillies in late January irrespective of the variety and I normally have some to pick in December. Start them off in good compost or soil in a seed tray and keep them covered and protected until germination.


More about Scotch Bonnets in our list of the world's hottest peppers.


If you can use a heated area or an electric propagator then so much the better as the heat will reduce the germination time and the chance of the seeds rotting

But Scotch Bonnets - are they hot? They certainly have a fiery hot taste and can reach 350,000 SHU (350 K on the Scoville scale) so they are hot enough for most people though they aren't in the same league as the Naga Jolokia which is around or just over the 1 million SHU.

Chillies like water and the Scotch Bonnet is no exception to that rule so keep them well watered until established and throughout the life of the plant. The established plants should reach 42 cm, or not quite 18 inches, but I only taken seed company figures for this sort of thing with a large pinch of salt as they could turn out to be 35 or 52 cm.

You may need to stake the plants when they reach 30 cm, or 1 foot in height - a small garden cane will do the trick nicely, and when the fruits start to appear you should give the plant a weekly feed with tomato food or something similar. Increase the feeding regularity when more and more fruits appear. It is possible - we have done this - to be picking the fruits in the run up to Christmas in mid December.

Scotch Bonnets, like many other chilli varieties are prolific, and the fruits should grow to approx 2.5 cm. Harvest when ripe.

Take the usual precautions when dealing with Scotch Bonnet seeds by using tweezers or plastic gloves. If you should touch the seeds with bare hands then we very strongly recommend that you wash your hands at least 3 times before touching more sensitive parts of your body.