Growing Hot Mexican chillies
I think we pretty well know how to grow chillies by now so the big question is, “What variety?” well they all have similar needs but in my view the hotter ones are a tad more difficult to grow, and that is why I bought plug plants instead of seeds for my hottest this year (2015) and they have done amazingly well. I did that because they apparently have a poor germination rate and at nearly £4 for 6 seeds I didn’t want to take chances.
Hot Mexican Chillies
However, I have also grown another hot one this year called Hot Mexican and this has been on the market for years. It is hot, very hot and if you look on the seed packet you may notice it has 3 ticks which means it is (for me at least) mind blowingly hot. You buy these seeds by the packet and there are normally around 50 for in the region of £3.99. Not going to break the bank and one plant alone will provide enough chillies for a family – unless you eat them like sweeties, that is.
You treat these seeds like any other chilli seed: pop them onto the surface of a good, free-draining, damp, seed sowing mix and cover with a fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Those are the instructions you will receive with your new seeds but to be honest I use multi purpose compost and have superb results every year.
You will also see on the packet that germination takes 7-10 days but up to now I have started mine off on my office windowsill so that I can keep an eye on them more easily. I keep them wrapped in 20mm bubble wrap but have never, ever had any germinate in 10 days. 3 weeks, 4 weeks is more the norm for most of us so you have to assume by that time some of the seeds will have rotted and died off.
Give your seeds/seedlings as much light as possible but of course these are always started in late January/early Feb so there isn’t a great deal of natural light to be had.
The “Book” says: When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant into individual 7.5cm (3") pots of compost and grow on in cooler conditions. When plants are well grown and all risk of frost has passed, transplant them into grow bags and containers, or plant them in well prepared beds of fertile, moist, well drained soil. Chili peppers may be grown undercover in a greenhouse or polytunnel, or grown outdoors in a sheltered position in full sun.
Well I for one dispute the wisdom of growing them outside, especially up here in Derbyshire where a chill wind can spring up without warning. OK, I know they can be grown outside but your crop will only be a fraction of the ones grown under cover.
Pot them on from the 3” pot when the seedlings are large enough until you finally use a 9” pot. The root system is huge and need plenty of space.
The fruit or chillies themselves will grow to about 4 inches long and will turn from green to red when they are ripe