Here’s how to grow chili peppers from cuttings, practically guaranteeing yourself a regular bounty of tasty, spicy goodness for the price of some soil and a few pots!
The species of the Capsicum genus, more commonly known as the ‘Chili Peppers’, are an amazingly easy and rewarding group to grow, whether outdoors or under glass. While it’s quite an easy process to cultivate them from seeds, it’s even simpler to propagate Capsicum via cuttings! Here’s one of the ways we do it…
How to Grow Chili Peppers from Cuttings – Materials:
- Cane (or pen or pencil)
- Capsicum species plant
- Growing containers
- Peat moss (or similar)
- Perlite (or sand, vermiculite, etc.)
- Spray mister
- Top half of a transparent plastic drinks bottle (or a plastic freezer bag or similar)
How to Grow Chili Peppers from Cuttings – Method:
- Choose a healthy mother plant from which to take your cuttings. You should select one with well-formed, green foliage and strong stems for the best chance of success.
- Fill the growing container roughly seven or eight centimetres deep with a well-drained soil mix, such as an equal blend of peat moss with perlite.
- Moisten – but don’t soak – the soil mix.
- Use a cane or pencil to make enough holes to take your cuttings, evenly spaced at least a few centimetres apart.
- Choose where you’re going to make the cut for your first clone. We recommend using clean, sharp scissors to do so – just below any node which is at least five to ten centimetres from the stem tip. Each cutting should possess a minimum of two nodes.
- Take your cutting and gently cut the one or two pairs of leaves which are furthest down the stem. This will help the new plant to direct its energy to forming healthy roots, rather than supporting excess foliage.
- Carefully place the cutting into the first hole you poked in the soil, leaving a centimetre or so between the soil and the lowest pair of leaves.
- Tamp down the soil around the cutting’s base, wetting it with the mister to help firm it up just enough to hold the cutting stable.
- Repeat steps 5-8 until you have the desired number of cuttings.
- Take the top of a clear plastic bottle (or freezer bag, etc.) and place it over the container. Doing this will help to maintain the cuttings at a higher humidity around the plants, hopefully helping them to root quicker.
- Put the cuttings somewhere brightly lit, but avoiding direct sunlight. Try to maintain an ambient temperature of between 18°C and 21°C (65°F to 70°F) for optimum growth.
- Keep the soil moist at all times, but do not allow it to become soaked. Conversely, never let it become bone dry – else your plants will begin to look rather unhappy!
- The young chili plants can be transplanted into larger containers once their roots are at least two or three centimetres long.
Popular Chili Pepper Species:
- Capsicum annuum (‘Bell Peppers’, ‘Cayenne Peppers’, ‘Chiltepin Peppers’, ‘Jalapeño Peppers’, ‘New Mexico Chile Peppers’, ‘Poblano Peppers’, ‘Serrano Peppers’ and ‘Wax Peppers’)
- Capsicum baccatum (‘Aji Peppers’)
- Capsicum chinense (‘Datil Peppers’, ‘Habanero Peppers’, ‘Naga Peppers’ and ‘Scotch Bonnet Peppers’)
- Capsicum frutescens (‘Bird’s Eye Peppers’, ‘Malagueta Peppers’, ‘Malawian Kambuzi Peppers’, ‘Piri Piri Peppers’, ‘Siling Labuyo Peppers’, ‘Tabasco Peppers’ and ‘Thai Peppers’)
- Capsicum pubescens (‘Rocoto Peppers’)