We’ve had a lot of questions from readers about if and when they should pot on their chilli plants and what pot sizes to use. This is a hard question to answer as much will depend on the stage of development of your plants and the condition they are grown in.
Many of our readers seem to be planting their chilli seeds in communal containers such as window boxes or large planters. While this is great for saving space during the germination and seedling stages it can cause problems later on. If left too long, the plants roots become entangled and when the plants need separating into larger pots you can run the risk of damaging plants. As a result panting chillies in single pots is best.
As I mention in my recent post about potting on I tend to pot my plants on every few weeks when the roots become visible out of the bottom of the pot. During a season i usually pot on about 4 times, gradually increasing the pot size up to about a maximum of 10-12″ depending on the variety.
Potting On Experiment
While the above potting on routine seems to have worked for me in the past, I’m not too sure if something else would work better to i’ve decided to run a little experiment. I have taken 6 Cayenne plants, all the same size (roughly 15″ in height) that until now have been in 6″ pots. I will leave two in the same pots and have potted two into 82″ pots and two into 10″ pots and see how they fair in different pots.
I’ve heard one theory that states that potting into too large pots means the plant wastes energy decveloping it’s root system instead of flowering and producing chillies. Conversely other wisdom states that leaving in too small pots won’t allow the plant space to develop and produce to it’s full potential.
All0f the plants are the same size at the minute and none are flowering quite yet so I think now is the perfect time to run this test.
I’ll keep all six plants in the same conditions (in a conservatory that receives a good amount of light and has a small heater for chilly nights) and see how their growth is affected by their pot size. Of course not only with the rate of growth be interesting but the yield of Cayenne peppers I get form them. I’ll report back later in the season with the results!
Do you have any tips or interesting ideas about pot sizes for peppers? If so leave a comment below.