The Chilli Guru

Pot Plants

Chillies grown in pots are more compact than those grown in the glasshouse border, but many cultivars will still need some support. A split bamboo inserted next to the main stem of the chilli plant will often suffice, particularly if it is put in place early while the plant is young. This allows the plant roots to grow round the cane and help support it, so that the chilli and the cane will end up supporting each other.

If this is not sufficient, a couple of split bamboos inserted round the edge of the pot later in the season and tied to individual branches should do the trick.

Open Ground Plants

Chillies grown in the soil will be more vigorous and carry a much greater weight of fruit, and so need a more robust support system. Very compact cultivars like Hot Thai will be largely self supporting, but tall chillies like Chilaca and the open habit C. baccatum cultivars such as Havana Gold will certainly need good support.

This can take several forms and will depend on the size and nature of the greenhouse, and on how many chilli plants are being grown.A horizontal plastic or wire net with a 15 cm mesh supported on posts either side of the bed is effective, particularly if the height of the net can be raised as the chillies grow. Commercial chilli growers support the individual branches of each plant with strings anchored high in the glasshouse structure, but this would not be practical in most amateur greenhouses.

If the systems described above are not feasible, or if only a few chilli plants are being grown, then stout bamboo canes used as described for pot plants will be the best solution.

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