Chillis can survive the chill

Save chilli pepper seed.
Save chilli pepper seed.

Chilli pepper plants that have delivered a crop can be encouraged to survive winter and perform again next year.

This said, it is more often the case that growers simply allow them to fade and sow anew in the spring. If you have this in mind, consider saving your own seed as you do with tomatoes.

We tried growing the red hot chilli pepper Bhut Jolokia this year.

In 2012 it held the world record for hotness at over 
one million Scoville Heat Units (1m SCH) but has since been overtaken by Trinidad Scorpion.

The plant has grown and flowered well enough but not delivered the expected crop. The lower stem has developed a secondary thickness and there are plenty of young shoots so we’ll ease off the watering, offer warmth and light through winter and hope for a flying start next year.

Useful hint: If you’re opening stored chilli peppers to save seeds, wear plastic gloves, eye-shields and a face mask, otherwise you’ll be crying and sneezing for England!