Wednesday 22 July 2015

A chilli experiment, etc

It is alleged that if you put a chilli plant in a big pot, the plant will grow bigger than if you put it in a small pot - in other words that it adjusts its size to fit the space available. Not surprising, you may say, but is it true? I plan to find out.

I have two smallish chilli plants (ones which were sowed late, when I thought all of my first sowings were going to be killed off by the aphids), which are of very similar size, and I am going to use these to conduct a comparative trial.

I am going to leave the one in the terracotta pot where it is, but I have transferred the one in the black plastic pot into one of the big 35-litre pots recently released by the harvesting of some potatoes:

Here you see the containers side-by-side. In the background are two of my "normal" chilli pots, which are 10 inches in diameter.

The growing-season is already well advanced and it is probable that neither of these plants will produce any fruit this year, but even if they don't I will be able to see how big each one grows.

Now this is the "...etc":-

The home-made compost I spread around my raised beds earlier in the year evidently contained some viable chilli seeds, because lots of little chilli plants have popped up.

Mostly they are unidentifiable at this stage, but I don't think there is any doubt that this one is "Nosferatu".

Well, I'm never one to turn down an offer of free chilli plants, so I have potted-up a few of the volunteers:

Again, they may be too late to produce fruit this year, but these days I have taken to over-Wintering a few chillis, so these ones may be candidates for that treatment when the time comes.


  1. I tend to have volunteer potatoes & tomatoes, never anything as exotic as chillies though I did grow my best ever crop of Pac Choi from volunteers once!

  2. It will be interesting to see how your experiment works out. I have found it to be true. At the moment I've got some peppers in 10 gallon pots that are as large as the plants in my garden beds. My leftover plants that I haven't had the heart to consign to the compost are in 1 quart containers and have remained quite small, although some are flowering and setting peppers. I love those volunteer peppers when they happen. I got some great sweet bells one year from volunteers that I left to grow.

  3. Gardeners tend to do all sorts of experiements with their plants, don't they? It will be interesting to find out the results.

  4. I love gardening experiments. I think bigger pots making bigger plants holds true for the most part. Though I'm sure there is diminishing returns at some point.


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