How to cultivate chilli? A complete guide

How to cultivate chilli? A complete guide
How to cultivate chilli? A complete guide

This blog carries in-depth details about chilli farming. Through this blog, you will understand all the practices used to cultivate chillies.

Are you planning to cultivate chillies this year? If yes! You should proceed ahead. You can generate a lot of profits with chilli cultivation. Chilli cultivation has now become a great source of income for farmers. Yet, you must look for the proper planting strategy. Otherwise, diseases and pests may infest your farm.

While planting a crop, various factors are considered, like soil, type of planting material, climate, etc. Take heart! You are at the right place. In this blog, we will talk about each factor necessary to produce healthy chillies.


Table of contents


Chillies are grown in various soil conditions, ranging from sandy to heavy clay. The ideal soil is a well-drained, moderately fertile loam with a considerable ability to retain rainwater. Fruits grown in light soils are of higher quality than those in heavy soils. The ideal soil pH range required to cultivate chilli is 6-7.


Year-round chilli cultivation is possible in tropical and subtropical climates because it is a day-neutral crop. The ideal temperature range for a successful crop yield is between 15°C and 35°C. Chillies are not tolerant to prolonged frost. Sweet pepper needs a light climate. In chilli, plant growth is slowed by 10°C or fewer soil temperatures. Low temperatures delay the development of colour during fruit ripening.

A poor fruit set and a severe blossom and fruit drop occur at temperatures above 40°C. A rainfall of 600–1200 mm is necessary for chilli. An unreliable temperature pattern, especially during the flowering stage, can cause chilli to drop its blossoms and fruits and then decay.


Ploughing should be done 1-2 times, followed by clod crushing. Add 150 to 200 quintals of compost or farmyard manure per acre and carefully mix the soil 15 to 20 days before planting. Create ridges and furrows with a 60 cm spacing. Apply 20 kg of FYM mixed with 0.8 kg of Azospirillum and 0.8 kg of Phosphobacteria per acre.

Chilli Farming
Chilli Farming


Seedlings are transplanted when they are 4 to 8 weeks old, depending on the planting season, after the land has been prepared to a fine tilth. The standard distance between rows of plants in northern India is 45 cm and 55 cm in the south. It is preferable to transplant the seedlings at night and harden them by stopping their irrigation one week before the transplanting procedure.


The majority of the places in India where chillies are grown are rainfed. Season and soil type both impact irrigation. The typical interval for irrigating chilli is 5–6 days in the summer and 9–10 days in the winter. Chilli cannot tolerate standing water or an excessive amount of wetness. Regular soil moisture maintenance and good drainage are necessary to stop flower and fruit drops. Water should be kept at its ideal moisture level during blooming, fruit set, and growth.

Are you aware? With the help of the Fasal system, you can meet the exact irrigation requirement of the chilli crop? Unbelievable? Try it yourself. Fill out this form to take a demo.

Crop rotation

In areas of southern India with black soil, intercropping of chilli with garlic, soybeans, and coriander is common. Groundnut and chilli intercropping (3:1) can produce the highest net return. Okra is the best intercrop for chilli under semi-dry circumstances. Practice rotation using sorghum, maize, pulses, or peanuts to reduce the prevalence of thrips, mites, and nematodes. If chilli is rotated with cereals and pulses, the occurrence of fruit rot, bacterial illness, and mosaic is reduced.


Chillis are harvested for vegetable purposes when they are fully developed and yet green. It is harvested for pickles when they are either green or mature and for spices when they are totally ripe. The fruit’s size, colour, and plumpness are used to assess the qualities of green chilli fruits. Green chillies are typically selected frequently, typically twice each week.

Harvesting in chilli
Harvesting in chilli

Post-harvest handling

As soon as the harvest is complete, the damaged and diseased chillies are removed from the lots and delivered in baskets or gunny sacks to the neighbourhood market. Dried red chillies are taken when they are fully ripe and slightly wilted on the plant for better pungency and colour retention. For 2-3 days, keep freshly gathered fruit piled up in shades to promote uniform colour development. Fruits are then stretched out on a cement floor or on clean, dry carpets to dry in the sun. Dried pods should have less than 10% moisture to prevent microbial activity. 15-20 days in the sun are necessary for complete drying. They are only kept at 55°C in the dryer for a few days.

Disease management

Chilli cultivation often results in disease infestations. Proper disease management is necessary to reduce the constant disease infestations on your chilli farm.

Damping off

Damping off is a severe and pervasive disease in the production of chillies. Once the disease manifests, it is difficult to control. Several tactics can be used to lessen the likelihood of spreading.


  • The seedlings are slain before they can sprout.
  • Stem-shrivelling and water-soaking regions are seen.
  • The impacts of disease indicators become apparent after seeds are put in seed beds.
  • The percentage of germinating seeds will decrease because it affects young seedlings and their stems.
  • Weakened stems cause diseased seedlings to lodge and have a pale brownish hue. Seeds and soil can spread diseases.
Damping off in chilli
Damping off in chilli


  • Saturating the soil with 0.25 per cent copper oxychloride.
  • When putting up a nursery, stay away from dark or shady places and use the proper seed rate.
  • Keep the optimal moisture level for nursery use and avoid flooding irrigation techniques.
  • Use 4g/kg of Thiram or Captan for treating seedlings.

Fruit rot and Dieback

Diseases such as die-back and fruit rot severely limit productivity in all chilli-growing locations in India. During the flowering stage of chilli development, this disease emerges. High temperatures and humidity in the atmosphere aid the spread of dieback disease in the chilli crop.


  • The disease is often called as “die back” because the fungus causes weak twigs to die from rearward tips. In most cases, an infection begins during the blossoming stage of the crop. Flowers wither and wilt.
  • Flowers are shedding in enormous numbers. The flower stalk shrivels and withers.
  • The withering spreads from the flower stalk to the stem, causing the branches and stem to die back and wilt.
Fruit rot and die back in chilli
Fruit rot and die back in chilli


  • A healthy crop stand requires the usage of disease-free seeds.
  • Thiram or Captan seed treatment at 4g/kg effectively eliminates seed-borne inoculum.
  • Systemic fungicides not only reduced disease incidence but also increased fruit yield.
  • The first spraying should be done just before flowering and the second should be done as the fruit starts to form.
  • The third spraying might be applied after the second.

Fusarium wilt

Fusarium wilt is a potentially fatal disease that can occur in both temperate and tropical regions. The disease appears at all stages of growth, but it is most severe during blooming and fruiting, resulting in crop failure ranging from partial to entire.


  • Fusarium wilt is distinguished by plant wilting and leaf rolling upward and inward. The decaying leaves turn yellow.
  • Although distributed wilted plants are possible, significant percentages of wilted and dead plants often develop in small, localised areas of the field.
  • The main disease symptoms are withering of the upper leaves and slight yellowing of the foliage, which develops over a few days into irreversible wilt with the leaves still attached.
Fusarium wilt in chilli
Fusarium wilt in chilli


  • Use of wilt-resistant cultivars.
  • Drenching with a 1% Bordeaux mixture, blue copper, or 0.25 per cent Fytolan solution will provide protection.
  • Treating seeds with 2g of carbendazim or 4g of a Trichoderma viride formulation per kg of seeds is effective.

Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is a significant barrier to the production of chiles. It becomes one of the most critical limiting factors in crop productivity due to substantial defoliation.


  • The prominent symptom visible on leaves is lesions on the upper leaf surface that range in colour from light green to vivid yellow.
  • The patches enlarge and turn into necrotic tissues. Lesions on the underside of the leaves are possible.
  • Under ideal conditions, dense whitish powdery fungal growth on the underside of leaves can form, mildly affecting leaf structure.
  • Later, the fungal growth spreads to the tops of the leaves; eventually, the entire leaf withers and dies, but it remains attached to the stem.
Powdery mildew in chilli
Powdery mildew in chilli


  • Maintain proper plant spacing while ensuring adequate aeration and light penetration.
  • Avoid using too much nitrogen fertiliser since it promotes the formation of disease-friendly environments.
  • Plants should be given enough water because moisture stress might make them more vulnerable.
  • Proper pruning and staking will improve air circulation.
  • Collect all rubbish and either bury or burn it.

Pest management in chilli

Pests are the major setback in chilli production. Proper pest management practices should be followed to reduce pest attacks on time.


Thrips are an invasive pest of chilli. Timely prevention and management are necessary to avoid economic losses.


  • The leaves become wrinkled and curl up when infested.
  • Buds with a long stalk become brittle and fall off.
  • Early infestation results in slowed development and decreased flower and fruit yield.
  • The damaged areas get scarred, the leaves become distorted, and the buds, blooms, and immature fruit become discoloured.
  • Damaged tissue may appear grey, brown, or black.
Chilli thrips
Chilli thrips


  • Intercropping with agathi crop (Sesbania grandiflora) provides excellent shade and helps to limit the thrips population.
  • Farmers should never plant chilli after harvesting their sorghum crop. And should never be followed by mixed crops of chilli and onion.
  • It is extremely helpful to sprinkle water over seedlings to prevent thrips from multiplying.
  • The use of systemic fungicides has also been found to be quite effective in the control of chilli thrips.
  • Installing 4-5 blue sticky traps each acre is also an effective technique.


Aphids are a significant pest in chilli production. As soon as an infestation is found, action must be taken immediately rather than waiting. The best ways to identify and prevent aphids are listed below.


  • Aphids are commonly seen on the bottom leaf surface of sensitive stems and leaves.
  • Aphids exude honeydew, which attracts ants and sooty mould, turning the leaves black and slowing the plant’s photosynthetic activity.
  • Aphids suck sap to weaken the plant.
  • Pods that become black due to sooty mould lose quality and sell cheaply.
  • Aphids and viral diseases that act as vectors impact yields both directly and indirectly.
Chilli aphids
Chilli aphids


  • Cultivate crops in alternate rows with pest-repellent plants such as marigolds, onions, and garlic.
  • Use agro nets to keep pests out of crop seedlings and remove them during the flowering stage.
  • Natural enemies can be preserved by avoiding the use of broad-spectrum insecticides and providing suitable habitats (such as ladybird beetles, hoverflies, and parasitoid wasps).
  • Over-application of nitrogen to the soil should be avoided because it might make plants more succulent and appealing to aphids.
  • If the farm was aphid-infested, remove and burn the leftovers as soon as possible after harvesting.

How can Fasal assist?

  • Fasal is a comprehensive system for agricultural intelligence that keeps track of soil conditions, weather, humidity levels, and crop development for chillies. The farmers may use it to make incredibly precise judgements regarding their land on a daily basis.
  • Using sensors, the Fasal system analyses farm parameters essential for chilli growing, such as weather, microclimate, and soil conditions. It foresees attacks from pests or diseases well in advance.
  • Farmers may choose better irrigation strategies for chilli plantations by using the Fasal system, which notifies them of any likelihood of rain over the next 14 days.
  • The soil moisture sensors in every Fasal system alert farmers when and where irrigation of the field is required. These sensors also help determine the right amount of water based on accurate soil moisture assessments.
  • The machine learning system of Fasal interacts with the chilli utilising our farm-level data to warn horticulturists when their chillies are at risk for disease.
  • The Fasal System continuously monitors the health of the soil and plants as well as their ideal mineral and water requirements, resulting in a better and healthier harvest.
  • Fasal offers Sorting, Grading, Packaging, and Logistics services to help farmers sell their produce at more excellent prices.

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