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As we all know, chilli plants are living organisms and need the proper nutrients and the right climate to grow healthy and strong.
Choosing the right plant food or liquid fertilizer is an essential ingredient for healthy growth and an abundant yield.
If you’re reading this page, you’ve probably tried to grow a chilli plant and found that it struggled to develop or gave off a low yield.
The problem is very likely a lack of nutrients. A few years ago, I did an experiment: I let the plant grow without any plant food or fertilizer to see what negative effects there would be on the plant in the case it wasn’t receiving sufficient nutrients.
After a few months of growth, the plant started to turn yellow and the pot containing the non-fertilized soil began to fill with roots. It seemed as if the roots were suffocating.
At that point, I added slow-release manure pellets to the soul and let them dissolve gradually with watering (Caution, avoid letting the fertilizer come in direct contact with the roots).
After about a week, I noticed that new, bright green leaves appeared and the plant began to develop more quickly.
When you are choosing plant food or liquid fertilizer, the three essential substances for healthy plant growth are:
This is what those three letters, N-P-K, that you find on packaging for fertilizers, plants food, and soil stand for.
Every element has a different effect on the plant:
Nitrogen (N) Gives the plant a boost during the growth phase.
Phosphorus (P) Increases blooming and strengthens the root apparatus allowing the plant to absorb more nutrients.
Potassium(K) Strengthens the entire plant and encourages stronger yield.
In addition to these, plants also need zinc, iron, etc. which are usually present in soil whether store-bought or in the garden.
We always advise buying fertilizer or plant food that is made specifically for chillies in order to ensure that the plants will receive the exact nutrients they require for strong growth.
There are many products on the market that promise healthy growth. After various tests, we at ItalianChillies have created a page on our site for natural and organic fertilizers for chilli plants. You can check out our products by clicking the following link: fertilizer for chillies
Organic is always the best choice
A viable chilli crop requires a lot of care and that without a doubt includes a good fertilizer.
Without question, organic fertilizers are the best because they work more reliably, but determining whether a fertilizer is truly organic is not easy.
However, by paying attention when choosing a product you can be sure to choose one that will bring about great results.
Before going into greater detail, there are some general rules to follow when it comes to fertilizers.
Above all, you need to be certain that they contain three essential substances that lead to perfect chilli growth.
These are phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen which together form the symbol NPK (which stands for the symbols of each element). You can find it on the packaging of the fertilizer and it indicates the percentage of each element in the fertilizer in question. Fertilizers can exist as powders or pellets, the difference being that powders have faster reaction times while pellets are usually slow-release.
The ideal use of the product is to apply it once a month, even if on the packaging it may be written how frequently to use it.
The same goes for the doses to administer and how to administer them: our advice for powders is to pour the product directly over the soil and then water, while for pellets it’s best to scrape out an area in the soil, removing the top layer, then laying down the fertilizer, and covering again with soil (The same rule goes: don’t put the fertilizer in direct contact with the plant’s roots).
Manure: This is certainly one of the most natural materials available on the market as it is made from the excrement of farm animals, starting from cows and horses, and is then mixed with hay and other natural substances and left to mature for about four months before being spread over crops. The ideal format for potted plants is pelleted manure which is already ready to use without having to wait for it to mature. It’s extremely rich in nitrogen, so it’s best to not overuse it.
Earthworm humus: Also called 'vermicompost', this product is an organic substance produced by earthworms thanks to the processing of manure and various plant waste. The final product is a brown powder, very similar in appearance to soil but odorless. Like we have said, it’s one of the best natural fertilizers for chilli plants because it contains many nutritive elements, prevents fungal diseases, makes overused earth more fertile and conducive to growth, and can be used at every phase of the plant’s life.
Bat guano: Another natural fertilizer derived from certain types of animal excrement, such as marine birds and bats. It can be found in pellet or powder form and is rich in nutritive elements like phosphorus and potassium. It’s fundamental to regulate the dosage you apply (usually one dose every 1-2 months).
Compost: This product is the result of various organic materials (can also be made at home using cooking scraps, leftover water from plants, or with manure and other organic materials and leaving them in the composter). It can be used as a fertilizer but only in later stages and can also be used in place of soil.
Chicken manure: Very similar the manure described above, but made from the excrement of chickens, hens, and other birds. It’s often used in its natural form, left to mature as compost, but it can also be found in pellet form.
Coffee: As strange as it sounds, the grains leftover from homemade coffee work as a fertilizer. Just let them dry out and then sprinkle it over the soil: in this way we can obtain a mixture that’s rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and other minerals.
During our experience as chilli growers, we have done a few tests with natural fertilizers and plant foods. We got the best results with the following brands: BioBloom, Plagron, Canna. You can find them on our site in the category natural fertilizers for chilli plants.