Cultivation of Chilli ; Capsicum annuum L.

Cultivation of Chilli; Capsicum annuum L.

CHILLI  is grown almost throughout the country. More than 400 types of chilies varieties are grown worldwide. It is also known as hot pepper, sweet pepper, Bell Pepper, cayenne pepper, etc.

A number of varieties are cultivated for vegetables, spices, condiments, sauces, and pickles. Chilli plays an important role in the Indian diet. Chillie is an indispensable item in the kitchen, as it is consumed daily as a condiment in one form or the other forms. Dried chili fruits constitute a major share per head among all the spices consume.  chillies are also used throughout the world as a spice in the making of beverages and medicines. Some varieties of chilies are famous for red color because of their pigment ‘capsanthin,’ while others are known for biting pungency attributed to pigment ‘capsaicin.’
The fruit of chili or Capsicum plants have a lot of names depending on their place of origin and type. It is commonly called chili pepper, red or green pepper, or sweet pepper in Great Britain, and typically known as capsicum in Australia. Its large mild form is called bell pepper in the country like the US and Canada. It is also called paprika in some other countries (although paprika can also refer to the powdered spice made from various capsicum fruit).
Chilli is originally a Mexican term (now chile in Mexico) it came from the Nahuatl word chili or xilli, referring to a larger Capsicum variety that is  cultivated since 3000 BC, as evidenced by remains found in pottery from Puebla and Oaxaca. 
It is universally called by different names such as Pimenton, Puvre de Guinee, Filfil Ahmar, Paprika, Spaanse Peper, Peperone, Pimento, Struchkovy pyeret, Togarashi, Hesiung Yali chiao, Lal-mirch,etc.

Most Popular Chillies of India ;

Types of chilies
Area of Cultivation
Bhut Jolokia
North East
it is also known as ‘ghost pepper’, Bhut Jolokia is the certified hottest chilly in the world in the Guinness Book in 2007. Bhut Jolokia is an interspecific hybrid (of Capsicum Chinese and Capsicum frutescens) It is cultivated in North-Eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. Bhut jolokia is consumed as a food and a spice, most preferable in the combination with pork or dried or fermented fish.
Kashmiri Chillies
It is the most sought-after red chilli in India for its colour. An ideal Indian kitchen is absolutely incomplete without Kashmiri Mirch powder as it adds the colour to the mouth-watering dishes every household cooks. Kashmiri chillies are less hot or pungency, in comparison, to the other chillies found in India.
Guntur Chillies
Andhra Pardesh
 Guntur is a famous  place producing and exporting  most of the chillies varieties and chilli powder from India to countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Middle East, South Korea, UK, USA and Latin America. Guntur Sannam, one of the types of Guntur chilly variety which is also cultivated in Madhya Pradesh.
Kanthari Chillis
 It is also known as birds eye chilli of Kerala and becomes white when matures. This Variety adds heat and provides a good flavour to dishes.
Jawala Chillies
Jawala chilli, also famous as finger hot pepper, it is mainly cultivated in Kheda, Mehsana and southern parts of Gujarat. Although it’s green initially, once it matures it turns red in colour. They can even be grown at home. This chilli is easily available in the market throughout the year and very pungent in flavour.
Byadagi  Chillies
 It is cultivated in Byadagi town  which is located in the Haveri district of Karnataka. it is famous for its colour and pungency, Byadagi chilli is similar to paprika.
RamNad Mundu/Gundu
Tamil Nadu
Almost spherical in shape, this chili has very shiny skin and is orange-red in color, grown in the Ramnad district of Tamil Nadu. This chilly is mostly used to add flavour to the Chettinad cuisine
This chili is grown in Manipur and is easily available in Kolkata. Known for its strong pungent smell and heat, it is blood-red in colour.


 Climatic Conditions Required for Chilli Cultivation  ;

Chilli is a crop of tropical and subtropical regions. For its growth, warm humid conditions are very suitable ( ideally; 25 to 30-degree celsius ) whereas warm dry weather conditions are very much suitable for its maturity.

Season of sowing ;

  • January – February
  • June – July
  • September – October 

Soil ;

 Well-drained and organically rich loamy soils having a pH range between 6.5-7.5 are most suitable for chilies cultivation. The light soils produce a better quality of fruit in Comparision to the heavy soils

Chilies Varieties 

Chilli-Pusa Jwala, Pant CO. 1, Kalyanpur Chanchal and Kalyan,chamatkar.
Green or Sweet Repper-Arka Mohini, Arka Basant, Arka Gaurav, California Wonder.

Seed Rate of chilies;

Varieties; 1 kg per hectare.
Hybrids; 200 gms to 250 gms per hectare 

Seed Treatment ;

Treat the seeds of Chillies with the Trichoderma viride @ 4 g / kg or Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 10 g/ kg 

Preparation of Raised Bed nursery of Chillies ;

1) For the one-hectare, the area of the nursery should be 100 square meters.
2) Prepare the 10 cms. raised bed of the size 7.5m x 1.5 m.

3) Add 30 kg of FYM and 5 kg of complex fertilizer in a ratio of 15:15:15. 
4) sow the seeds  7.5 cms apart in a line and cover the seed with fine soil or by FYM.
5) Mulch the beds with paddy straw or from any agriculture waste materials. 
6) Apply the water twice a day until the germination not occurred. 
7) After the initiation of germination remove the mulch from the seedbeds immediately.
8) 10 days before the transplanting reduce the water application so that plants get harden before transplanting. 
9) After 35 to 40 days of sowing the chili, plants are ready to transplant.

Transplanting of the chili;  

Apply 25 tonnes of FYM per hectare in a good, ploughed, harrowed, and fine tilted field one day before transplanting dipped the plants for 5 mins in azosporillum solution(400 gms of azosporillum /lit of water ). The spacing should be……

  • Varieties; 60 cms X45 cms.
  • Hybrids; 75 cms  X 60 Cms .
Irrigation in Chillies Fields;

1) Chilli cannot withstand heavy moisture. Hence irrigation should be given only when necessary. 

2) Frequent and heavy irrigation induces lanky vegetative growth and causes flower shedding. 
3) Excess irrigation affects plant growth, branching, and dry matter accumulation quite adversely. 
4) The number of irrigation and interval between irrigation depends on soil and climatic conditions.
5) If the plants show drooping of leaves at 4 p.m., it is an indication that irrigation is needed. 
6) Flowering and fruit development in chili is the most critical stage of water requirement. 
7) Normally chili is grown under rainfed conditions. However, under irrigated conditions, care should be taken to avoid using water contaminated with fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides. Irrigation should be done judiciously. 
8)There should be no Stagnant water in nursery beds and fields in order to avoid fungal infection.

Intercultural Operation in chilies Farming ; 
1) The thinning process should be carried out by hand Just 25 to 30 days after sowing the seeds to maintain a plant population of about 30 to 60 plants/m2. 
2) The plant density to be maintained is dependable on the nature and fertility of the soil. 
3) On marginal soil, the plant population should be maintained high. Generally, two weedings/hoeings are required to keep the field free from weeds, the first within 20-25 days of sowing and the other after 20-25 days of the first weeding/hoeing. 
4) While depending on the weed growth one or two more weddings may also be taken up. 
5) Weeds plants that attract pests should be allowed to grow in the field for traping and should be removed just before the flowering starts. 
6) Earthing up is carried out as and when necessary. 
7) Chilli may also be cultivated organically as an inter or mixed crop. 
8) It is desirable to include a leguminous crop in rotation with chili farming.
Manures and Fertilizers ;
A dose of 100 to 120 kg Nitrogen, 80 to 100 kg phosphorus and 50 to 60 kg potash per hectare is applied for higher yield and better quality fruits. Besides 20-25 tonnes of F.Y.M. per hectare may also be added during field preparation.

Disease and Pest Management in Chillis Farming ;

Disease Management of Chillies ; 

 a)Damping-off ; 

This is a soil-borne fungal disease that affects seeds and the growth and development of the new seedlings, damping-off usually refers to the rotting of the plant stem and the plant root tissues at and below the soil surface. In most cases, it is observed that the infected plants will get germinate and come up fine, but within a few days, they more become water-soaked and mushy types and fall over at the base and die.

Pseudomonas fluorescens 0.5% W.P. formulation should be applied as a seed treatment and furrow (soil) application in Chilli which significantly reduced the damping-off disease  The yield of chili will also significantly enhanced.
b)Die-back and Anthracnose ; 

Inspect at beginning of the vegetative stage until the flowering stage. The disease is particularly a problem during rainy periods Look for the following symptoms: Small or large lesions typical of Colletotrichum infections are formed on leaves and fruits. Stems and petioles may be girdled (encircled), and necrosis of inflorescences causes dieback and shriveling. Wilting of the plant.

1) Use of disease-free seeds. 2)Treat the seeds with T. viride 4 g/kg or P. fluorescens 10 g / kg of seed 24 hours before sowing 4) Spray Mancozeb 2 g/lit or Copper oxychloride 2.5 g/lit thrice at 15 days interval starting from noticing the die-back symptoms.
C) Choeanephora blight/ wet rot

it colonizes dead or dying tissue before it actively invades living pepper tissue. Pepper plants are susceptible from seedling to early flowering stage. Fruit infection is observed predominantly around the calyx. Most of the time, it starts in senescing flower petals. Once it gets established the entire flowers will show an overgrowth which finally resulting in a brown to black mass of soft tissue. Flower stalks, buds, and leaves may subsequently be affected.
Adopt the recommended spacing between plant to plant to maintain adequate and frequent air circulation.  Spray captan 75% WP @ 800 g in 400 l of water/acre.
D) Mosaic complex 

Symptoms vary with the virus TMV, Raised blisters and mottled areas of light and dark green areas on the foliage, Leaves point towards the ground, Necrotic spots on stem, Fruit ripens unevenly and is reduced in size CMV, Reduction in leaf size and narrowing of lamina Chlorosis leading to mosaic symptoms, Downward curling along with midrib, Fruit may be small and distorted, on volunteer Chilli plants and on infected plant debris.

For controlling the vector treat the seeds with imidacloprid 70% WS @ 10 g/Kg of seed. or apply fipronil 5% SC @ 320-400 ml in 200 l of water/acre
Raise 2 rows of maize or sorghum for every 5 rows of chili crop against the wind direction. Recommendations given for aphids may be adopted for controlling the vector.
E) Powdery mildew; Leveillula taurica (Lév.) G. Arnaud

The white powdery coating can be seen mostly on the lower surface and sometimes occasionally on the upper surface also  Correspondingly on the upper surface yellow patches can also be seen. The Severe infection may result in the drying and shedding of affected leaves. Powdery growth can also be seen on branches and young fruits. The Diseased fruits do not grow further and may get drop down prematurely.
Control ; 
Apply flusilazole 40% EC @ 40-60 ml in 200 l of water/acre or sulphur 52% SC @ 800 ml in 160 l of water/acre or sulphur 80% WP @ 1252 g in 300-400 l of water/acre or azoxystrobin 23% SC @ 200 ml in 200-300 l of water/acre or benomyl 50%
WP @ 80 g in 240 l of water/acre or hexaconazole 2% SC @ 1200 ml in 200 l of water/acre or tebuconazole 25% WG @ 200-300 g in 200 l of water/acre.
Pest Management of Chillies ;
A) Fruit Borer ; 

Young larva feeds on the leaves for some time and then attacks fruits. Internal tissues are eaten severely and completely hollowed out. While feeding the caterpillar thrust its head inside leaving the rest of the body outside, Bored fruits with round holes, Fed leaves, shoots and buds. The activity of Helicoverpa starts on the green gram, summer vegetables and maize and continues their generation by Aug-Sept months synchronizing with the main crop.

Control ; 
Spray emamectin benzoate 5% SG @ 80 g in 200 l of water/acre or fipronil 5% SC @ 320-400 ml in 200 l of water/acre or flubendiamide 39.35% M/M SC @ 40-50 ml in 200 l of water/acre or indoxacarb 14.5% SC @ 133-160 ml in 120-240 l of water/ acre or lufenuron 5.4% EC @ 240 ml in 200 l of water/acre or spinosad 45% SC @ 64 ml in 200 l of water/acre or novaluron 10 % EC @ 150 ml in 200 l of water/acre
or chlorantraniliprole 18.5% SC @ 60 ml in 200 l of water/acre or deltamethrin 2.8% EC @ 160-200 ml in 160-240 l of water/acre or lambda-cyhalothrin 4.9% CS @ 200 ml in 200 l of water/acre or lambda-cyhalothrin 5% EC @ 120 ml in 160-240 l of ater/acre or methomyl 40% SP @ 300-450 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or thiodicarb 75% WP @ 250.4-400 g in 200 l of water/acre or indoxacarb 14.5% +
acetamiprid 7.7% W/W SC @ 160-200 ml in 200 l of water/acre or pyriproxyfen 5% + fenpropathrin 15% EC @ 200-300 ml in 200-300 l of water/acre.
Biological Control; Spray NSKE 5 % against eggs and first instar larva. or  Spray B. t. var gallariae @ 600-800 g in 400 l of water/acre.
B)Thrips ;

The infested leaves curl upward, crumble and shed, Infested buds become brittle and drop down. On the affected fruits light brown scars can be seen, Early-stage, infestation results in stunted growth and poor flower production, fruit set are arrested.

Control ; 
Treat the seeds with imidacloprid 70% WS @ 400-600 g/100 Kg seed. Apply fipronil 5% SC @ 320-400 ml in 200 l of water/acre or lambda-cyhalothrin 4.9% CS @ 200 ml in 200 l of water/acre or lambda-cyhalothrin 5% EC @ 120 ml in 160-240 l of water/acre or spinosad 45% SC @ 64 ml in 200 l of water/acre or thiacloprid 21.7% SC @ 90-120 ml in 200 l of water/acre or acetamiprid 20% SP @
20-40 g in 200-240 l of water/acre or emamectin benzoate 5% SG @ 80 g in 200 l of water/acre or carbaryl 50% WP @ 800 g in 200-400 l of water/acre or carbofuran 3% CG @ 13320 g/acre or ethion 50% EC @ 600-800 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or fenpropathrin 30% EC @ 100-136 ml in 300-400 l of water/acre or methomyl 40% SP @ 300-450 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or oxydemeton-methy 25% EC @ 400 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or phorate 10% CG @ 4000 g/acre or indoxacarb 14.5% + acetamiprid 7.7% W/W SC @ 160-200 ml in 200 l of water/acre.
Biological Control- Apply neem cake to the beds @ 100 Kg/acre in two split doses at the time of planting and 30 days after transplanting.
C) Spider mites/Yellow mites
Both nymphs and adults suck sap and devitalize the plant causing ‘Murda’ disease of chilies, Infestation results in downward curling of leaves, The affected leaves becoming inverted boat-shaped, The leaves rolling down along the margin with elongation of petioles. Infested leaves turn dark green in certain cases and the younger leaves show branch clustering at the tip.
Spray dimethoate 30% EC @ 396 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or emamectin benzoate 5% SG @ 80 g in 200 l of water/acre or fenazaquin 10% EC @ 500 ml in 160-240 l of water/acre or fenpropathrin 30% EC @ 100-136 ml in 300-400 l of water/acre or fenpyroximate 5% EC @ 120-240 ml in 120-200 l of water/acre or milbemectin 1% EC @ 130 ml in 200 l of water/acre or propargite 57% EC @ 600 ml in 200-250 l of water/acre or spiromesifen 22.9% SC@ 160 ml in 200-300 l of water/acre or chlorfenapyr 10% SC @ 300-400 ml in 200 l of water/acre or diafenthiuron 50% WP @ 240 g in 200-300 l of water/acre or ethion 50% EC @ 600-800 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or hexythiazox 5.45% W/W EC @ 120-200 ml in 250 l of water/acre or lambda-cyhalothrin 5% EC @ 120 ml in 160-240 l of water/acre or  oxydemeton-methy 25% EC @ 800 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or phorate 10% CG @ 4000 g/acre or quinalphos 25% EC @ 600 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or buprofezin 25% SC @ 120-240 ml in 200-300 l of water/acre .
Biological Control; If the incidence of mites is low, spray neem seed powder extract 4% at 10 days interval.
D) Aphids ;

Appear on the tender shoots, leaves and on the lower surface of the leaves. , The honeydew is very sweet which attracts sooty mould growth, making the leaves turn black.,Suck the sap and reduce the vigor of the plant.,Secrete sweet substances which attract ants and develop a sooty mould.,The pods that became black in color due to sooty mould development lose quality and fetch very a low price in the markets., The yields are also reduced significantly by the aphids directly and more through the spread of virus diseases acting as vectors indirectly

Seed treatment with imidacloprid 70% WS @ 400-600 g/100 Kg seed. Apply fipronil 5% SC @ 320-400 ml in 200 l of water/acre or oxydemeton methyl 25% EC @ 640 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or carbofuran 3% CG @ 13320 g/acre or carbosulfan 25% EC @ 320-400 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or phorate 10% CG @ 4000 g/acre or quinalphos 25% GEL @ 400 g in 200-400 l of water/acre or quinalphos 25% EC @ 400 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or quinalphos 1.5% DP @ 8000 g/acre
Alternate chemicals at 10 days interval till the end of aphid population.
E) Root-knot nematodes

Infected plants in patches in the field Formation of galls on host root system are the primary symptom
Roots branch profusely starting from the gall tissue causing a ‘beard root’ symptom Infected roots become knobby and knotty In severely infected plants the root system is reduced and the rootlets are almost completely absent. The roots are seriously hampered in their function of uptake and transport of water and nutrients Plants wilt during the hot part of day, especially under dry conditions and are often stunted Seedlings infected in nursery do not normally survive transplanting and those surviving have reduced flowering and fruit production Nematode infection predisposes plants to fungal and bacterial root pathogens.

Remove the infected plants and residues, 
Apply poultry manure instead of cow dung , Apply compost as nematode-free organic fertilizer, Inter-cropping with crucifer crops (Mustard, Cabbage), Apply poultry manure instead of other organic fertilizers, Deep plough and expose to direct sunlight, Add green manure with a repellent crop to the affected field, such as sun hemp, adathoda, Tithonia, Gliricidia, Neem leaves, Calotrophis leaves. There is no recommended chemical control of root-knot nematode.


Chillies are harvested at two stages —one for green vegetables and other as dry chillies. Sweet peppers and green chillies are picked when they are fully mature but not changed colour from green to red. Sweet peppers are harvested only once in a week whereas it may be twice in case of chillies. It gives 75 to 90 quintals green chillies, whereas 8 to 9 quintals dry fruits per hectare. Sweet pepper may produce 200 to 300 quintals per hectare green fruits.

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