Grow Your Own Guajillo Chile Pepper

Filed Under (Chilli Growing) by Chilli Willy on 17-11-2014

Tagged Under : , , ,

For Chilli-Willy

By Ramon L. Manego

November 7, 2014

Photo by:

Photo by:

Guajillo or Mirasol pepper is a rare variety of chile that is said to have originated in Mexico. It is typically an annual vegetable that is very easy to grow and requires minimal care. Guajillo is smaller than other Anaheim chile varieties, but is much richer and milder in flavor and it is the second most commonly used pepper in Mexican cooking. The plant grows to a height of 3 feet, producing fruits that are 4 to 5 inches long and with medium heat.

Let’s start planting. Guajillo pepper is best planted from seed indoors in temperate climates. The best time to start your seedling indoors is early in spring. Fill your seed starting container with good quality potting mix and place 2 to 3 seeds in a ¼” deep hole. In order to germinate, the seedlings must have a steady temperature of between 70 -85 degrees F. You can use a heating pad underneath the container if your home is drafty.



Water your plants lightly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy and never let the soil dry completely or the germination process will fail. Germination will normally take about two to three weeks.

Once the seeds have sprouted, take them outside for a few hours every day to harden them, and once the plant has grown 4-6 inches, they are ready for transplanting outside in your garden. Keep in mind that Guajillo pepper is tender, so you need to make sure that the temperature is mild when you start transplanting.

Set your plants where they can get full sunshine. The soil should be well-draining with a 7 to 8 pH level, a preferred soil condition of Guajillo pepper. Set them at least 18 inches apart to give them good air circulation when they have matured. During hot or dry weather, it is best that you mulch your pepper plants with organic materials to keep the soil from drying up fast, and help prevent weeds from setting in. Apply diluted, water soluble fertilizer about four weeks after transplanting.

Your Guajillo pepper will start fruiting in about 75 days from transplanting, and you can start picking them while they are still green. Always use a sharp knife or scissors when removing the peppers and leave about an inch of stem attached. You can also leave the fruit to ripen and dry to make your own Guajillo chile powder. Have fun gardening!

If you want to learn more about chilli growing, then have a look at our chilli growing guide.


About Ramon

Ramon Mañego writes for Organics Superfoods Store. Organic Superfoods Store is an online store, based in Florida serving their customers since 2012.

Find out more at:

Older Brother Buys Grow System

Filed Under (General) by Chilli Willy on 25-05-2013

I have always idolized my elder brother, and so when he brought home one of those grow lights systems, at first I wanted to scold him. He’s a dreamer, and he’s always getting it into his head to start new hobbies, but he never follows through. It’s a major drag, especially when my mom calls me and asks me about him.

Part of me wants to lie on his behalf, the other part just lets it go and give the full true report. Either way, I always feel awful. So when he started unpacking all this stuff he got to start his inside garden, like the soil and the grow boxes and all the other stuff, I thought, dude, are you for real? But he was really excited about it and said how much fun it was going to be to grow a ton of stuff inside. Now, we live together in a small 2 bedroom apartment in the city, so we don’t get to grow anything, so I’m pretty much looking forward to it.

He said he got all the goods at Cool site! The only thing is I wish we had a basement, because the equipment he got takes up a major part of our kitchen. That’s okay though, as we only use the kitchen for heating up leftover pizza, if that. I mean, I love cold pizza. But soon we’ll be able to top the cold pizza with all sorts of delicious things that we grow. I don’t think my brother’s going to get down on that but I sure will. I’m more the gourmet than he is.

At any rate, now when our mom visits, first of all she’s going to be surprised by the redecoration, but she’s also going to be proud of my brother for sticking to something, that is, if he does stick to it! I’ll see that he does, for cold pizza’s sake.

What is the best metal halide grow lamp?

Filed Under (Plant Lighting) by Chilli Willy on 30-10-2012

Tagged Under : , ,

With so many metal halide lamps available for growing plants, it’s hard to pick a winner. It’s more a matter of choice in most cases, dependent on your application, goals and budget.  So, in this respect, there is a metal halide bulb for everyone.

Metal halide lamps will produce different results based on a mixture of their colour temperature, the bulb design (light distribution) and the intensity of light they produce.

This post will serve to provide a good benchmark metal halide grow lamp for which you can either run as an excellent choice on it’s own, or use it to compare with new metal halide lamps you may want to experiment with.

This lamp is the Sunmaster Metal Halide – which, in our opinion, is one of the best metal halide grow lamps you can buy.

The Sunmaster Metal Halide is an affordable yet high performance grow light bulb that comes in both a 4000K and 7200K option. The higher the Kelvin rating, which is a measure for blue light, the healthier your plants will be in the long run, producing more vigorous plant growth and better harvests too.

So, if you are looking for the best metal halide grow lamp available, the Sunmaster Metal Halide from Venture Lighting comes highly recommended.


At Chilli Willy, we stock the Sunmaster Cool Deluxe Metal Halide range, which is favoured by many growers because of its balanced light output at 6000 Kelvin, containing lots of blue light to keep your plants healthy and producing great harvests.


Sunmaster Cool Deluxe Metal Halide 600W

Sunmaster Cool Deluxe Metal Halide 1000W



What is the difference between blue and red spectrum light for plants?

Filed Under (Plant Lighting) by Chilli Willy on 23-10-2012

Tagged Under : , , ,

Blue and red spectrum light are the 2 main areas of the lighting spectrum that plants need to grow.

White / blue spectrum light is more suited for propagating and is more for the early stages of plant growth (vegetative phase).  Red spectrum light is required more when your plants are flowering and fruiting (blooming phase).


There are several types of grow lights available, including fluorescent grow lights, HID grow lights and LED grow lights.

If you are looking for more information on what type of grow light you need, then you may want to read the guide we put together explaining the different types of grow light.


All types of grow light have their own grow light bulbs which provide red and blue light:

Fluorescent grow lights have fluorescent tubes that can easily be swapped between propagating (white/ blue) and flowering bulbs (red).

HID grow lights have 2 different bulbs with drastically different colour ranges, making them excellent at producing vast amounts of light in the required range, as can be clearly seen when they are operating.   For example, you can use a Metal Halide (MH) bulb for the white spectrum, like used for floodlights and a High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulb for the red spectrum, like used for street lights.

LED grow lights simply use different coloured LED chips, either in panels of the same colour, or a mixed cluster.


Whatever grow light fixture you choose, you’ll also be able to obtain dual spectrum bulbs, which do a bit of both and are good all rounders for plant growth.

We are expanding our grow your own range to include plant lighting products

Filed Under (Plant Lighting) by Chilli Willy on 21-10-2012

Tagged Under : , , , , , , , , ,

Chilli Willy has always had a strong focus on “Grow your own”, for example with our widely acclaimed “grow your own naughty looking chillies” range which make fantastic novelty chilli gifts and secret Santa presents.

Lots of searchers also come to us for our chilli growing advice, so we thought we would expand into what we know best and offer a full range of growing products, such as plant lighting, nutrients and other products designed to help you get the best out of your plants.

Some of our newly added products include the trusted Supernova reflector range, a range of HID ballasts, including the LightWave digital ballast, LightWave T5 grow lights, grow light timers and a range of bulbs and growing accessories.

We hope you enjoy our new ranges and we’re here to offer help and advice at any time. Please check back for more additions soon.


LightWave T5: Is This The Most Flexible T5 Grow Light?

Filed Under (Fluorescent Grow Lights) by Chilli Willy on 13-10-2012

Tagged Under : , , , , , ,

LightWave T5 2ft 4-Tube 96W

Model: LightWave T5 2ft 4-Tube 96W

The LightWave T5 is a relatively new indoor grow light, but despite this it is already one of the most popular choices for a variety of growing and non-growing applications.

Unlike most fluorescent grow lights, the LightWave runs an ultra-quiet solid state ballast which emits little to no heat during operation, making it ideal for indoor use or for small spaces, without the need for lots of expensive ventilation systems. Just plug in, hang the lights and start growing.

The LightWaves all use T5 growing tubes, hence the LightWave T5 name. T5 grow light tubes are compact, emit high amounts of useful light for plants, run cool, last long and are cheap to replace or exchange at different stages of plant growth, such as for the propagation and flowering stages.

Housed in a compact metallic frame, the LightWave T5’s are a really neat solution to indoor growing. The can be easily mounted almost anywhere due to their light-weight construction via 2 wires, which allow you to hook them to a pair of grow light ratchet hangers, which give you the flexibility to quickly adjust the distance the grow light is from your plants.

Additionally, LightWave T5’s are suitable for use as aquarium lighting and reptile lighting.

So, if you’re looking for a low cost, effective and highly rated, then look no further than the LightWave T5, which is available in 4 wattages to suit your needs.

You can have a look at the range T5 grow lights in our online store.

Funny Gifts – Grow Your Own Gift

Filed Under (General) by Chilli Willy on 11-10-2012

Tagged Under : , ,

If you are looking for the perfect funny gift, then look no further than our Chilli Willy “Grow Your Own Naughty Looking Chillies” range – a complete range of kits and seed packs that allow you to grow amazingly hilarious and phallic shaped chillies that are totally edible – how will yours grow?

A collection of best tips on how to grow chillies successfully

Filed Under (Chilli Growing) by Chilli Willy on 23-07-2012

In addition to our comprehensive growing instructions at we also recommend the following best tips to ensure success in growing chillies.

To start, seeds must be germinated in a place that is consistently warm, as sometimes low night time temperatures can confuse the seeds and cause erratic germination.

We recommend an optimum temperature between 27-32 degrees C (80.6F approx – 89.6F approx). You can either use a heated propagator or an airing cupboard – anywhere that has a consistently warm temperature.

Alongside this, make sure that your germinating seeds are kept moist but not soggy. The best way to water them is with a spray mister from the garden centre, as this minimises soil disturbance.

After your seedlings have sprouted, move them carefully into a well lit area to get as much sunlight as possible (but not too hot at this stage), and avoid the use of any fertilisers until your plants have at least 3 sets of leaves and look strong.

When watering your plants, you can then begin adding small amounts of a good organic based fertiliser containing seaweed, like Chilli Focus, which we stock in out store.

Chillies like to have their soil dry out before they are watered again as they don’t like to swim!

As you chilli plants get bigger, you’ll need to pot them on, but make sure you choose the next pot size up and not one that is too big – chillies like to outgrow their containers. A good way of checking if your chilli plant is ready to pot on is to observe the bottom of the pot – if the roots are emerging through the drainage holes, then it’s time for a bigger pot.

Chillies are incredible rewarding to grow and are also extremely good for you when used in cooking.

Following these simple tips will help you achieve the best results when growing chillies. You can read more in our comprehensive chilli growing guide.


PS. When it’s frosty, you’ll want to bring your chilli plants indoors!

PPS. Chillies are perennials and will continue to produce fruit for many years if looked after properly. Make sure you read our guide on overwintering chillies for more information and a how to guide.

Simple Secrets to Successful Germination of Chilli Seeds and Other Herbs

Filed Under (Propagation and Germination) by Chilli Willy on 29-01-2012

It’s great to grow your own fruit, vegetables, chillies and herbs, but for many the struggle is with germination – getting all those wholesome crops to shoot in the first place!

Luckily the answer is a simple one.

For the majority of seed varieties, you will require 2 main ingredients, which are warmth and moisture. Let’s take chilli seeds for example: The main reason for unsuccessful or poor germination rates of chilli seeds is down to the warmth factor. You see, although you may sow your chilli seeds in good soil, and keep that soil moist (but not soggy), the seed trays may be left on a windowsill or in the kitchen, where the temperature is warm during the day, but cool at night time.

Chilli seeds need a fairly warm and consistent temperature range in order to germinate properly (between 27-32 degrees C) and the low night time temperatures caused by the heating going off means that the average temperature is low, sending mixed signals to your germinating chilli seeds!

The answer is therefore to use a heated propagator for propagating your seeds for best results, ideally with a thermostat to allow you to control the temperature more accurately. If you don’t have a heated propagator, then the next best thing is to use your airing cupboard where the average temperature is much higher, and once seedlings start to emerge, then you can transfer your seedlings to a sunny window sill so that they get lots of light, which is important to grow healthy and strong plants.

If you can get a heated propagator with a lid that is ideal, as many seed varieties also like a bit of humidity to germinate successfully. This means you can also water your seed trays less often as more moisture is retained.

So, now all you have to do is to follow these simple tips to start getting better results germinating your chilli seeds and solve any poor germination problems you may be getting.

Root Riot Propagation Kit

Propagation Kit

And if you really want to get off to a flying start, then you may also be interested to know that the air/moisture ratio of your soil is also important when propagating seeds. This may sound like a complicated thing to achieve, but you can have all of this made easier for you with a Root Riot Propagation Kit.

The kit, which consists of a propagating seed tray and special cubes made from bark and other organic materials, is all you need to start germinating your seeds with much better results. The spongy Root Riot cubes also help to maintain theoptimum moisture/air ration that outperforms other growing media. The kit also comes with a bottle of Clonex (R) cloning solution for cuttings and some concentrated nutrients for plants too!

If you want better germination results, then a propagation kit is the way to go. Add some warmth and you’ll soon have the confidence to grow your own chillies, herbs or any plants from seed quickly and easily, eliminating the guess work.


All you need to do now is keep your germinating seeds warm and you’ll soon be seeing those shoots starting to emerge.

Can You Use Fluorescent Grow Lights to Grow Plants All Year Round?

Filed Under (Fluorescent Grow Lights) by Chilli Willy on 25-01-2012

Most of a plant’s vegetative growth occurs early on in the growing season and tapers off as the plant prepares itself for fruiting in the warmer months.

To help make sure your plant produces a good harvest, you need to make sure it has grown well during this early phase. The challenge is getting enough light during the colder months to achieve this.

You can achieve impressive results by supplying your plant with the extra light it needs in order to grow large and strong before the fruiting season starts, and a bigger healthier plant has the potential to produce a much larger harvest.

Fluorescent grow lights are ideal for this application, because unlike more “commercial” type units such as high pressure sodium and metal halide units, they are quieter and give out less heat, which means you can position them closer to your plants without any heat problems and for maximum benefit. This also makes them safer and more economical.

Growing plants under fluorescent lighting is ideal if you want to give them a boost during the colder months, and then transfer them outside once the warmer weather arrives, ready for flowering and fruiting. However you can also grow your plants indoors if outdoor space is limited or you do not have a sunny windowsill.

Fluorescent grow lights are ideal for growing all sorts of indoor plants, from chillies to cooking herbs.

Most fluorescent grow fixtures come with a white/blue type bulb fitted, which is a propagating bulb and ideal for the propagation and vegetative stages of plant growth. These white/blue spectrum bulbs are great all-rounders, but you can also easily swap this type for a red spectrum tube, which is more suited to flowering and fruiting.

So now you have a couple of great options for growing plants indoors. You can use the white/blue propagation bulb as an all-rounder to give your plants a good boost at the beginning of the growing season, and then transfer them outside when it gets warmer and sunnier, or you could swap to a red flowering tube to continue growing your plants indoors.

A good choice for growing plants indoors is the LightWave T5, which is a compact unit that uses interchangeable fluorescent T5 tubes to produce high levels of light that plants love.

So, boost your plants by giving them the light they thrive on and you’ll soon be rewarded with much happier and more fruitful plants, whatever the weather!

Chilli Willy Newsletter