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Starting from the bottom, (that's where we started,  so no excuses!):
It's really easy ... bonsai chilli plants (aka "bonchi") just need need patience! Lack of this is the biggest chilli plant (or any plant) killer that I've come across ... and on that note lets get a quick run through of what you need to do (obviously please refer back to this for each stage).
Materials check-list for the start (further details on the ones I use in later stages ... will be covered in the later sections!):
  • Seeds (or cuttings)
  • Propagating material: fine soil, cotton wool, or chilli seed pods
  • Warmth ... light is needed once they've popped their heads out for a peek (or if you're using cuttings)
  • Water (chilli plant rooting compound if you're using cuttings)
  • Chilli rooting fertiliser (it helps them get going!)

Plant seeds / Root cuttings

Slice open your chillis ... PUURLLEASE use gloves (the number of times I haven't, and then been for a pee ... needless to say I've really learnt my lesson!). I've been told you can go blind if you scratch your eye, I wont be giving that a go! However, if you forget, wash your hands, rub them in olive oil, then wash again and it near clears it!
Anyway, where were we ... oh yeah  CAREFULLY, slice ...
... chances are, there will be seeds in them ...
2014-02-22 19.30.03... we've grown quite a few this way. If you're a bit of a connoisseur, slice open some nicer chilli's (but remember the gloves !)
... alternatively you can order some!
So you've got your seeds ...

Handful of chilli seeds

 

Stick them into some cotton wool, cardboard, fine soil ... anything moist (but not drenched).
I tend to use grow pods ...

seeding the root riot

Its best to stick a few seeds in there, although a lot of place recommend not doing this, its worth it, I'll explain why later.
I then give them a quick squeeze to make sure they're not sopping.
They need a warm place to live when germinating, above the fridge or freezer will do (please don't use the radiator as they don't like the fluctuations in temperature).
If you can afford one, heated propagators are the best way forward if you decide to make a hobby of this ... they sit at 10 degrees, which is perfect for germination.  I use the garland Super 7  ... it was about £30 and you get 7 "pods" that sit in it, each of which I've managed to get 8 plants into  (if you likeeee buyee me a coffeeeee )
 ... it's served me well for many many years, it fits 8 of the root riots quite nicely in each of the pods (with sneaky seedling growths) ...

pod growth

... here's a pick of my latest propagations (Ring o fire, Nagas, and Fataali's)

My Latest Grow using the super 7

If you're just starting to give it a go, then sitting it over the fridge / freezer will work well. Remember that during germination seedlings don't need light, all they need is a bit of warmth, moisture, and gravity (which lets them know which way is up) ... the only time they need light is when leaves appear. Near a radiator could work well, the problem with radiators is that they don't have a regular temperature (unless they are on constantly).
With a bit of TLC, before you know it ... they're growing!

Growing Chillis

 
So in a nutshell JUST them dry to the bone (only just, you really need to monitor this) ... and then drench them, they love it! If you're not so anal ... just keep them moderately moist all the time (don't drench them, they'll die)

Here's the next post - re potting