Aerial Roots

Roots that grow out of the stem above the soil surface.

Air Pruning

When a plants roots are exposed to air they die. Fabric potting bags have become popular in recent years as the roots are naturally air pruned once they reach the edges of the bag preventing the plants from becoming pot bound.

Air Roots

The portion of the root ball that is not in the nutrient solution when growing plants hydroponically and has converted to an air root.

Alternate Leaf Arrangement

Leaves that don’t grow opposite each other up the stem.

Bonchi

Bonsais made from chilli plants.

Bottom Watering

Watering you plant by standing the bottom of the pot in water so the soil will absorb the water.

Branching

When the main stem splits into two (or more) branches.

Bud

Leaves or flowers as they start to develop.

Capsaicin

The substance that makes chillies hot.

Cotyledon

The first two leaves that appear when the seeds sprout. Occasionally a plant will have three or four cotyledons. These are not true leaves.

Cross Pollination

The flower on one type of chilli plant getting pollinated by a different species of chilli.

Crowding Out

When too many plants are grown too close together.

Damping Off

A condition that can kill seeds while they are germinating or sprouts while they are still young. It thrives in wet conditions and can spread quickly.

Deficiency

When your plant is missing something that it needs to have optimal growing conditions. Usually it’s used when talking about nutrients.

FIMing (Fuck I Missed)

A pruning technique where the top of the plant is cut off when the stem branches. Instead of making a clean cut the cut is made through the forming nodes, leaves and branches. It was discovered by marijuana growers and has been adopted by chilli growers.

Flowering

When the plants buds start opening.

Flower Drop

When the plant flowers but the flowers fall off the plant and a pepper doesn’t form.

Fusing

Taking two plants and fusing the two or more stems together to create a single plant.

Germinate

When a seed “wakes up” and starts to grow its root.

Grafting

Cutting off part of one plant and attaching it to another plant.

Hand Pollinating

Pollinating your chilli plants by hand.

Hardening Off

The process of getting plants that were started indoors get used to being outdoors over a period of time so that they don’t get stressed out.

Humidity Dome

A cover you put over seeds when they’re planted to create a humid environment for your seeds to sprout in.

Hybrid

Plants or peppers grown from seeds that were cross pollinated. The seed itself is also called a hybrid.

Hydroponics

Growing plants in a liquid nutrient solution rather than a traditional growing medium like soil.

Kratky

A cheap, simple hydroponics method.

Leaf Curl

When the leaves on your plant start to curl on themselves.

Leggy

A word to describe plants that have grown long thin stems compared to a plant of the same variety grown in ideal conditions.

Node

The “bump” in a stem or branch where leaves or branches will grow from.

NPK

Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K). They’re the nutrients pepper plants are commonly fertilised with. When you look at fertilisers and see numeric values like 10-5-10 the numbers represent the amount of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in the fertiliser.

Nutrient Burn

If you give your plants nutrients that are too strong it can burn the roots weakening the plant.

Opposite Leaf Arrangement

Leaves that grow opposite each other up the stem.

Overcrowded

Too many plants in the same pot planted too close together.

Overwatering

Giving you plants too much water or watering them too frequently.

Overwintering

Preparing and looking after your plant during winter.

Pinching Off

Using your fingers to pinch part of the plant off. Usually it refers to pinching off the top of the main stem to encourage branching but can also be used for removing flowers or growing tips.

Photosynthesis

The scientific process of a plant using sunlight to synthesise food from water and carbon dioxide.

Pod

The pepper fruit.

Potting Up

Moving your plants into larger pots.

Presoaking

Letting your seeds sit in a liquid for an amount of time before germination. Depending on what you soak your seeds in it’s thought to soften the seed coat helping the roots to emerge, kill bacteria, mimic a seeds progression through an animals tract like they would in nature and a variety of other things.

Pruning

Removing leaves and branches to allow light to penetrate the foliage or encourage certain growing characteristics.

Radicle

The first part of the root that breaks out of the seed shell and will turn into the primary root.

Repotting

Moving a plant from one pot to another.

Root Rot

When the roots start to rot usually because they have been kept too wet.

Root Stock

A plant that a scion will be grafted on to.

Rotation

Turning your plants around so all sides get equal amounts of light.

Scion

Part of a plant that will be grafted onto root stock.

Scoville Scale

The scale used to measure how spicy chillies are.

Shallow Watering

Watering your plant from the top and only giving it enough water the sink into the top layer of soil.

SHU

Scoville Heat Units. The unit of measurement representing how spicy a chilli is.

Side Shoots

A shoot growing out of the side of the of stem rather than from the top.

Stem

The primary stalk of the plant.

Sun Scald

Sun scald happens when plants are put in sunlight that’s too intense for them. It usually happens when plants haven’t been hardened off properly.

Top Watering

Watering your plants by pouring water on the surface of the soil.

Topping

A pruning technique where the top part of the plant is cut off when the plant starts to branch into a Y shape.

Transplanting

When plants are moved from pots to being planted in the ground.

True Leaves

When a seed first sprouts it has two leaves (occasionally you’l get three or four) called cotyledons. The second pair of leaves that come through are the first true leaves, any additional leaves are true leaves.

Underwatering

Mot giving you plant enough water or not watering them often enough.

Variegated

Plants or peppers that are more than one colour.

Wet Feet

The roots of the plant sitting in water. Wet feet is usually caused by the pot being used not draining properly.

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