Chilli plants can thrive in summer and survive the winter even in temperate climes, says the heat-loving Clare Wilson, who offers some top tips


20 July 2022

By Clare Wilson

Chillies growing in glasshouse at West Dean

GAP Photos/Rachel Warne

CHILLI plants hail from warmer parts of South America. As a result, they aren’t natural candidates for growing in temperate countries like the UK, unless you have a greenhouse. But they also do well in pots, so if you have a suitable spot by a window to nurture them indoors, you can produce a good crop of chilli peppers.

The chilli is such a valuable culinary addition because it contains a chemical called capsaicin that binds to heat receptors called TRPV1 on our tongues, triggering sensations ranging from tingling to agony, depending on the concentration. The discoverer of this process …

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