You've been automatically redirected - this is the new home for our blog posts - please update your bookmarks to

Growing Grafted Pepper and Chilli Plants

The Grafting Process – what makes Suttons Grafted Plants so special?

Grafting process on Suttons Pepper & Chilli plants

Over the years Suttons UK Nursery team has been busy developing our grafting technique to ensure these exceptional plants continue to be the most vigorous and hardy plants that will provide you with plenty of tasty vegetables throughout the summer.

How are plants grafted?

Two plants are grown simultaneously; a tasty fruiting variety and a super-strong rootstock. The tops of the fruiting variety and the super-strong rootstock are carefully and skilfully removed by hand using a small blade to slice at an angle across each stem. The rootstock bottom and the top of the fruiting plant are then grafted together using a special clip which drops off naturally as the plant grows.

Where are plants grafted?

The current grafting process for pepper and chilli plants is below the first ‘seedling’ leaves (cotyledons). However, we are constantly running trials and tests to ensure we are always using the best methods that will give you the best results.

Why graft plants?

Grafting a vigorous rootstock with a tasty fruiting top means that the new super-strong roots can grow deeper into the soil, soaking up all the delicious nutrients to provide you with the tastiest crops. The plant will also produce its fruit much earlier, and for much longer than standard plants giving you an even greater yield!

The benefits of Suttons grafting process:

  • Up to 70% more fruit*
  • Earlier fruiting
  • Longer fruiting
  • Greater yield
  • Greater resistance to soil-borne pests and disease
  • Better for outdoor growing – if located in a warm, sunny, sheltered location

Healthy, vigorous, hardy and producing up to 70% more fruit!

Grafted Chilli Pepper F1 Medina

A strong growing variety of wonderfully hot chilli, which ripens from green to vibrant red. ‘Medina’ chillies are great for everyday use, and hugely versatile. Not too hot for milder palates, but just spicy enough to give a kick to any dish!

The benefits of growing Suttons Seeds Grafted Chilli Plants:

  • Great value; more chillies per plant
  • Has a longer harvest than regular chilli plants
  • More resistant to soil-borne pests, diseases and nutritional disorders
  • Can be grown outside in a sunny, sheltered location – even in pots!
  • If grown in a greenhouse, they require less heat – saving energy and money

Grafted Sweet Pepper F1 Britney

The Britney is a wonderfully sweet pepper that is quick to ripen from green to vibrant red; perfect for salads, roasting or stuffing.

The benefits of growing Suttons Seeds Grafted Sweet Pepper Plants:

  • Produces huge yields of delicious fruit
  • Longer harvest than standard pepper plants
  • More resistant to soil-borne pests, diseases and nutritional disorders
  • Can be grown in a container – ideal for small space gardening!
  • Can be grown outside in a sunny, sheltered location
  • If grown in a greenhouse, they require less heat – saving energy and money

Looking after your Suttons Grafted Chilli & Pepper Plants

We know how excited you’ll be to get your new Suttons Grafted pepper and chilli Plant (or plants!) home, but please do take a few moments to read the enclosed information to ensure you get the absolute best from your plants.

Nothing tastes quite like fresh vegetables picked straight from your garden and the delicious vegetables produced from Suttons Grafted Plants are sure to wow you, your friends and family, and leave you eager to cook up a storm in the kitchen!

At home

Once you arrive home with your new plant it is important that you give it time to adjust to its new environment. Check the compost is moist and if required leave the plant to soak in approx 5mm water for 5-10 minutes or until the top of the compost is damp. Stand the plant in a warm, light, airy place such as a windowsill or conservatory and allow to grow, ensuring that the compost is kept moist.

Potting on and planting out your pepper & chilli plants

As the plant grows and develops it will need transferring into a larger pot (as per label) to ensure the roots have plenty of room to grow. When planting in its new pot or outdoors, ensure that the point at which the graft was made (where there is a ‘bump’ on the stem) is above the compost/soil as otherwise the variety will root itself, spoiling the advantage of growing on a super-strong rootstock.

Once your plant reaches around 40cm in height, you can transfer it to its final growing place; a greenhouse or a nice sunny position either in a pot on your patio or a space directly in your garden. Be careful to only leave your plant outside once any danger of frost has passed.

Trimming & pruning your plants

As your plant develops the leaves will act as ‘solar panels’, soaking up the daylight and creating lots of sugary loveliness and healthy minerals which will eventually end up in your peppers and chillies. Each leaf should have plenty of room to bask in the sun and should be supported off the ground.

If a leaf is in shade it will produce less plant sugars and stay slightly damp, which means it will be more susceptible to disease and produce less and smaller fruit. As the plants begin to fruit, remove some of the lower leaves to allow the light to reach ripening fruit by simply using some secateurs to remove any low hanging or overcrowding leaves.

Peppers and chillies require very little trimming. Initially, the procedure of removing leaves should be kept to the lower part of the plant. As the plants begin to fruit, gradually remove more leaves to allow the light to reach the ripening fruit. These plants will stop growing naturally once they reach a height of approximately 1.2m (4′).

Food & Watering

Suttons Grafted Plants, by their nature, are more vigorous than standard plants and as such will require more feeding. We recommend that you feed your grafted plants with a fertiliser that contains high potash levels. You may have to feed your plants twice a week when the plants are fruiting well. Water is also an essential element to the success of your plants. A 9-litre (2 gallon) watering can full of water for each plant once the sun has gone down each day (if the compost or soil is drying out) will ensure you have large juicy fruits that will taste delicious from early summer and into the autumn!


Harvest when green or red depending on the taste you would like to achieve. Chillies become hotter and sweet peppers sweeter as the red colour increases. Simply take some secateurs and cut just above the green stem leaving approx. 2.5cm (1″) at the top. For the best flavour, tomatoes should be stored at room temperature; however they can also be stored in the refrigerator. Chillies and peppers are an essential ingredient in stir-fries, Thai meals and many more.
Peppers Chillis Stir Fry

Fascinating pepper and chilli facts!

  1. Peppers contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits.
  2. Eating chillies causes the brain to release endorphins, making them the ultimate ‘feel good’ ingredient.
  3. Peppers and chillies are extremely low in calories.
  4. The heat of a chilli actually comes from the strip that attaches the seed to the fruit, rather than the seed itself.

Share this post


7 thoughts on “Growing Grafted Pepper and Chilli Plants”

  1. Steve Norris says:

    I was given 2 lovely Suttons grafted chillis for my birthday in May, and they have fruited well. I want to try and overwinter them. I intend to bring them in, in their pots, from the unheated greenhouse, and keep them on a cool window sill in the lounge.
    I note the advice on overwintering advice says ” they need to be cut back to a bud” which I don’t understand.
    I have 1metre tall shrubs in pots, with branches, there are no buds.
    Do you mean cut back to a branch node?
    And then how many?

  2. Hi Lesley, thanks for the question about your paper lantern chilli plants.

    I expect that if it was kept on a windowsill there were no insects to pollinate the flowers, so they won’t form any fruit. The sticky substance will either be honeydew excreted by aphids or sap from the leaves due to them being softer than normal from being inside.

    It is possible to overwinter chilli plants but not easy (I tried and killed all three of mine last winter), they are a prime target for spider mites and whitefly over the winter. They need to be cut back to a bud in October and kept in a cool place and kept on the dry side without drying out (if that makes sense). Then once the risk of frost has passed they can be planted out into the ground or in a green house. Over wintered chillies tend to fruit earlier and be more prolific.

    Many thanks,
    Suttons Gardening Grow How Team

  3. Lesley Kyte says:

    My brother has just given me one of your chilli pepper (paper lantern) plants. He tells me that although it has flowered no fruit has followed on ? I have now put it into my greenhouse and given it a feed. He tells me that the plant left a sugary type sticky substance on the window in his house ? Does this mean it is a lost cause or if I keep it will it bear fruit next year ? I am a novice gardener so any comments or suggestions of what has gone wrong will be very much appreciated.

    Kind Regards

  4. Ian Frampton says:

    We are not aware from our own experience of there being any cross-pollination issues.

  5. Phillip Vickers says:

    Is it true that due to cross-pollination issues sweet peppers and chillies should not be grown together in the same greenhouse?

  6. Ian Frampton says:

    Check the plants are moist when they arrive and grow on in 10cm (2.5″) pots using a good quality potting compost. When planting ensure that the graft is well above soil level to prevent the scion rooting into the soil which would reduce resistance to soil borne diseases. Maintain a temperature of 16-18 °C (60-65 °F) and provide a cane support.

    Once the roots fill the pot, transfer into 30cm (12″) pots or plant in the greenhouse border 60cm (2ft) apart. (These plants are not suitable for growing in growbags due to the strong root system).

    Grafted peppers and aubergines are vigorous plants and as the fruits start to set, start feeding twice a week using a liquid tomato fertilizer, damping down the pathways on hot sunny days to increase humidity. Misting the plants with water will aid fruit setting.

  7. Norman Green says:

    Please can you tell me what size or capacity pot grafted sweet peppers and aubergines should be planted into finally? This info wasn’t on the label for the plants I received.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.