We wanted to know how many chillies could be harvested from a single a Dorset Naga plant. Our target was to grow a plant with over 1,000 red chillies.

The seed was sown on 20th January. On 9th November, ten and a half months after the seed was sown, and when “Nigel” was 8 feet tall and almost as wide, we harvested the chillies.


And the result…

2,407 red chillies

How we grew “Nigel, our giant Dorset Naga plant.

The growing

The seed was sown around 20th January, and along with 500 other plants pricked out into 1 litre pots in February. They plants were kept in a heated greenhouse until the end of April, and then in an unheated polytunnel for the rest of the year. In May one plant, selected at random, was repotted into a 160 litre pots. The compost was mostly peat-free municipal compost, but we did use up old bags of other multipurpose compost that had been hanging around for years. Dried chicken manure pellets was mixed into the compost.

The plant was watered regularly. Miracle Gro fertiliser was added very dilute normally about two or three times a week. In June the plants suffered a bad aphid infestation, which was control was by washing plants down regularly, and then a release of natural predators.

The picking and the count

On 9th November the lads from Clifton Chilli Club – Chilli Dave, Jim Booth and NickLump BurChilli – arrived to do the official count, along with Matt from Simpsons Seeds who very kindly came to help pick.We also had Jack, Jason and Matt ,our regular Saturday morning workers there to do the picking.

And the final result

Number of chillies picked:
2,407 red chillies
116 green chillies

Yield in weight:
9.535 kg red chillies
0.265 kg green chillies

Plant size:
234 cm high
256 cm wide


See it on YouTube:

Picking the Chillies

How we grew the plants



Two other Dorset Naga plants were grown in 100 litre pots at the same time. The results were:

Plant 1
Number of chillies picked:
1,101 red chillies
4 green chillies

Yield in weight:
4.570 kg all chillies


Plant 2
Number of chillies picked:
1,147 red chillies
13 green chillies

Yield in weight:
4.060 kg all chillies