I literally just sprinkled some chilli seeds into an unused pot with potting mix.

They have all started sprouting. I didn't really know what I was doing, so I think they are too close together.

I am only looking to get 1-2 plants. There are over 20 sprouts.

Should I start culling the plants I am not interested in?enter image description here

  • @itsmatt makes a good point, if you are only interested in 1 -2 then make sure you select the largest healthiest looking seedlings, they usually go on to make the best plants.
    – stemie
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 10:23

1 Answer 1


Here's what I would do - thin that pot out a bit. Often I just snip the seedlings off with a pair of scissors rather than pulling them out. That helps to avoid disturbing the tender roots of the seedlings you wish to keep.

I'd resist going down to 1 or 2 yet, instead I would thin it out a bit to perhaps the 4-6 strongest looking seedlings that aren't right next to one another and give those a bit more time to grow. Then, after another week or so, you can thin them again, choosing the seedlings that are the strongest. In this way you'll more likely choose the strongest plants. It has been my experience that the plants that start from the most vigorous seedlings generally develop into the stronger plants.

You can always thin more but you cannot thin less once you've snipped/pulled them out.

  • Yes it is inevitable that some will be this close. Personally I wait a bit longer before thinning - once the adult leaves appear. Agree about thinning too quickly. These have passed the first hurdle of germinating, but I find they can still easily die at this stage.
    – winwaed
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 12:58

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