I have four chilli plants (Cayenne F1's) that I bought from a garden centre as seedlings back in April (I am in Scotland). When I say seedlings these plants were in tiny seedling growers and started life in my house as 4-6cm seedlings with a stalk and a leaf or two.
I transplanted all four into a large pot (in a mix of garden earth and garden centre compost) and to my amazement they started to grow to the point where I think they were competing for nutrients. The said "large pot" is in photograph #1 below.
Tonight I decided to separate all four plants and plant them in their own pots (approx 15cm x 15cm).
In each pot I used a mix of their original earth/compost mix and then topped up with a general purpose "multi-purpose" compost. I then watered each pot with 0.5L of water mixed with a teaspoon of "phostrogen" plant food.
The following photographs are the outcome of my transplant exercise:
Plant#1 - this seems to be the strongest of the plants - lots of flowers, started producing fruit (I've harvested a few which is why it looks barren):
Plant#2 - this was the second strongest looking plant - a fair number of flowers and has begun producing fruit:
Plant #3 - not a lot of flowers but has produced a couple of fruits
Plant #4 - this fella was the runt of the litter in the shared pot and despite me rotating the pot daily to make sure it got a fair share of sunlight, it looks a bit bent out of shape.
This is my first major horticultural adventure. The last thing I grew was cress back in primary school when I was five years old.
The plants are growing on my kitchen window-sill (inside, not outside) in Scotland. My kitchen window is south facing so I get good sun from around 11am right through until 9pm in the evening. The windows are closed all the time and there are no draughts. We're having a very nice summer so far in central Scotland with outside temperatures in the mid 20's (ambient) and the kitchen is quite warm.
I have some questions:
Do these plants look "normal" and are they stuck at their pre-transplant growing size/flowering potential?
I read somewhere that chilli plants need some kind of manual pollination. I've been transferring pollen from the flowers with my little finger from on flower to another. Is this necessary for every bunch of flowers that appear?
I am new to growing plants that fruit, am I doing the right thing?
Was I too late in separating the plants into their own pots?