Ghost Pepper - Bhut Jolokia (100-120 Days)
The Ghost Pepper - Bhut Jolokia is a legendary variety from India with its extreme heat said to be one of the hottest peppers in the world with a Scoville rating of over 1 million units. For comparison, the Jalapeño has a rating of 3500-10,000, and the Habanero rated at 100,000-350,000. Patience is required for this pepper, as they start out slow but will form 4’ tall plants with thin-walled, wrinkly fruit that ripens to red. Start indoors early as they can be slow to germinate and do require a long season.
Caspsicum chinense x frutescens
Germination: 10-14 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 75-85ºF. Cooler soil temperatures slow germination time.
Seed Sowing Depth: ¼” deep
Starting Indoors: 8-10 weeks before the last frost. Sow in flats/cells/pots. Provide 75-85ºF soil temperatures. Fertilize the seedlings every 7-10 days with a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer (diluted to ¼ of suggested measurement). Transplant seedlings 18-24” apart after the last frost.
Sowing Outdoors: Not recommended, especially in northern areas
How much does a packet plant: 20-25 foot single row
Harvest: Use a sharp instrument to cut the peppers from the plant. Pick the first fruits when they reach usable size, this helps accelerate the growth of the other peppers on the plant. Leave some peppers on the plant to mature so they can change color and sweeten up.
Tips: Pinch off early flowers or tiny fruit on any seedlings before placing them in the ground. The Ghost Pepper - Bhut Jolokia should be planted in fertile soil and amended with compost if needed. It helps to use row cover early in the season, giving the plants extra warmth, especially in the north. Side dress when flowers begin to form.