Growing Hot Peppers

Category Growing Food
There are so many types of hot peppers available now, you may want to try growing your own in the garden. This is a page about growing hot peppers.


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My father brought this chilli from somewhere. He re-produced it by planting the seeds from over ripe ones. It's been standing there for years and I never knew it was famous and rare until someone came to ask for these chillis. People are looking for it everywhere in my place and they have found it in my garden. They call it the "siling demonyo" in my local dialect, where "sili" means chilli and "demonyo" means demon - pertaining to its level of hotness. I once tasted it and it really brings you to hell!

This type of chilli pepper is famous in the Bicol region in the southern part of Luzon in the Philippines. The place is famous of making hot dishes like "laing" and "bicol express" and one of the main ingredients is chilli.


It took me months to find out it's real name. I tried searching on google with the name "siling demonyo", but never found any information about it. Until then, I started comparing images and found one similar image to the ones standing in my garden. The original name is Naga Viper where it was once declared the hottest chilli pepper in 2011 by Guiness Book of World Records. It's actually a hybrid type of plant from England produced by a chilli farmer named Gerald Fowler.

This plant created bright red fruits that brought interest to my garden. It's a plant that serves as a decoration. And I don't have to buy a Christmas tree. Only, you have to stay away a little bit if you don't want to feel the biting sensation when it gets into your skin. Lol! Especially the ripe ones.

Here's a tip for every one. Once you find any rare type of plant, take the chance to reproduce them by collecting the seeds or any part of it that can grow. Soak in an amount of water until it produces tiny roots and transfer into a pot. By doing that, you can have those plants in your garden and soon when it grows you'll never have to look for it anywhere.


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June 25, 2009

Many gardeners are developing a passion for hot peppers. With all of the exciting colors, shapes, tastes, and degrees of heat for every palate, it's easy to see why. Here are some helpful tips for selecting and growing hot peppers.


Site and Soil

It's not surprising that hot peppers love the heat. In fact, weather plays a factor in how hot your peppers are at harvest time. A cool and cloudy summer will literally leave them with less heat. Select a site with full sun and well-drained soil, where your peppers receive protection from the wind. Dig or till the soil 12 inches deep and work compost into the top few inches of soil. In hot climates, peppers can suffer from sun scald. You can shade them by planting them in dense blocks in the shadows of tall or trellised crops like corn, bean, or peas.


Yields: Plan on growing 2-3 plants per person.

Sowing Indoors: Peppers need soil temperatures of 80-85 degrees F to germinate. Hot peppers take longer to germinate than sweet peppers, anywhere from 2 weeks to 100 days!


Needless to say, it's helpful to start them indoors (or purchase seedlings). Depending on the variety, sow seeds indoors at least 6-8 weeks before your last frost, or 8-10 weeks before you plan to transplant them outdoors. Soaking seeds in water or compost tea for 15-24 hours before planting will help speed up the germination. Sow seeds no more than 1/4 inch deep in individual 3 inch pots. Keep the pots moist and warm until seedlings emerge. Grow seedlings at temperatures of 60-75 degrees F and give them lots of light.

Transplanting: Plant seedlings outdoors (12-18 inches apart) when soil temperatures reach 65 degrees F or nighttime temperatures are a consistently 50 degrees F. Hot peppers need calcium. Feed them a couple of tablespoons of bone meal and diluted fish fertilizer every 3 weeks during the growing season.


Handle With Care!

Always use gloves and protect your eyes when handling and cutting hot peppers. After handling peppers, make sure your wash your hands thoroughly in warm soapy water before touching anythingyourself or your pets!

How Hot is Hot?

Choosing hot pepper varieties for the garden according to your "heat" tolerance can be tricky. The Scoville Scale can help. In 1912, American chemist Wilbur Scoville developed what is called the Scoville Organoleptic Test, a test for rating the pungency of chili peppers. Using his method, a solution of pepper extract is diluted in sugar syrup until the "heat" can no longer be detected by a panel of tasters. It is then assigned a rating on the scale according to its degree of dilution. Because one person's "heat" can be another person's scald, it always best to trust your own tongue. Most of our personal "heat" scales are based on jalepeno peppers, so it might be wise to start from there and choose varieties according to your personal palate.

Pepper Type*Scoville Rating
No Heat0
Bell Pepper; Pepperoncini; Pimento100-500
Anaheim; Poblano; Rocotillo500-2,500
Jalapeno; Guajillo; New Mexican varieties ofAnaheim peppers, Paprika (Hungarian wax pepper)2,500-8,000
Serrano; some Chipotle peppers10,000-23,000
Cayenne; Aji; Tabasco pepper; some Chipotle30,000-23,000
Thai; Malagueta; Chiltepin; Pequin50,000-100,000
Habanero; Scotch Bonnet; Datil; Rocoto;Jamaican Hot; African Birdseye; Madame Jeanette100,000-300,000
Red Savina Habanero350,000-580,000
Naga Jolokia855,000-1,050,000
Law enforcement grade pepper spray;FN 303 irritant ammunition500,000-5,300,000
Various Capsaicinoids (e.g. homocapsaicin,homodihydrocapsaicin, and nordihydrocapsaicin)8,600,000-9,100,000
Pure capsaicin15,000,000-16,000,000

*Table source:

Putting Out the Fire

Mouth on fire? A cold glass of water will do nothing but fan the flames. Capsaicin does not break down in water. It's only soluble in fats, oils, and alcohol. Absorb and dilute with a glass of milk, a sip of beer, a spoonful of yogurt, a piece of bread, or even a tortilla chip. Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!

Capsaicin is produced by glands in the ribs that divide the pepper into chambers. If you scrape the ribs and remove the seeds before cooking or eating hot peppers, you'll be removing part of the heat.

Drying peppers concentrates the oils. Therefore as a general rule, dried peppers tend to be much hotter than their fresh counterparts.

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I bought a mislabeled plant. Instead of getting a sweet pepper, I got a hot one. Instead of giving them away, I learned that if I roasted them at 425 degrees F until they were soft and the edges were brown (20 minutes or so), it would remove a lot of the heat.

Placing peppers in a jar with oil.

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