The ghost pepper, or Bhut Jolokia, is an elongated habanero pepper that packs a serious punch. Clocking in as high as a million Scoville Heat Units, you want to give this pepper the respect it commands. It’s a previous Guinness Book of World Records holder for hottest hot pepper.
Scoville scale rating:
- 850,000 to 1,000,000+ SHU
- full sun
- 6.5 to 7.0
Days to maturity:
- 120+ days after planting out, depending on cultivar
- 18 to 24 inches apart; rows 2 to 3 feet apart
Height and spread:
- 24 to 30 inches tall; 16-inch spread
- 1 inch per week
- use tomato cages or stakes to support plants
- prefers well-drained soil
- peppers grow to 2 to 3 inches
- good for drying, cooking, and sauces
- unless you live in the Deep South, start your seeds indoors eight to 10 weeks before transplanting, which you should plan for two to three weeks after your expected last frost
- wear skin and eye protection when handling these peppers; they are extremely hot
- use ventilation when preparing, cooking, or drying these peppers
- if you plan to dry these peppers and grind them, be sure to wear gloves, goggles, and a well-fitting mask.
Have you ever tried growing ghost peppers? Are there any challenges you face growing them? Please tell us your best tips for growing ghost peppers.