Thanks to the huge boom in popularity of spicy food, the ghost pepper is famous. Dry seeds on a … The ghost pepper, or bhut jolokia, is a pepper variety discovered in India. Slice pepper lengthwise. All ghost pepper plant varieties have large, broad leaves and a full canopy. The chocolate, or brown bhut jolokia pepper is a monster! It is a result of ancient plant breeding, and is a cross between capsicum chinense and capsicum fructescens. Ghost pepper plants are also highly productive under ideal growing conditions. However, there are a few things to know specifically about growing ghost peppers. Oh, and go easy on the ghost peppers (try using some jalapenos to decrease the heat level). We have written full grow guides for other varieties for anyone looking to grow peppers. Hansen's work appears regularly in consumer and trade publications, as well as numerous internet gardening and lifestyle channels. Ghost peppers announce harvest time with clear indicators: pepper skins turn bright, fiery red. Optimal ripeness equates to maximum heat when it comes to chile peppers. Another option for harvesting ghost peppers is to use sharp scissors or pruning shears. You can also buy fresh ghost peppers online from individual growers. We had great luck with these plants, with peppers ripening as early as mid-July! If you have never tried a highly spicy pepper, we don’t recommend eating ghost peppers. If processing the fruit, including cooking, protective eyewear and excellent ventilation are essential. Ghost pepper plants are not a huge demand, so you likely won’t find them at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Pruning is optional for ghost pepper plants, though we recommend at least bottom pruning to protect against soil borne pathogens. Since it has been dethroned, the ghost pepper seems tame compared to the newcomers. Where does the ghost pepper stack up on the Scoville Scale? Ready to start using some ghost peppers from the garden? If you plan to process the chile while fresh, harvest fruit at this red stage. A common question regarding the ghost chili is how spicy it is. We recommend buying seeds online and growing them yourself. Always wear gloves to handle ghost pepper; never use unprotected hands. Fun fact: Naga means ‘Serpent’ in Sanskrit. You’ll want to be careful not to overdo this, but you can try making some ghost pepper chili. If you desire to dry the chile, leave it on the plant until partially or completely dry. However, don’t be fooled. Flowers are small to medium in size, and are white. We are happy that the pepper was discovered and seeds are now widely available across the globe for home growers! Usually made with jalapenos, salsa is begging to be made spicier. Unlike jalapenos or banana peppers, ghost peppers are almost always picked when fully ripe. The ghost pepper is thought to have origins in Trinidad, making its way to Assam and Nagaland, India by way of travel or by local plant breeding. Bhut Jolokia peppers are always super spicy. This was enough to hold the Guinness World Record for the world’s hottest chili pepper for about 4 years from 2007 to 2011. Note: This is the spiciest ghost pepper color variety we have tried to date! A completely bright-red fruit, with a slight wrinkle to the skin, signals full maturity. Throw a half of a pepper, finely chopped, into your next batch of chili to kick things up. It offers the quickest and best relief from any type of chili pepper burn. This ghost pepper has a much more sinister look, and a truly scorching heat level. We wrote a detailed guide on saving pepper seeds here. One of the great things about modern plant breeding is the resulting variety. 1 ghost pepper is equivalent in spiciness to about 125 jalapeno peppers. You’ve still got options. When Calvin isn’t gardening or learning more about peppers and botany, he might be traveling new places or playing some music. Though the pepper itself is not fatal when eaten, the reaction in some people may be. Work your way up from less spicy varieties like jalapenos and serranos. In USDA zones 11 and above hot peppers can be grown perennially outdoors. Once again, we had relatively early ripening from these plants. Hot pepper enthusiasts applauded when New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute proved "Bhut Jolokia" (Capsicum chinense "Bhut Jolokia") to be the world's hottest known chile pepper. Also known as ghost pepper, "Bhut Jolokia" should be fully mature when picked. When handling a chile that measures over one million Scoville heat units -- ghost pepper's rating on this standard scale of chile heat -- caution and good sense should prevail. Making a super-spicy ghost pepper salsa is a great way to use a few ghost peppers. If you have any dairy milk in the fridge, go for that first. All capsicum chinense varieties originated in South America and across the West Indies. Wear gloves, eye protection, and respiratory protection. If you are new to spicy food, and happen to try a ghost pepper, you’ll likely need some relief from the pain. However, darker colored pods are usually hotter, while lighter colors are less spicy. Add a splash of yellow to your garden with these ghost peppers. When compared to a common hot pepper, say a jalapeno, it isn’t even close. Ghost peppers take around 95 days to reach maturity. If you want to grow ghost peppers at home, you can either start from seed, or you can simply buy live plants online. Remove the peppers with your hands, careful not to damage the plant. Handling ghost peppers requires safety precautions. Surprisingly, ghost peppers are one of the easiest hot peppers to grow. How to Know When a Red Hot Cherry Pepper Is Ready to Pick, What Kinds of Peppers to Plant for Dried Red Chili Flakes, The Hottest Pepper: How to Grow Bhut Jolokia Seeds. These versatile spicy peppers can be used in a number of ways. The detergent in the soap helps emulsify and remove the pepper juices. We find that an upwards motion works well to get a clean ‘pop’ as the pepper is removed. Though the exact origins are unknown, this is the most likely course of events for the ghost pepper. Even ghost pepper's fumes can cause pain and distress. Plants will take a week to sprout, and once producing they will continue to pump out fruits.Fruits start out green and eventually ripen to red, yellow, peach, or chocolate. One of the oldest peppers was found over 6,000 years ago, fully preserved in a cave in Peru. Get creative! Is There a Difference in Banana & Wax Peppers? Many ghost pepper varieties are named after Nagaland, India, where the peppers grow naturally. We sure do love making homemade hot sauce. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Behind the peachy exterior of this bhut jolokia variety is a serious punch. Given enough soil, light and fertilizer, ghost peppers will grow to about 2-3 feet tall in a single season. There are ghost peppers of all different colors and sizes. Just be sure to use at least 2% salt, and around 50% vinegar. This number refers to the time between sprouting and fruit production. Pepper Geek participates in various affiliate programs, meaning links contained in this article may provide us a commission should you make a purchase on the linked website. Put simply, the ghost pepper comes in at approximately 1,000,000 SHUs on the Scoville Scale. She is passionate about reshaping the way people experience gardens and gardening. We have personally seen them for sale (when in season) at Whole Foods Market. These peppers are thin, so they should dehydrate in around 8-10 hours at 125°F (in a proper food dehydrator). In India, the ghost pepper was cultivated by local hands and still grows naturally in Northeastern India. Seeds will stay viable for years if stored properly, meaning you can re-grow your favorites in the future. Jolene Hansen is a lifelong gardening enthusiast and former horticulture professional. You can preserve them for later use, use them fresh, dehydrate them for spicy pepper powder, and even save the seeds to grow again next year. If you got some of the ghost pepper oils on your hands, milk is still the best help. Picking peppers will encourage the plant to produce more. This is a great option if you want to save your peppers for later, or create a spicy pepper powder. Slice off the very end ( not the stem end) Roll the pepper between your fingers, seeds should drop out of the opening. Scoville Heat Units: 1,000,000 SHUsDiameter: 0.75–1.25 inchesLength: 2–3 inchesColor: Green to orange to redBuy Seeds: Seeds NowBuy Live Plants: Etsy. Tip: We love using fresh fruits, especially pineapple or blueberries, in our sauces. While eating capsaicin is not toxic, it can cause adverse reactions in some people. Some things to keep in mind about ghost peppers: Knowing when to pick your ghost peppers is usually very easy. Brandeis University: Some Like It Hot -- Really Hot! Saving pepper seeds is always worth the extra effort. Like most pepper varieties, ghost pepper plants are fairly easy to grow and the pods are highly resistant to pests.

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