For some reason, people love chilli peppers, despite the spicy taste. Ghost chilli peppers certainly deliver in this regard, making them highly sought after. The ghost paper is grown locally in India and is known locally as Bhut jokolia. The ghost chilli pepper has a Scoville rating of 1,001,304 units making it one of the hottest peppers known to man. The ghost chilli pepper has already been recognised by the Guinness book of records as the spiciest pepper in the world.
Some people like to challenge themselves by eating spicy peppers, whilst some take spicy peppers for the medicinal benefits. Whatever the reason, growing ghost chilli peppers is a great idea. Some of the health benefits associated with ghost chilli peppers include curing ailments associated with the stomach. Also, ghost chilli pepper is used in the summer to help lower the body temperature by fostering perspiration.
Ghost chilli peppers have been theorised to be able to serve as non-lethal weapons. The process involves using the peppers to create pepper spray. It has been found to have no long-term effect on the victims and can be washed off with ease. Ghost peeper also has little or no effect on the environment, so it is very safe.
With all these great uses and benefits, you may be thinking about growing ghost chilli peppers. You do not have to be in India or have great experience growing ghost chilli peppers. Anyone can do it with the right knowledge.
How to Grow Ghost Chilli Pepper
Firstly, you should know that when compared to regular peppers, ghost chilli peppers are difficult to grow. They require special climate conditions, temperature, and other requirements. That being said, with the necessary information, you can grow them relatively easily. For the best outcomes, you will need to grow the pepper in a climate that is close to that of India. This should include at least five months, where the humidity and climate are very high.
During the summer when humidity is high, you can leave the plants out and then move them into a controlled environment when the humidity drops. This option is however ill-advised, as ghost chilli peppers are sensitive to their environment and sudden changes can cause damage. The best option for locations outside India is to have a greenhouse designed to suit this purpose.
Temperatures and climate can be maintained at certain levels for long periods without any problems. Sun fluorescent bulbs can be used to simulate the environment necessary for ghost chilli pepper growth. The average temperature for a ghost chilli pepper greenhouse is 75⁰F (24⁰C). Place the ghost chilli pepper seed in warm and moist soil, at temperatures ranging between 80 – 90⁰F (27 – 32⁰C).
For better chances of success, you can immerse the seeds in hydrogen peroxide for approximately 60 seconds. The seeds will need about 35 days to germinate.
Caring for Ghost Chilli Peppers
As ghost chilli peppers are highly sensitive to factors responsible for growth, their care is special. While fertilisers, water, and sunlight are essential, they are required in moderation. You will need to ensure the soil you plant on is well-drained, to prevent it from becoming damp when you water it.
You can apply fertiliser as much as three times to the soil, especially when it is any soil other than loam.
Another method is to apply fertiliser at regular intervals, consistently throughout the ghost chilli pepper season. As ghost chilli peppers are highly sensitive to change, watering and other routine care actions will need to have a regular schedule. Failure to maintain a schedule can cause a shock in the plant and prevent its growth and development.
Harvesting ghost chilli peppers
As stated earlier, Ghost chilli pepper is probably the hottest pepper known to man. This creates an interesting conundrum each time you elegant to harvest the resulting pepper. As a precaution, you should wear protective clothes, gloves, shoes, and glasses.
Contact with your skin can cause painful burns and injuries.
Direct contact with the eyes can be terrible and whilst it will not blind you, it can cause you terrible discomfort. Once the pepper is bright red, then it is time to harvest. After harvesting, ensure you wash your hands properly before making contact with other parts of your body. If possible, take a bath as it will cover more surface area.
Ghost chilli peppers are a fun meal and many people try it at least once, just for the experience. If you choose to join this category, you need to be careful to avoid unnecessary discomfort. Before you consume it, have milk at the ready to help cool your palette if it’s too hot. Do not rush in and try to eat the whole thing at once, instead, start with a little bit and work your way up. Wear gloves when eating and avoid touching your face or open skin.
Despite the heavy warning applied to ghost chilli peppers, they are actually a fun project. They do not take too long to grow and the yield is quite impressive. Whether it is for profit or simply a pet project, Ghost chilli peppers are a great choice.