Ghost chilies are one of the hottest peppers and if you like spicy food this post is for you! This guide on growing indoor ghost peppers will help you grow super-hot peppers throughout the season.
Ghost peppers are an interspecific hybrid chili also known as bhut jolokia, ghost pepper, and ghost Jolokia, grown in India. Named one of the hottest peppers in the world, ghost peppers can be eaten dry, fresh, sprinkled with fermented fish, curries, and chutneys.
Ghost peppers are packed with vitamins C, E, carotene, and antioxidants, making them a healthier and better option than artificial hot sauce. You can easily grow ghost peppers indoors and today we’ll show you how!
How to Grow Ghost Chiles Indoors
Buy good quality ghost chili seeds at your local nursery or online. Soak the seeds for about 8 hours to help them germinate faster, and try to use only the seeds that sink into the water. The ones that float, throw them away.
After soaking, take a small container of seedlings and fill it with good rich soil. Place 2-3 seeds per container and cover it with soil.
Plant them in small seed containers or peat pods. Push the seeds 0.25 inches (0.64 cm) into the ground and cover them. Water the container, and then cover it with plastic wrap to help retain moisture and heat. The seeds must always be moist to germinate, so you should water when necessary.
Place your container on a windowsill where it gets sunlight and let them germinate for a week and a half. After the buds start to appear, let the seedlings grow up to 3 inches, when they have 2-3 of the leaves.
Step 2: Prepare your Soil and Flowerpot
Ghost peppers grow best in rich, slightly acidic to neutral soils that have a pH between 6.2-7.0 and good drainage. When purchasing flooring, look for these specifications.
Buy a 7 or 10-gallon pot with good drainage holes that will give your plant the space they need to grow successfully.
Now that you have prepared your seeds and have your seedlings, it is time to plant them in the chosen spot. Fill your pot with rich soil. If your seeds germinated more than one per container, you can trim the weaker one or separate them to grow several plants.
Gently transfer the seedlings from the seed container to the pot and cover the roots with more soil. Water well until the soil is moist and place the pot in a place where it receives at least 6 hours of sun and the temperature can be maintained between 20-20C.
Step 4: Water the Ghost Chili Plants
Make sure the ghost pepper plants get a good amount of sun, and if you plant in winter, use a grow light to help keep the plant warm.
Water your ghost pepper plants regularly. Ghost pepper plants like slightly moist, but not soggy, soil. Water in the morning when the soil begins to dry out a bit. To help retain moisture, add a layer of mulch around the plant. Be careful not to cover the stem.
Step 5: Fertilize
Fertilize the ghost pepper plant, adding algae and fish fertilizer. This organic emulsion will help pepper plants to grow. When you see small flowers begin to grow, switch to phosphorous-potassium fertilizer. A labeled 20-20-20 fertilizer rich in nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium will promote pepper production.
It’s important to pinch the flowers that appear on any pepper plant you grow. Pinching the first few flowers will help the plant direct all of its energy to produce many larger fruits.
It is not very common for ghost pepper plants to experience pests, but some slugs can eat their leaves. If this happens, buy diatomaceous earth and sprinkle around the base of your plant. Some fungi that thrive in wet soils can harm your plants. If you see spots on your leaves, stop watering your plants to discourage the fungus.
Other pests, such as pills, miners, and aphids, will disturb ghost pepper plants. You can combat these pests with an organic insecticide. Learn how to make an insecticide home here!
Step 5: Harvest your Ghost Chile Plants
Most ghost peppers take 100 to 120 days to reach full size. Peppers should be 2-3 inches long when completely ready. Keep in mind that ghost peppers heat the longer they stay on the plant, so if you want extra spices, leave it a little longer!
Since ghost peppers are one of the hottest peppers in the world, you should use protection when harvesting them. Wear protective clothing and gloves when harvesting the plant.
To collect ghost peppers, don’t remove them from the plant, instead of cut the stems carefully to make sure the peppers don’t touch their skin.
Now that you know everything about growing ghost peppers indoors successfully, it’s time to find your gardening tools and start planting! In a short time, you will enjoy some of the hottest peppers in the world!
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