Posted on

How To Grow Ghost Peppers

This is How To Grow Ghost Peppers.



In most regions of the U.S., ghost peppers will need to be started indoors 10-14 weeks prior to the last frost for your area. They need around 5 months (140+ days) of very hot and humid weather in order to succeed and will not tolerate any temperatures below 73° F. Your soil temperatures must be around 80° F – 90° F for successful germination. A geographical location with about 70-80% humidity is also ideal for growing ghost peppers.

Growing Location
To have a chance at growing a successful ghost pepper plant, you need to recreate the harsh environment of northern Bhutan, India. This means that outdoor growing in the U.S. may only be possible for regions 5a-11b. Raised beds or very large pots are ideal for ghost peppers because the soil will be much more warm and will stay that way. Choose an area of your secret garden that receives as much sunlight as possible for as long as possible.

Bhut Jolokia (ghost) Peppers can be grown indoors if all ideal conditions are achieved. This will mean grow lights in a room separated from the rest of the house so temperatures and humidity can be kept high.

Ghost peppers need a loamy soil. A peat containing soil tends to work considerably well. When growing ghost peppers you will want to avoid heavy clay and potting mix like miracle grow. The soils pH should around be 6.0 – 6.8 in order for nutrients to not get locked out causing a plethora of problems. It is always a great idea to amend your soil with compost, bonemeal, and fish fertilizer prior to transplanting. This will normally guarantee the plants will have the nutrients they need properly.

Ghost peppers  benefit from a regular diet of organic nutrients or compost tea. You will want to avoid high nitrogen fertilizers. The plants will look nice but your peppers wont be.

Starting seeds is the first tough thing to accomplish when trying to grow Bhut Jolokias. For best results, you should consider germinating your seeds indoors. You will need to soak the seeds in water overnight before sowing. plant one seed in each compartment of your seed starting tray. Provide constant bottom heat, such as from a heating pad or the top of your refrigerator. The soil temperature must remain steady around 80° F – 90° F for successful germination. Keep the planting medium moist, but never sopping wet. You will need to keep out of direct sunlight until the first sprouts appear from the soil. You may  cover the top of your seed starting container with plastic to help maintain moisture in the soil. Germination should occur around 7-21 days but  can take up to 40 days, so be patient and don’t cry.

You should transplant seedlings into 3 to 4-inch plastic pots as soon as the second set of true leaves appear on your plant. Please do not transplant outdoors until temperatures reach a constant 70 degrees F or higher, even at night.

When you are ready to transplant outdoors you will have to harden off your seedlings. This means bringing them into the outdoor environment very slowly so they get used to fluctuating temperatures and higher amounts of light.You will need to place the seedling pots outdoors during the day for a couple hours the first day adding an hour or so every day after. Do this for about ten to twelve days. On the 10th day you should leave them outside overnight. The next day you should transplant into some moist soil before it gets too hot outside. Transplant seedlings 2-3 feet apart.

Water on a schedule. Give them a good long soaking about twice per week during dry periods. Keep the soil moist but not drenched or saturated. The best times to water are early in the morning or after the sun starts to set. NEVER water during high noon or you are asking for your plants to get cooked

You will also want to keep your ghost peppers free of weeds and other nasty things.

Proper pollination is key to growing successful ghost peppers. Try to introduce bees and other beneficial insects by growing lots of flowers in your garden. Make sure the peppers are grown in a spot with good air circulation and spaced properly. If you are not noticing lots of beneficial insects in and around your pepper plants and if they are producing flowers but not fruit, you may need to hand pollinate. Use a small, clean paintbrush and gently brush the center bud of each flower. The idea is to spread pollen from flower to flower.

Your ghost peppers will change from green to orange and then to a brilliant striking red when they are ready to be picked. You will always want to wear gloves while handling your new ghost peppers and remember avoid contact with the face or eyes AND KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN. You can pull them directly off the plant or you can cut their vines. You can eat or prepare them fresh or dry them. Use this recipe as a beginners guide!

Other Thoughts

Ghost peppers can be very tasty if you use them in proper ways. I personally enjoy smoking ghost peppers over a nice bed of Apple Wood! Please treat ghost peppers and hotter peppers with respect, they can seriously hurt you if you do not know what you are doing. Super hot peppers are NOT to be used as pranks and are to be used responsibly. From pest deterrent to supreme culinary works of art, ghost peppers are a great tool. A suggested use is to make your very own hot sauce!


13 thoughts on “How To Grow Ghost Peppers

  1. I found in recent years that growing ghost peppers in as much shade as possible yields the biggest and best crops for them. I am in Niagara Falls, Canada, and despite what TOO many Americans think, It does not snow here year round. Our summers average between 80 to 100 degrees. I use a 20 20 20 fertilizer mix for the peppers. Full sun just about killed them.

    1. Hey,thank you for the tip-will try this here in Oregon too….

    2. I live in a Texas and full sun almost killed mine as well! My mistake was watering them so often because it made my peppers not spicy at all. I heard I’m supposed to starve them so they get spicy so so bought two more plants to try them out.

  2. I have had success growing ghost pepper in the Texas Hill country. The temp. is near 100 during the summer. The humidity is closer to 50% rather than the 80% + recommended. My plant has produced 30 or 40 peppers and looks very healthy. There is currently no fruit on the plant. With 3+ more months of growing season, can I expect a follow up crop. As an aside, used sparingly and carefully, these peppers have a wonderful flavor. My favorite is pineapple/mango salsa and ghost pepper salt over cantaloupe and watermelon. Thanks for any help or guidance you can offer on the second crop.

    1. yes you should be ale to get a 2nd crop.

  3. Best advice for continued bloom and fruit production! Prune your plant often and use one of the bloom promoting fertilizers..spray with epsom salt solution every couple of weeks…

  4. I’ve been growing GPs in a raised bed in Houston, about 9 hours sun a day. I use Happy Frog soil + extra Perlite. They do fantastic

  5. We live in Central florida (Summerfield) and we put in 1 Ghost pepper plant in March. It is now June 18th and the only thing we have on that plant are some flowers with small pepper nubs. Hasn’t gone any further than that. On part of the plant leafs have fallen off. Guess we need to do some homework to grow these. Intend to try again.

    1. give it something with a Low N and a High P & K

  6. My plants are about 8 to 10 inches tall and are yellowing and leaves dropping off. They get 10 hours of sun per day. What gives?

    1. Alex, if your leaves are turning yellow, this is a good indication that you are over watering. Cut back on the water a bit and it should fix the problem

  7. What do you do if your GC plant does not produce flowers ?

  8. I planted a GC palnt not expecting too much after I read all of the required needs to grow a GC. Surprisingly, I now have about 18 peppers that are green. It is now the beginning of September.I am not sure what to do next. Do I leave them alone and let them go to the weeks of Mid Octobear or beyond? Do I harvest now or wait for a possible change in color? If I pick them green will there be any heat at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *