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Almanac Planting Caribbean Red Habanero Pepper (Capsicum chinense)

Caribbean Red Habanero Pepper

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Capsicum chinense

Overview

Uses: Habanero pepper production

Benefits: Easy to grow. 1"x1.5" fruit. High yields. 300,000-450,000 SHU (almost twice as hot as a regular habanero pepper)!

Zones: 3 - 12 

Sun: Full 

Life Cycle: Annual 

Mature Height: 24"

Mature Width: 18"

Bloom Season: Summer

Summary

Caribbean Red Habanero isn't your typical habanero pepper. Most habanero peppers have a maximum SHU (Scoville Heat Units) rating of around 250,000 SHU. Caribbean Red Habanero has been known to clock in as high as 450,000 SHU! 

To put the Caribbean Red Habanero's 450,000 SHU rating in perspective—a typical jalapeno pepper averages 5,000 SHU and a ghost pepper is around 1,000,000 SHU. 

Although obviously spicy, the heat is balanced out and complimented by notes of smoke, citrus, and passion fruit. 

This is the perfect pepper to add a noticeably delicious and spicy kick to all types of food. We especially enjoy it fresh in salsas, or dried and ground for use as a hot pepper powder. It's also phenomenal for making hot sauces. 

Care

Habanero Pepper Plant Care

Provide at least 6 hours of full sun daily. 8+ hours is better. 

Flower development will occur mid to late summer. Some flowers may be pinched to encourage a bushy plant. Flowers will eventually turn into peppers. 

Water regularly after planting or repotting, keeping soil moist but not wet until the plant is established. We suggest attempting to make sure your habanero plant gets about 1" of water every week during periods of growth.

Habanero pepper plants that get lots of sun and not a lot of water typically produce hotter peppers. Stress, such as not a lot of water, causes the production of capsaicin which results in a higher SHU rating. 

This plant is an excellent companion for cucumber!

Plant 36" apart. 

Planting with tomatoes will repel many pests and attract beneficial insects to your tomato plants.

Do not allow prolonged exposure to temperatures below 40°F. Will die if exposed to frost. Often stunted by any temperatures below 60°F. Does best in temperatures above 65°F.

Immature peppers will be green in color. Peppers will be ready for harvest once they turn brick red in color. 

Size

Size of Habanero Pepper Plants That You Ship

We ship our Habanero Pepper plants in 4" grow pots. Each plant will be appropriately sized for their pot. We suggest waiting at least 2 days after you receive your plant before you transplant it. This will give it time to recuperate from shipping. 

Size of Habanero Pepper Plant When Fully Grown

Habanero pepper plant grows to a size of around 24" tall and 18" wide. 

Additional Information

Botanical Name of Habanero Pepper

  • Capsicum chinense

Toxicity and Risks of Habanero Peppers

Habanero Pepper Plants are considered toxic due to the fact that they contain capsaicin. They contain nearly 100x as much capsaicin as jalapeno peppers, and are potentially quite dangerous. 

Capsaicin is the chemical in pepper plants that give them their spicy flavor. Too much capsaicin may cause such things as stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and (in severe cases) death. 

Capsaicin is also very irritating to, and may damage the eyes and skin. Use caution when handling peppers or touching any part of the plant. Rubber gloves and eye protection may be used as a protectionary measure.

Due to its high SHU rating, we also suggest using some type of respiratory protection around this pepper, especially when cooking or processing. 

Additionally, they're members of the nightshade family, and produce toxic alkaloids.

These toxic alkaloids are most present in the unripe fruit, the stem, and the leaves of a pepper plant.

These parts of the plant may cause injury to a person or pet if consumed in high doses.