Koolau Farmers


Ghost Peppers

Ghost Peppers

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Native to India, Ghost Peppers or Bhut Jolokia only recently arrived in the West. With a rating of 1,041,427 SHU (Scoville Heat Units), the Guinness Book of World Records named it the world’s hottest chili pepper in 2007. And while it has been supplanted by even hotter peppers, it remains a fiery addition to any recipe.

Ghost Pepper plants grow from 36 to 42 inches tall and produce a wealth of peppers. One plant can yield over 200 peppers in a growing season. When ripe, Ghost Peppers turn a fiery red. Rarer varieties produce orange, yellow, and chocolate peppers.

To grow them successfully, you’ll have to match their native growing conditions. This should be fairly easy with Hawaii’s high temperatures and humidity. In fact, the higher the temperature, the hotter Ghost Peppers will be.

Growing Tips*

  • Needs at least six hours of full sunlight.
  • Water regularly to keep soil moist, but don’t over-water or allow soil to dry out.
  • Plant in soil that contains organic material to improve drainage. Soil pH should be between 6.2 and 6.5.
  • Add a slow-release, balanced fertilizer to the soil. Dried manure also works well. Too much nitrogen will reduce pepper production.
  • Use Integrated Pest Management to identify pests and reduce damage.
  • Wear gloves when harvesting. Cut peppers with scissors to avoid contact with skin.

Take care when adding Ghost Peppers to your favorite recipes. Use them sparingly at first if you’re not used to peppers this spicy.

*These Growing Tips are general in nature. Environments and conditions vary. For specific advice on your growing environment, talk to one of our specialists at a Ko’olau Farmers near you.


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