Anyone who loves hot sauces or salsas may think of growing the habanero pepper plant.
If you can grow tomatoes, you can also grow habaneros. Their requirements are pretty similar.
My only complaint about this variety is that the seeds tend to take a longer time to germinate.
Once you get past that, you'll definitely enjoy how this variety can produce a lot of chillies on just one plant. (Assuming you protect them from pests and disease.)
The habanero chile pepper is one of the hottest in the Capsicum family.
The unripe fruit is green, though the mature peppers may be red, orange, pink, white or brown. A mature habanero is around 3 to 6 cm long.
Thought to have originated in Cuba, the habaneros are indispensable components in the Yucatán peninsular cuisine. Each year at least 1,500 tons of peppers are harvested there.
Other regions that they are known to grow in include Costa Rica and Belize, as well as US states like California, Texas and Idaho.
No matter their origins, you can grow these peppers in your own location.
Habanero Pepper Varieties
You have a lot of options when it comes to habaneros. Heat level, color and even pod size are all things you select when choosing an habanero variety.
Below is a list of 10 options (just to give you an idea):
- Chocolate Habanero
- Yucatan White Habanero
- Orange Habanero
- Caribbean Red
- Mustard Habanero
- Red Savina
- Big Sun Habanero
- Peach Habanero
- Peruvian White Habanero
- Black Congo
Optimum Growing Conditions
Though habaneros prefer hot weather, too much sun exposure can cause damage to these nightshade family members.
When growing habanero peppers, it is important to understand that they thrive well under a good morning sun with a soil having ideal pH of 5 to 6.5.
Water the habanero plants only when dry because too much watering can cause the peppers to taste bitter or even die out.
Habanero bushes may be sown directly in the ground, or they can be grown in containers and live for several years in pots.
The habanero, a perennial plant, can produce flowers and fruits for several years if cared for properly.
In temperate climates it's considered an annual plant, which grows dormant each winter and is replaced the following spring.
In tropical as well as sub-tropical regions, this plant produces fruit year round as long as the growing conditions are favorable.
The habanero chile pepper is around 100 times hotter than the jalapeno.
The red savina habanero pepper, a cultivar of habanero pepper and once certified as the "World's hottest spice," is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Habaneros usually rate between 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units. That's hot! (If you're not used to heat, don't start with this pepper.)
And for those of you who want a step-by-step, detailed growing guide that explains how to go from pepper seeds to outdoor-ready plants... Make sure to check out the updated and expanded Pepper Seed Starting Guide. I personally use this resource to grow my chillies each season, and I'm always here to answer questions!