Ghost peppers are one of the hottest peppers out there and if you like super spicy food, this post is for you! This guide on how to grow ghost peppers indoors will help you grow super spicy peppers all season.
Ghost peppers are an interspecific hybrid chili pepper also know as bhut jolokia, ghost chili pepper and ghost jolokia, cultivated in India. Named one of the spiciest peppers in the world, ghost peppers can be consumed dried, fresh, sprinkled in fermented fish, curries and chutneys.
Ghost peppers are full of vitamin 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 will show you how!
How to Grow Ghost Peppers Indoors
Step 1: Prepare your Seeds
Purchase good quality ghost pepper seeds from your local nursery or online. Soak the seeds for about 8 hours to help germinate faster, and try to only use the seeds that sink in the water. The ones that float, throw them away.
After soaking, grab a small seedling container 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) down into the soil and cover them up. Water the container and then cover with a plastic wrap to help retain moisture and warmth. The seeds need to always be moist in order to germinate, so water when necessary.
Place your container on a window sill where it will receive sunlight and let it germinate for a week and half. After the sprouts start appearing, let the seedlings grow to 3 inches, when it has 2-3 the leaves.
Step 2: Preparing your Soil and Pot
Ghost peppers grow best in rich, slightly acid to neutral soil that has a pH between 6.2-7.0 and good drainage. When purchasing soil lookout for these specifications.
Purchase a 7 or 10-gallon pot with good draining holes that will give your plant the space it needs to grow successfully.
Step 3: Plant your Ghost Peppers Seedlings
Now that you have prepared your seeds and have your seedlings, it's time to plant them in the pot chosen. Fill your pot with your rich soil. If your seeds germinated more than one per container, you can either trim the weakest one or separate them to grow multiple plants.
Gently transfer the seedling 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 will receive at least 6 hours of sun and the temperature can be maintained between 20-20C.
Step 4: Water your Ghost Pepper Plants
Make sure the ghost pepper plants receive a good amount of sun and if you plant in the winter, use a grow light to help keep the plant warm.
Water your ghost pepper plants regularly. Ghost pepper plants like a slightly damp soil, but not soaked. Water in the morning when the soil is starting to dry 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 kelp and fish fertilizer. This organic emulsion will help the pepper plants to grow. When you see small flowers start to grow, switch to phosphorus-potassium fertilizer. A fertilizer labeled 20-20-20 rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium will encourage pepper production.
Step 6: Ghost Pepper Plant Care
It's important to pinch any blossoms that appear in any pepper plant you grow. Pinching the early blossoms will help the plant direct all it's energy to producing lots of larger fruits.
It’s not very common for ghost pepper plants to experience pests, but some slugs may eat your leaves. If this happens, purchase diatomaceous earth and sprinkle around the base of your plant. Some fungus that thrive in damp soil can damage your plants. If you see spots on your leaves, back off on watering your plants to discourage the fungus.
Other pests like pill bugs, leafminers and aphids, will bother ghost pepper plants. You can fight these pests with an organic insecticide. Learn how to make a homemade insecticide here!
Step 5: Harvest your Ghost Pepper Plants
Most ghost peppers take 100 to 120 days to fully reach full size. Peppers need to be 2-3 inches long when fully ready. Keep in mind that ghost peppers become hotter the longer they stay on the plant so if you want extra spice, leave it a bit longer!
Since ghost peppers are one of the spiciest chilies in the world, you need to use protection when harvesting them. Wear protective clothing and gloves when you harvest the plant.
To pick the ghost peppers, do not pull them off the plant, instead clip the stems carefully making sure the peppers don't touch your skin.
Now that you know everything about how to grow ghost peppers indoors successfully, it's time to get your gardening tools and get to planting! In no time you will be enjoying some of the spiciest peppers in the world!
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