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February 2012
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The Habanero Chili is known to be the hottest chili pepper.

Image of Habanero Chili Pepper plant at Google

The habanero, which is pronounced: hah bahn air oh, or, ah bahn air oh, without the leading ‘h’ sound, is the hottest chili pepper. They are known to be very very hot. Unripe habaneros are green but the other common colors are orange and red, but white, brown, and pink are also seen.

– Most habaneros rate 200,000 to 300,000 Scoville heat units.
– A variety of the habanero are called Red Savina which was used to be thought of as the hottest pepper but Bhut Jolokia holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s hottest spice, recording over 1,000,000 Scoville units.
– This pepper is named after the Cuban city of La Habana, known here as Havana.
– This city was used to feature in heavy trading there.
– It is related to the Scotch bonnet pepper.
– These are somewhat different pod types.
– The habanero pepper grows mainly on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.
– It also grows in other hot climates including in Belize, in Costa Rica, in parts of the United States, and in Panama where it is known as the aji chombo.
– In the 18th century it was thought to have originated in China and therefore named it “Capsicum chinense” or the “Chinese pepper.”
– Its size ranges from 1 to 2 1/2 inches in length and from 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
– Its shape is like that of the Scotch bonnet.
– Both types of pepper also typically have flesh that is thin and waxy.

Growing/Caring conditions for Habanero Chili Pepper
– Sow seedlings indoors.
– Sow those eight to ten weeks before the last frost date for your area.
– They are a difficult in germination and seedlings grow slowly at first.
– Provide bottom heat or heat lamps to raise the soil temperature to 80 degrees.
– This will promote better and quicker germination.
– A heated germination mat works well.
– While your seedlings are growing, get your garden ready.
– Add plenty of compost, manure, and a general fertilizer.
– Peppers like hot weather.
– Transplant young seedlings outdoors after the last chance of frost.
– If the weather is still cool, delay transplanting a few days.
– Keep them in a cold frame, indoors.
– Space 18-24 inches apart, in rows 24 to 30 inches apart.
– Mulching around the peppers to keep down weeds, retain moisture, and help to feed the plant.
– As the peppers develop, use a fertilizer higher in Phosphorous and Potassium.
– Providing too much nitrogen will result in a great looking bushy, green plant, but few fruits.
– Peppers can be picked as soon as they reach a size which is edible.
– Continuous harvesting encourages the fruit to produce new flowers.
– Spider mites and aphids are the most common problems.
– An occasional borer insect is also known to attack this plant.
– Try an organic insecticide or dust.
– Fungal infections can be treated with fungicides. Apply treatment as soon as you see it.
– Frost will stunt or kill the plants.
– Cold weather can cause the plant to slow down or stunt it.
– Use a hot cap in on cold and frosty spring nights.

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