How to Grow a Carolina Reaper Plant
Have you ever wanted to grow Carolina Reaper peppers at home before? If you have but don’t know where to start – you’ve come to the right place. I am showing you how to grow a Carolina Reaper plant It is easy to grow a Carolina Reaper plant if you follow the steps in this tutorial. You will be eating the world’s hottest peppers before you know it! Follow along as I show you how to grow a Carolina Reaper plant.
What is a Carolina Reaper?
Ed Currie, also known as “Smokin’ Ed” is the one who made Carolina Reaper. His interest in growing peppers came from wanting to know more about the health benefits of hot peppers and learning that capsaicin has the potential to fight cancer.
Originally called HP22B this chile was created by crossing a Naga from Pakistan with the type of Habanero found on St Vincent Island off the coast of the Caribbean Sea. It took 10 years for its heat level to be tested at Winthrop University where they determined its record-breaking REAPER status which means you’re not going out without protection if you ingest any amount!
How Hot is the Carolina Reaper?
The average Reaper pepper rates at 1,641,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), but it can go as high as 2.0 million on the Scoville scale.
Are Carolina Reapers easy to grow?
Growing a Carolina Reaper Plant is pretty easy and like other peppers and vegetables, you can grow them at home. Carolina Reapers like other super hot peppers need a warm germination period and need an even longer growing season with lots of sun to produce those hottest pods in the world.
What seed starting method to use?
The first thing you will want to do is to decide what seed starting method to use. There are several methods to choose from – each with its own pros and cons.
- Traditional seed starting
- Soil blocks
- The double cup method
- The paper towel method
Do some research on each of these methods to determine what will work best for you. I love the double cup method because it is easy, affordable, and works great! If you want to learn more about starting pepper seeds using the double cup method –>Read more!
Once you know how you will start your seeds – you need to gather your supplies.
There are a few things to remember when starting peppers from seed. First, remember that some hot pepper seeds can take up to a month to germinate – so be patient!
When waiting for your seeds to germinate – make sure to keep the soil moist but not wet. Keeping the soil moist will help with germination and the overall health of the plants.
Your pepper seeds will benefit from being on a heat mat until they sprout. Peppers like to be between 75-80 for optimal germination.
As soon as your seeds sprout – get them underneath good lights so to promote good healthy growth. There is nothing worse than leggy seedlings!
How to Grow a Carolina Reaper Plant
Once you have your seeds starting in the method of your choice – make sure to keep the soil moist until they germinate. As soon as your seeds have sprouted, be sure to get them under a good light so they can grow big and strong.
Watering your Carolina Reaper Plant
Watering your seedlings is the most important thing next to the proper lighting. When it comes to watering your plants it is important to only water when you have to. The easiest way to know when it is time to water – check the weight of the container that houses your seedling. If the pot or container is super light – then you most likely need to water. It is best to let your soil dry out some before your next watering.
The best way to water your seedlings is from the bottom. Fill up a seedling tray of a miniature greenhouse kit with about 1″ of water. Place your pots into the water and allow them to sit for 20 minutes or so. The soil in your pots will wick up the water they need in that amount of time. After 20 minutes, take your plants out of the tray of water.
Fertilizing your Carolina Reaper Plant
You should start fertilizing your Carolina Reaper Plant when it sprouts its first set of true leaves. I prefer to use a half-strength liquid fertilizer every time that I water my seedlings.
This fertilizer can be something like Burpee Organic Tomato Plant Food which is 6-2-3 NPK or even Neptune’s Harvest Fish emulsion fertilizer that you will mix and use when you water. These make a huge difference in the life of your plants.
Once your plant is transplanted outdoors into its final garden spot you can begin giving it regular strength doses every month and even continue to do a lighter dose every 7-10 days to grow a large plant. The larger the plant = more fruit.
How long does it take for Carolina Reaper to fruit?
Carolina Reaper plants take roughly 90 days to get to the point of maturity. They are only ready for production after they reach a size that can produce fruit which typically comes in at 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide when planted in-ground or suitably large container even though they can get much larger than that.
When should you pick Carolina Reapers?
After the seeds have germinated, you‘ll have to usually wait up to 90 days for the fruit to be perfectly ripe for picking. Carolina Reaper plants grow as high as five feet tall. The bases of the plants are usually three to five feet wide. If you pick the peppers before they are fully ripe, they will continue to ripen.
How long does it take a green Carolina Reaper to turn red?
It usually takes between 2-4 weeks for a green Carolina Reaper to turn red. You can speed up the process by placing your unripe peppers into a paper bag with a pepper that has already started to ripen and change colors. The gas that is being released from the pepper that is already changing colors will speed up the ripening of the Carolina Reaper peppers.
Why is my Carolina Reaper not fruiting?
A pepper plant with no flowers or fruit may be the result of either an incorrect temperature zone, too hot, or too cold. Another common reason for a pepper plant not producing might be blossom end rot–caused by calcium deficiency and occurring when night temps are over 75 degrees F.
I hope this has inspired you to grow your own Carolina Reaper plant at home. It is super easy to do if you take the time to learn how to grow them. Be sure to check back as we will bring you a complete tutorial on growing them throughout the gardening season.
If you like this article on how to grow a Carolina Reaper plant, please share it on social media and with friends.
Also, check out our article on What are the best herbs to grow? or How to prepare your herb bed for winter!
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