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How To Grow Ghost Pepper Plants in Pots

How To Grow Ghost Pepper Plants in Pots

Jeena Lugo Jeena Lugo
6 minute read

Hello fellow gardeners!  As a woman who loves to dabble in gardening, I am excited to share a comprehensive guide on growing ghost peppers in pots.  Ghost peppers, or Bhut Jolokia, are known for their extreme heat and unique flavor, making them a sought-after ingredient for many spicy dishes.  You can cultivate these fiery peppers at home with the proper care and attention.  And learning how to grow ghost pepper plants in pots isn't hard!

In this step-by-step guide, we'll focus on growing ghost peppers in pots, covering everything from starting your seeds to harvesting your peppers.  So, let's dive in!

1.  Starting Your Ghost Pepper Seeds Indoors

Depending on the variety, ghost peppers require a long growing season, typically between 150 and 200 days.  To ensure a successful harvest, start your ghost pepper seeds indoors about 35 days before the last expected frost in your area.  Here's how to do it:

Ghost Pepper Seeds - Bhut Jolokia

Ghost Pepper Seeds - Bhut Jolokia


Bhut Jolokia Ghost Pepper Seeds for Planting | Super Hot Heirloom Peppers The Bhut Jolokia or Ghost Pepper was rated the spiciest chili in 2007. It has an intense flavor and even more intense heat. Therefore, it is recommended to… read more

  1. Fill seedling trays or small pots with a well-draining, sterile seed-starting mix.
  2. Place 2-3 ghost pepper seeds 1/4 inch deep into each cell or pot.
  3. Moisten the soil gently with a spray bottle, ensuring it is consistently damp but not waterlogged.
  4. Place the trays or pots in a warm location, ideally between 75°F and 85°F.  A heating mat can help maintain the desired temperature.  We actually think a heat mat is essential to germinate hot peppers.  Invest in a heat mat; it's worth it.
  5. Be patient!  Ghost pepper seeds can take anywhere from 14 to 28 days to germinate.

2.  Providing Proper Lighting for Your Ghost Pepper Seedlings

Once your seeds have sprouted, they will need plenty of light to grow strong and healthy.  Here's what you need to know about providing the proper lighting for your ghost peppers indoors:

  • Ghost pepper seedlings require a minimum of 14 hours of light per day.  Grow lights are an excellent choice to ensure they receive adequate light, especially during the darker winter months.
  • Position the grow lights approximately 6 inches above the seedlings, raising them as the plants grow.
  • Keep the lights on a timer to maintain a consistent light schedule.

3.  Transplanting Your Ghost Peppers to Larger Pots

When your ghost pepper seedlings have grown about 3 inches long and have developed their first set of true leaves, it's time to transplant them into larger pots.  Follow these steps:

  1. Choose pots that are at least 3 gallons in size and have drainage holes at the bottom.
  2. Fill the pots with a high-quality, well-draining potting mix.
  3. Carefully remove the seedlings from their original containers, not damaging their delicate roots.
  4. Plant each seedling in its own pot, burying it in the first set of true leaves.
  5. Water the transplanted seedlings well, ensuring the soil is evenly moist.

4.  Acclimating Your Ghost Pepper Plants to Outdoor Conditions

Before permanently moving your ghost pepper plants outdoors, you must acclimate them to the outside environment.  This process, hardening off, helps the plants adjust to temperature, humidity, and sunlight changes.  Here's how to harden off your ghost peppers:

  1. Begin approximately 10-14 days before you move your plants outdoors.
  2. Place your ghost pepper plants outside in a sheltered, partially shaded location for 1-2 hours on the first day.
  3. Gradually increase the amount of time your plants spend outside each day and their exposure to sunlight.
  4. After 10-14 days, your plants should be acclimated and ready for their final outdoor location in their pots.

5.  Choosing the Perfect Spot for Your Ghost Peppers in Pots

Selecting the right spot for your ghost pepper plants is crucial for their growth and productivity.  Keep these factors in mind when choosing a location:

  • Ghost peppers require a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.  Ensure that the chosen spot receives plenty of bright light.
  • Place the pots in a location with good air circulation to reduce the risk of diseases.
  • Position the pots on a hard surface, such as a patio or deck, to help maintain consistent soil temperature and moisture.

Hot Pepper Seeds For Planting | 5 Variety Pack

Hot Pepper Seeds For Planting | 5 Variety Pack


Are you looking for a spicy addition to your garden? Look no further than the Hot Pepper Seeds for Planting Ghost Habanero from Gardeners Basics. This 5 variety pack includes Ghost Pepper, Red, Orange, Yellow, and White Habanero seeds. All… read more

6.  Caring for Your Ghost Pepper Plants

Your ghost pepper plants will need proper care and attention to ensure a successful harvest.  Here are some essential tips for maintaining healthy ghost pepper plants:

  • Watering: Ghost peppers require regular watering to moisten the soil but are not waterlogged.  Be careful not to overwater, leading to root rot and other diseases.  Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Fertilizing: Feed your ghost pepper plants a balanced, slow-release fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.  Be cautious not to over-fertilize; too much nitrogen can lead to excessive foliage growth and reduced pepper production.
  • Pruning: Prune your ghost pepper plants to encourage bushy growth and increased fruit production.  Remove any dead or diseased leaves and branches as needed.  Pinching back the growing tips can also promote branching.
  • Pest control: Inspect your ghost pepper plants regularly for signs of pests, such as aphids or whiteflies.  Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control any infestations.

7.  Harvesting Your Ghost Peppers

After a long growing season, it's finally time to reap the rewards of your hard work!  Here's what you need to know about harvesting ghost peppers:

  • Ghost peppers start out green and gradually ripen to their final color, typically bright red, but can also be orange, yellow, or chocolate brown, depending on the variety.
  • Harvest your ghost peppers when they reach their final color and are firm to the touch.  Use a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears to cut the peppers from the plant, leaving a small stem attached.
  • Handle ghost peppers with care, as they are extremely hot!  Wear gloves when harvesting, and avoid touching your face or eyes.

how to grow ghost pepper plants in pots8.  Storing and Preserving Your Ghost Peppers

Once you've harvested your ghost peppers, you may wonder how to store and preserve them.  Here are a few options:

  • Refrigeration: Fresh ghost peppers can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.  Place them in a paper bag or wrap them in a paper towel to help absorb excess moisture.
  • Drying: Ghost peppers can be dried and stored for long-term use.  String them up by their stems and hang them in a well-ventilated, dry location until entirely dehydrated.  Alternatively, you can use a food dehydrator or an oven set to its lowest temperature.
  • Freezing: Ghost peppers can also be frozen for later use.  Simply place the peppers in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 12 months.

Growing ghost pepper plants in pots can be a rewarding and spicy adventure.  With the proper care and attention, you'll be able to enjoy these fiery peppers in your favorite dishes all year round.  Happy gardening!

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