How to grow bhut jolokia plants

Updated February 21, 2017

Bhut Jolokia, also known as Naga Jolokia or Ghost Chili, is the hottest pepper in the world. Originating in India, it is 400 times hotter than a jalapeño pepper (Reference 2). The Bhut Jolokia plant can be grown from seeds in most green houses, provided that you can maintain an environment for the plant that is hot and humid. With the proper germination, planting and care, you can grow Bhut Jolokia peppers that will test even the most experienced and adventurous taste buds.

Soak the Bhut Jolokia seeds in very warm water for up to 24 hours. Start the germination process approximately two months before you will be able to plant them outdoors in a temperature above 21.1 degrees C. For example, if you live in Georgia, you can start your seeds in the first week of March, but if you live in Ohio, you may need to wait until mid- to late April.

Start the seeds indoors in flats filled with a starting soil mix. Don't use regular planting soil, as it doesn't drain well enough for these pepper seeds. Fill the flats with the soil, then place the soil on top of a propagation mat, which will raise the temperature of the soil to the ideal temperature for these seeds, which is approximately 29.4 degrees C.

Plant the seeds 1/4 inch deep into the soil, then cover the whole flat with cling film.

Water the soil whenever it dries out. The soil should not remain consistently moist, otherwise the seedlings could develop fungal diseases.

Place the flats in an area that receives bright sunlight and wait approximately 1 month for the seedlings to grow.

Transplant the seedlings into 1-gallon planters. If you want to use a larger planter, space the seedlings approximately 2 feet from each other on all sides.

Take the transplants outdoors a few hours a day to acclimate them to the outdoor conditions. Bring them back indoors at night. After two weeks, they should be ready to continue growing outdoors.

Water whenever the soil becomes dry to the touch. You should water to 2 inches deep.

Things You'll Need

  • Bhut Jolokia seeds
  • Starting soil
  • Planting flat
  • Propagation mat
  • Watering can
  • 1-gallon planter
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Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.