The Carolina Reaper is a cultivar of the Capsicum chinense plant. Developed by American breeder Ed Currie, the pepper is red and gnarled, with a bumpy texture and small pointed tail. In 2017, Guinness World Records declared it the hottest chili pepper in the world.
An extremely hot chili pepper variety with 1.5-2 million SHU. Once over the extreme heat there is a fruity-like flavour, giving a sweet-hot combination. Fruit typically 5cm long by 3cm wide.
High value crop for the greenhouse or under plastic, High yielding over a long period. Becoming increasingly popular.
Germinates between 25 and 30°C. Sow early December-January, or for maincrop March- April.
Spacing 30-60cm x 45-90cm. Grow on at 16-23°C. Harvest from early April/May, or maincrop from July.
Despite the extremely scorching heat of this super hot pepper, the Carolina Reaper is surprisingly fruity and sweet. It is outstanding as a dried powder for adding both heat and flavor, and also as a sauce or hot sauce.
It is best when used sparingly, as a little can go a long way. Consider stirring some into your Thai food dishes to extra heat, or into larger pots of chili, soups or stews.
Please note that germination can be slow and erratic on some open pollinated hot peppers.
Ripe peppers measure 5 - 7.5cm (2 to 3in) long and 2.5 to 5cm (1.0 to 2in) wide red in color. Carolina Reaper pods are unique among peppers, with their characteristic shape, and very thin skin. However, the red fruit variety has two different fruit types, the rough, dented fruit and the smooth fruit. The images on this page show examples of both the rough and the smooth fruit forms. The rough fruit plants are taller, with more fragile branches, and the smooth fruit plants yields more fruit, and is a more compact plant with sturdier branches.
Long growing season, most suitable for greenhouse, polytunnel, conservatory production.
Sow pepper seeds about 1 cm deep into a seed tray or in small pots or cells. Cover lightly, water and place inside at between 20-25°C to aid germination, place the tray in a plastic bag.
Germination can be slow with some hot peppers.
As soon as seedlings are large enough to handle, prick out.
Transplant the seedlings into small individual pots. Use rich compost and keep the plants between 20-30°C during the growing season.
For best production keep the plants in the Greenhouse, Polytunnel, Conservatory.
Be prepared to water well and supplement feed with high-potash feed during season.
Regular feeding is recommended.