Grow a garden filled with Chocolate Habanero plants, from freshly harvested Capsicum chinense pepper seeds. Chocolate Habanero plants will produce small fruits, measuring 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Their size is not relative to their kick however. Chocolate Habanero peppers measure anywhere between 200,000 to 350,000 units on the Scoville heat scale. The outer skin of this variety is waxy with a chocolatey red coloring. The plants themselves grow to a mature height of about 24 to 30 inches tall and about 24 inches wide. They can be grown directly in the garden, or in large pots and containers as well.
Categorized as an annual vegetable plant, Chocolate Habanero will establish itself from freshly harvested seeds. They then grow quickly, producing flowers & fruits soon after. The plants will yield their small, waxy fruits through the summer months, later dying at the end of the season. Hot Peppers such as this originate in many Southern locations, such as Mexico, Peru and much of the Caribbean as well. Having said this, they will prefer arid, dry conditions to thrive.
Habanero Peppers are a staple in many Mexican dishes, salsa's and hot sauces as well. Habanero's are considered one of the hottest peppers in the world, so you might consider wearing rubber gloves when processing Habanero peppers and do not touch your eyes. If you are sensitive to the heat, make sure to wear a mask over your mouth and nose and protect your eyes.
Sowing The Seed
Peppers are best started indoors, in a controlled environment, 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last frost. Sow them in peat pots, at a depth of 1/4” under topsoil. Peat pots will allow you to transplant the entire pot directly into the garden when the weather is warm and will also prevent root shock. Check below for additional info on spacing & growth habits.
Pepper plants will thrive in the heat of summer, so they should receive full sunlight for the majority of the day, with temperatures of at least 75F or more. A soil that is rich in organic matter is best, with a pH level of at least 6.2 and 7.0. Also make sure that your sowing medium is well drained, or your plants can wilt due to being waterlogged. Water your pepper seeds daily to provide them with ample amounts of moisture until germination has occurred.
Germination & Growth
Pepper seeds typically take anywhere between 14 to 28 days to germinate. After your seedlings start to grow, they will mature to an estimated height of roughly 24 to 30 inches tall and spread at least 24 inches wide. On average, Pepper plants can be spaced 18 to 24 inches apart from one another, in rows spaced 18 inches apart. These plants do very well when grown directly in the garden, or in large pots and containers as well.
Harvesting Chocolate Habanero Peppers
Once the plants are established, your fruits will grow to a size of roughly 1 to 2 inches in diameter. They ripen from green to chocolatey red, meaning that they are ready for picking. Simply snip or pick the stems an inch from the fruits and eat fresh, or store them by drying, freezing or pickling / canning. Harvest in roughly 95 to 100 days.