Carolina reaper: caring for a very spicy Capsicum species

two fruits of the Carolina reaper on a branch

The carolina reaper or as it is also known in some places, Carolina Reaper, is officially one of the hottest peppers in the worldsince the spiciest in the world is called dragon’s breath. His own name already indicates how strong he can be.

However, in 2013 It was given the title of the hottest pepper in the world by the Guinness Book of Records, although still pungent enough to cause contact burns and it should be used with caution.

General data of the carolina reaper

Carolina reaper on a table

carolina reaper on top of a table

The carolina reaper is a cross between the well-known ghost pepper and red habanero. Winthrop University in South Carolina was the site of the test. The tallest Scoville units measured were over 2.2 million, being the average of 1.

The sweet and fruity taste initially it is somewhat unusual for hot peppers. The pods of the fruit are also unusual in shape, being small, fat, red fruits with a scorpion-like tail. The skin may be smooth or have small bumps of pimples all over it. The plant can also be found with fruits in yellow, peach and chocolate..

On the other hand, you have to know that this is a pepper that, as its name suggests, is native to the United States and belongs to the family of capsicum chinense. The carolina reaper It is a pepper that has to be in an environment where the temperature has to be between 14 ° C and 25 ° C.

If you intend to have this pepper in your home, either in a pot or planting it directly in the ground, know that you have to place the plant just under direct sun. The good thing is that it is a plant that does not reach a great height. The maximum that this variation of pepper can reach is about 100 cm high. Of course, when you go to manipulate the plant, be very careful because just rubbing the plant with your skin can cause serious problems.


branch full of spicy red berries

branch full of spicy red berries

Cultivate the carolina reaper es almost as easy as most peppers and vegetablesAlthough they like a warm germination period, they need a long growing season and plenty of sun to grow the hottest pods in the world.

For its cultivation, humidity and a constant and consistent heat range must be maintained. So that you have a better chance of germinating your seeds, keep in mind to plant them at a depth of 0.5 cm.

Next, we provide background heat using a heat mat for the seeds, and bright light, keeping the seeds moist all the time. Seeds usually germinate in 7-21 days, but be patient. Sometimes it takes longer!

Once the seeds start to sprout, what you can do is brush with your hands the small seedlings of the carolina reaper daily or put a fan on them. This helps to strengthen the stems and prevents the seedlings from getting ‘wet’, which is a devastating fungal disease that affects the new plant stem only at ground level.

After a while, transplant the seedlings into several pots once they are a few inches tall with a couple sets of leaves, and grow until there are six true leaves on the plant.

When it starts to get hot enough outside, both day and night (to the peppers they don’t like temperatures below 12 ° C), you can take them abroad. Try to plant them directly in fertile soil, about 40 cm apart between each plant. As for the space that must be between each seed, it is enough that there is a separation of five centimeters maximum.

If you do, very soon you will have the hottest pepper in the world growing in your garden. Only to cultivate and manipulate it, you’re going to need a little protection. Now, if you want to do it as you usually care for the rest of your plants, that is at your own discretion.


To get the full range of uses for this hot pepper, you can either dry it or crush it, and then season your favorite recipes. Also, you can use it to add flavor to many different dishes.

These peppers are common ingredients in different types of pepper sauces.sauces and purees. Also, this type of hot pepper is a favorite to use in pepper eating contests.

People compete to see how many they can eat at one time. The record was at three when Jason McNabb ate three carolina reaper in a record 10,95 seconds in 2014. However, his record went down in history earlier this year, when Wayne Algenio ate 22 hot peppers in 60 seconds.

Cultivation needs

Carolina reaper is a kind of very hot chili

Carolina reaper is a kind of very hot chili

Germination time

You have to know that the germination of this pepper is quite slow if we compare it with other species of the same family

. And the seeds take about 2 to 4 weeks to germinate, as long as there is a warm environment that does not exceed 29 ° C.

Soil requirements

The soil to be used has to have a fairly light acid pH level. If possible, you should get a soil with a pH level between 6 and 6.5. Not forgetting that the land has to drain the water well once it is watered.

Furthermore, you have to do everything possible to protect the roots of the plant from high temperatures. This is quite easy, since you can use some mulch or any other material that prevents the roots from rotting while they have not yet developed well.

Water needs

You don’t have to water this plant too much, just do it once a week or whenever you notice that the earth has completely dried up. If so, you have to proceed with watering. Of course, you have to do it just at the moment before the leaves begin to wither.

Also note that High temperatures can cause the leaves of the plant to wilt. carolina reaper. This can confuse those who do not yet have the knowledge or experience growing this plant.

If something like this happens, take a good look at the situation, as if the leaves have withered it does not mean that the plant needs more water. This is more of a natural process and is considered a defense mechanism to alert people that they are adding too much water. With this information, you can now start planting and cultivating the carolina reaper in the patio of your home or in a pot that you have available there.

Carolina reaper: caring for a very spicy Capsicum species

2 thoughts on “Carolina reaper: caring for a very spicy Capsicum species

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top