If you’re looking for a new and yummy spice to add to your dishes, try these ghost peppers. There are many ways they can enhance the flavor of food, so be sure not to stop using them too soon!
Ghost peppers are a type of chili pepper. They have a very unique shape and color, making them perfect for a variety of dishes. The ghost pepper plants grow in the Caribbean and Mexico. Pictures of ghost pepper plants can be found on Google Images.
Harvesting season is the most enjoyable aspect of gardening. It’s difficult for rookie gardeners to determine when to select ghost peppers and other chilies. Thankfully, it’s simple!
I’ll explain how to tell when to pluck ghost peppers in this post. I’ll also teach you how to harvest ghost peppers off the plant using our easy approach, so you can start picking right away.
A red ghost pepepr pod is harvested from the plant.
Ghost Peppers Come in a Variety of Shapes and Sizes
There are several variations of ghost pepper, just as there are for any other popular pepper cultivar such as jalapeño, bell pepper, or cayenne. Although most farmers concentrate on the original red bhut jolokia, there is a vast range of varieties, each with its own distinct qualities.
Ghost peppers may mature to red, dark green, mustard, brown, orange, yellow, or peach depending on the variety. We’ll concentrate on harvesting the iconic red ghost pepper in this post, but there are a few additional kinds you could be cultivating.
Stages of Growth of the Ghost Pepper
Knowing the phases of the plant can help you choose when to harvest ghost peppers. Because ghost pepper plants aren’t as popular as other pepper kinds, you’ve probably been cultivating them since you were a kid. With images, here are the four key phases of ghost pepper development.
Stage 1: seedlings Ghost peppers grow slowly at initially, forming their first sets of leaves and creating a root system. The plants should be maintained under grow lights for 14-16 hours each day at this stage since they are sensitive.
Seedlings of hot peppers.
The second stage is the vegetative stage. Ghost peppers are moved into bigger pots when the seedlings have been living for 3-4 weeks. To minimize root rot and ensure constant and rapid development, it’s critical to transplant at the correct moment. The duration of this stage will be determined by the size of the container, with smaller pots resulting in faster blooming.
In the vegetative stage, there are two bhut jolokia plants.
3. Fruiting and flowering When a ghost pepper plant achieves full maturity, it begins to produce blossoms. Flowers eventually turn into fruits, therefore the more buds you have, the better. Pollinators like bees and flies fertilize flowers and start the fruiting process. Fruits take around 1-2 weeks to reach their full size.
Flowers of the ghost pepper.
The fourth stage is the ripening stage. The ripening process begins when ghost pepper fruits reach their maximum size. This stage will put your patience to the test, since ghost peppers may take 4-6 weeks to completely ripen and change color.
The underside of a ghost pepper plant in the process of ripening.
How Long Does It Take To Grow Ghost Peppers (From Seed to Harvest)?
The Capsicum chinense species includes ghost peppers, and most cultivars of this species need an extended growing season. It might take anywhere from 130-150 days (4.5+ months) or more from planting to harvesting mature ghost peppers!
When temps are quite warm (over 90°F), ghost pepper plants do not produce a lot of peppers, in our experience. In reality, when the warmest portion of the summer has passed, our plants normally yield best later in the season.
When Is The Best Time To Pick Ghost Peppers?
When a ghost pepper is ready to be plucked, how can you tell? Waiting for the color of the pepper to change is the best method to determine when to pluck ghost peppers.
Red ghost peppers, for example, develop from green to a vivid red hue when completely grown. Never pluck a ghost pepper until it is fully mature (unless you have to).
On the plant, the color of the ghost pepper is shifting.
How much time does it take? Within 7-10 days after seeing your ghost pepper begin to change color, it should be completely mature. This may vary depending on the weather, but in general it is rather rapid.
Seed preservation is another factor to consider before harvesting. If you want to keep the seeds from one of your ghost peppers, let it mature for another week on the plant after it changes colors. Before the pepper is plucked from the plant, the seeds within will have completely grown.
Will Ghost Peppers Change Color Once They’ve Been Removed From The Plant?
Will a pepper that was not completely ripe continue to change color after being picked? The stage at which the pod was collected has a big impact on this.
If you choose a half ripe ghost pepper (one whose color has started to shift), it will continue to mature until it reaches its full hue.
Pepper that is just partially ripe.
If you choose an immature green ghost pepper, though, there’s a considerable possibility it won’t change colors after it’s removed from the plant. Green ghost peppers may still be consumed (and will have plenty of heat and flavor).
When it comes to picking ghost peppers, there are a few things to keep in mind
If you’re not sure how to harvest ghost peppers properly, we propose using some basic ways. Because the outer skin of ghost peppers does not contain capsaicin, collecting them by hand is safe (as long as you are careful).
- Look for ripe peppers (color fully changed)
- Keep the green stem in your hand.
- Pull away from the plant and up.
Wear nitrile gloves if you’re worried about putting capsaicin on your hands (peppers might split open when picking). The only kind we’ve tested that genuinely prevents oils from penetrating your skin is nitrile.
Watch the video below to see how simple it is to harvest ghost peppers. We gathered roughly 150 ripe pods from the plant in the video when it was about 7 months old.
Take a look at how we harvested our massive ghost pepper plant (video):
Will Ghost Peppers Produce in the Future?
So you’ve harvested your ghost peppers, but will your plant continue to produce peppers? Is it true that ghost pepper plants die once they bear fruit?
Thankfully, ghost peppers are perennial, which means plants may survive for many years and produce several fruit flushes. To produce another robust crop, they’ll need nutrition, warmth, and lots of sunlight.
Freezing temperatures are the only thing that can destroy a ghost pepper plant. In winter climes, most gardeners will let their plants perish due to the cold. Before the first frost, I usually keep late peppers out as long as possible.
You can always overwinter your plant and keep it alive inside till next spring if you don’t want to let it die. This may or may not be worth the work for you, but it is an alternative if you have a healthy plant.
Is it okay for me to pick ghost peppers before they ripen?
You’re likely to have some unripe ghost peppers remaining on the vine as the season comes to a close. This might create a dilemma: do you leave the plants out in the cold and risk frost damage, or do you select the peppers early and risk frost damage?
In brief, unripe (green) ghost peppers may be eaten, but they will have less heat and sweetness. Always wait for the peppers to mature to their ultimate color before plucking them if at all possible.
Ghost peppers that haven’t ripened yet.
Bring potted plants into a warm room overnight if temperatures dip into the 40s (Fahrenheit) or below to extend the season a few weeks. Protective row cover cloth may be used to protect in-ground plants from the cold.
Is it true that ripe ghost peppers are hotter?
You definitely want your ghost peppers to be as fiery as possible if you’re cultivating them, right? Fortunately, this subject has been researched from a variety of perspectives.
Peppers produced ideal capsaicin levels 45-50 days after fruit set, according to this research. Capsaicin levels began to fall after that.
According to these findings, your ghost peppers should be at their hottest 6 weeks after setting fruits, or about the time the peppers turn color.
Growing tips for hotter ghost peppers include:
- Maintain a comfortable temperature for them. Warmer regions, and especially warm overnight temperatures, tend to produce hotter peppers. If you have a greenhouse, utilize it to keep your plants warm while the weather cools down.
- After the fruits have formed, use less water. Capsaicin levels have been demonstrated to rise when irrigation is reduced after the fruits have formed.
- Increase the nitrogen content of your fertilizer. If you’re looking for a kick, spicy peppers with more nitrogen during fruiting grow even hotter. They also get hotter in stressful situations, such as when there is a scarcity of nitrogen.
I hope this post has given you some insight into when to harvest ghost peppers from your plants. The most fun aspect of producing hot peppers is harvesting, and I hope you enjoy the heat!
One of the first s! Calvin enjoys traveling and performing music when he isn’t gardening or learning more about peppers and botany.
Watch This Video-
The “how hot is a ghost pepper” is a question that has been asked many times. There are no definitive answers to the question, but there are some guidelines that can help you decide when it’s appropriate to eat these peppers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do ghost peppers look like when ready to pick?
A: Ghost peppers can be either green, brown, or red. They are known to have a variety of shapes and sizes as well.
Can you pick ghost peppers when they are green?
A: Yes, they will be spicy when they are green.
What color to should ghost pepper be?
A: Ghost pepper should be a vibrant orange.
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