Prized by chile aficionados not only for its intense heat, but its distinct fruitiness, the habanero is used in sensational salsas (see recipe inside), and will turn a bland barbeque into a fiery feast! Habaneros are said to be 100 times hotter than jalapeños (but after the first 100,000 Scoville heat units, who's counting?) 100,000-350,000 Scoville heat units (extremely hot).
• Botanical Name: Capsicum chinense
• Days to Maturity: 100 days from transplanting
• Family: Solanaceae
• Native: Brazil
• Hardiness: Frost-sensitive perennial grown as an annual
• Plant Dimensions: 24" tall, 18" wide
• Variety Information: 2 ½" long, 1" wide, green turning to orange-red when mature. Habaneros are one of the hottest peppers in the world at 100,000–350,000 Scoville heat units.
• When to Sow Outside: For Mild Climates only: 2 to 4 weeks after average last frost, when soil temperature is at least 70°F.
• When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. 8 to 10 weeks before transplanting. Ideal soil temperature for germination is 70°–90°F. Transplant seedlings outside 2 to 4 weeks after your average last frost date, and when daytime temperatures are at least 70°F, and nighttime temperatures are at least 55°F. Mild • Climates: May be sown in late summer for fall/winter crop.
• Days to Emerge: 10–25 days
• Seed Depth: ¼"
• Seed Spacing: Start indoors
• Row Spacing: 24"–36"
• Thinning: Start indoors, plant seedlings 18" – 24" apart outside
• Harvesting: Harvest when peppers start to turn orange-red. When harvesting, take care to avoid touching the interior of any broken peppers, as the capsaicin is an extreme irritant, especially to the eyes. Wash hands thoroughly after harvesting or wear gloves to harvest peppers.