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About Habenero Pepper: Though this greatest quantities of Habanero peppers are now grown in the Yucatan in Mexico, they once played an important part in the industry of "La Habana," or Havana, from which they receive their name. Habanero peppers spread so far so quickly that they also became called Chinese peppers, since some believed that was their place of origin. Habanero peppers are the hottest open pollinated pepper available.

Habenero Pepper Germination: Start pepper seeds indoors in peat pots about 8 weeks before the last expected spring frost. Sow them 1/4" deep and keep the soil at 80-85 degrees F until germination; provide sunlight or a grow light for 12-16 hours a day. When the outdoor temperature reaches 60-65 degrees F during the day and no less than 50 degrees F at night, transplant the seedlings 12-16" apart. Exposing the plants to the weather for several hours a day before transplanting may help prevent shock. Peppers also grow well in containers or raised beds.

Growing Habenero Pepper Seeds: Keep the soil evenly moist and weeds under control; mulching the plants may help with this. If excess heat and sun cause the plants to wilt, provide shade.

Harvesting Habenero Pepper: Harvesting hot peppers is basically a matter of personal preference. Generally, the longer the peppers mature on the vine, the hotter they will taste. Mature peppers, however, signal the plant to stop producing; if the peppers are picked when still at the green stage, the plant will go on producing. Always use a knife or scissors to remove peppers to prevent damage to the fragile stems.

Saving Habenero Pepper Seeds: Keep in mind that peppers will cross pollinate with other varietes of pepper, so isolation or caging may be necessary to preserve genetic purity. Allow the pepper to fully mature, than cut it open and remove the seeds. Spread out the seeds to dry for about two weeks. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place for up to two years.

Detailed Habenero Pepper Info: Capsicum chinense. Also known as Chinese Pepper 'Habenero.' Annual. 90 days. 4,000 seeds per oz. 24-36" height. 12-18" spacing. Produces extremely hot 1-2" peppers that mature from green to orange to red. SHU 250,000-350,000

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