If you love spicy foods, growing Carolina Reaper in your backyard is a good idea. It is the world’s hottest pepper. Be careful since the pepper oil can lead to significant chili burn.
Are you planning to plant the pepper but don’t know how to start? Don’t worry; I will discuss growing Carolina Reaper in pots.
You can grow Carolina Reaper in plastic pots. Remember that poor drainage is the leading killer of plants grown in pots. To help you understand, read more about increasing Carolina reaper in pots.
Step by Step process of growing Carolina Reaper in pots
The following is a step-by-step guide to growing Carolina Reaper in pots.
1. Find The Correct Pot Size For Your Carolina Reaper
The first thing to do is to find the best pot for growing the pepper. Carolina Reaper comes with a vast root system. So, make sure the plant has enough room to grow. The best choice for Carolina Reaper is around 5-gallon buckets. Technically, the suggested size for a container is about 1,155 cubic inches.
2. Choose The Right Type Of Pot
Carolina Reaper can be grown in fabric bags, terracotta, and plastic pots. The material type doesn’t matter; the important is how well it can release excess water. If the pepper sits in standing water for longer, its roots may rot.
If you use a plastic pot, it should have 2 to 4 holes in the bottom to drain excess water. Fabric grows bags, and terracotta pots are naturally porous. Terracotta pots have a hole in the bottom for extra drainage. On the other hand, you should test how well the grow bags can drain. If it doesn’t leak quickly, you can add two holes in the bottom to keep the roots healthy.
3. Choose The Suitable Soil
In growing Carolina Reaper, remember that drainage is crucial in the soil type you use for the pepper pots. The traditional soil, like in your backyard, can be too dense for the plant in pots. It can trap the moisture in the pot, which may cause the root to rot and lead to fungal issues on the pepper. Instead, you can choose potting or any excellent soil for container gardening.
As the Carolina Reaper grows bigger, you will need bigger pots. You can grow it inside a greenhouse and keep the plant watered. Then, it will flower and fruit soon.
5. Flowering and fruiting
If the Carolina Reaper has flowered, it will start to fruit. If the pepper ripens, you can harvest them.
When and where to grow Carolina Reapers?
If you want to grow Carolina Reapers, it is best to begin indoors. You can move the seedlings outdoors if there is no risk of frost damage. The plant should be grown about 6 inches before you transfer it outdoors.
You can do it if the daytime averages 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the night temperature is not dipping below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot weather can loss the plant’s blossoms and stop it from producing fruit.
How much and how often should you water and feed Carolina Reaper?
In fertilizing your Carolina Reaper, 5-10-5 fertilizer or fish emulsion can be fine. You can begin fertilizing the plant if it starts showing blossoms. It is also essential to feed your pepper with magnesium in the form of Epsom salts. Remember not to use high-nitrogen fertilizers since it is not good for fruit production.
When should you pick your Carolina Reaper?
It is possible to harvest your Carolina Reapers if it’s still green. However, if you want more flavor and heat, you can wait for the pepper to ripen. It can have a bright red once it ripens.
As you pick the plant, you should handle it carefully. Wear a disposable latex glove to avoid burning its oils.
Where does Carolina Reaper come from?
Are you curious where the super hot, exotic pepper comes from? The pepper is created initially from South Carolina by Ed Currie, a pepper enthusiast. He is the operator and owner of PuckerButt Pepper Company.
He worked to breed a new superhot pepper variety way back in 2007. It was a cross between the Caribbean hot pepper La Soufriere and Pakistani Naga.
Then, the cross was introduced in 2012 and was recognized as the world’s hottest pepper. The PuckerButt grows more than 100,000 plants yearly to meet the demand.
How spicy is Carolina Reaper?
If you’re a spicy food lover, Carolina Reaper can be for you. It is among the fieriest peppers available on the market. The pepper’s high capsaicin concentration surpasses other super hots like the ghost pepper.
Carolina Reaper comes with an average of 1.64 million Scoville heat units. There are also spicy peppers like 7 Pot Primo, but the Carolina Reaper is still the hottest pepper.
What is the light setting for Carolina Reaper?
Suppose the plant sprouts, your pepper should get 14 to 16 hours of light daily. You can use a timer and grow light to automatically schedule the lights to turn on and off.
Some LED lights provide a dimmer knob for adjusting light brightness. It is best, to begin with, dimmer light and a higher height for your seedlings. Note that young plants are delicate and tender, so intense light may burn the foliage quickly.
What Can You Do with your Carolina Reapers?
If you have lots of fresh Carolina Reapers, you may wonder what you will do with them. Well, I will give you some ideas to use your Carolina Reaper.
Dehydrate Your Peppers
A simple method of using your pepper is dehydrating it and making it a powder. It is super-hot and can be an excellent alternative to cayenne pepper powder.
Make A Hot Sauce
You can make a homemade hot sauce from your Carolina Reapers. Ferment your peppers into an acidic and flavorful mash. You can also add extra ingredients to blend with the fire sauce.
If you don’t have an immediate use for Carolina Reapers, you can place them in a vacuum-sealed bag and put them in your freezer. You can keep it in the freezer for months and use it for hot sauce. Don’t worry because it will not lose its heat.
How To Care for Your Carolina Reaper?
In growing your Carolina Reaper, you should be aware of Mosaic. It is a pepper disease that is spread by whitefly and aphids. It can lead to thickened, narrow leaves. The solution is to pull up the plants and dispose of them to prevent healthy plants from being infected.
For aphid control, you can get ladybugs since these are aphid predators. You can also use other control methods like water spraying to remove them from the pepper plant.
How Long Does It Take for A Carolina Reaper to Mature?
Regarding maturation, the pepper takes about 90 days before it reaches sexual maturity. In this stage, the plant is ready to produce fruit. The size of the Carolina Reaper is around 1 to 3 inches long and about 1 to 3 inches wide.