Growing Ghost Pepper Plants: A Beginner’s Guide

  • By: Succulents Plants
  • Date: December 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.
Ghost Pepper Plants
Photo by courtesy of EvergreenPlanet

Do you think you have a green thumb? Put your skills to the test by growing your ghost pepper plants! Ghost peppers are one of the hottest peppers in the world and have many uses in cooking, medicinal treatments, and more. This beginner guide will explain how to choose the right plant and provide tips for growing, caring for, and harvesting your ghost pepper plants. Get ready to get your hands dirty and reap the rewards of a successful harvest!

What is a Ghost Pepper?

For those new to gardening or hot peppers, the ghost pepper plant may seem intimidating – but it’s pretty easy to grow! The ghost pepper is a chili pepper belonging to the Capsicum family. It’s one of the spiciest varieties, registering between 855,000 and 1,041,427 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) on the Scoville Scale. By comparison, jalapeno peppers range from 2500 to 8000 SHU.

So, why grow a ghost pepper plant? For the spice enthusiast, the ghost pepper is an incredibly flavorful addition to your garden. The peppers are also used in famous sauces and condiments, including Sriracha and Tabasco.

Ghost pepper plants are perennial. The peppers will produce consistently in warm climates for more than four years. This variety of chili pepper can be grown indoors or outdoors with proper care. Because the ghost pepper requires a warm environment and plenty of sunlight, it may not fare well in colder climates.

Ghost pepper plants can grow quite large, reaching heights over 4 feet. For this reason, providing a trellis, cage, or other support is a good idea to help the plant maintain its shape and size.

How to Grow Ghost Pepper Plants

Growing ghost pepper plants is a great way to spice up your garden and bring some heat to your meals. Ghost pepper plants are hardy, easy to grow, and produce an excellent yield of peppers if you take care of them correctly. If you’re a beginner looking to grow ghost pepper plants, here’s a guide to get you started.

Climate Requirements

Ghost pepper plants are native to the tropical and sub-tropical regions of India, where the climate is hot and relatively humid, with plenty of sunshine. Generally, chilies will do better in an environment miming their native climate. This means they need plenty of heat and sunshine (at least 6 hours per day) and prefer an average temperature range of 70-85°F during the day and no lower than 55°F at night. High humidity is also beneficial; this can be achieved with regular misting and a humidity tray.

During the winter, you will need to provide your ghost pepper plants with artificial light and some protection from frost. If your climate is frigid and frosty, consider investing in a greenhouse or hoop house for your plants.

It is also important to remember that ghost pepper plants are heavy feeders and require plenty of regular fertilizer and water throughout the growing season. If your climate is dry, you must be vigilant about ensuring your plants remain hydrated and well-nourished.

Soil Requirements

Soil pH is one of ghost pepper plants’ most essential soil requirements. They prefer a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5 for good growth. Anything lower or higher than that range can cause stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and chlorosis. If you’re unsure of your soil’s pH, it’s easy to test it at home using a soil test kit.

Ghost pepper plants also need well-draining soil to thrive. They’re prone to rot if their roots stay too wet. Sandy loam is the ideal soil type for these plants, as it drains well and holds onto water and nutrients to keep the roots nourished. You can also mix in some compost or manure to give your soil an extra boost of nutrients.

Finally, ghost pepper plants need plenty of organic matter in the soil to reach their full potential. Organic matter helps to retain water and nutrients, which are essential for the growth of your plants. So if your soil doesn’t have enough organic matter already, you can add some in the form of compost, leaf litter, or manure.

Water Requirements

The first thing to know is that ghost peppers thrive in warm, humid climates, so they need consistent watering – especially during their first few months of growth. It’s best to keep the soil consistently moist (not soggy) and water more frequently when the weather is hot and dry.

When watering your ghost pepper plants, aim to provide them with roughly one inch of water per week. However, this amount can vary depending on the conditions, so be sure to monitor the soil to ensure it is not too dry. If you notice dry soil, it’s time to water your plants.

In addition to a consistent watering schedule, you’ll also need to be mindful of how your plants are draining. Ghost pepper plants prefer well-draining soil, so make sure you use a potting mix that allows for proper drainage. In addition, be sure to avoid overhead watering, which could cause root rot.

Finally, if you’re planning to fertilize your ghost pepper plants, follow the instructions on the label. Fertilizing too often or with too much can cause the plant to become too thirsty, so it’s essential to be mindful of the amount and frequency of fertilizer applications.

Fertilizing and Mulching

Fertilizers can be applied in late winter or early spring before the plant bloom. You may need to supplement with additional nutrients depending on your soil type. Good options for fertilizers include compost, manure, and fish emulsion. Be sure to follow the recommended rates for your fertilizer to ensure the optimal growth of your ghost pepper plants.

Mulching is also essential for protecting and insulating the soil around your pepper plants. Make sure to use organic materials for mulching; wood chips, hay, and straw are all popular choices. It’s important to avoid synthetic materials like plastic or rubber, which can lock in too much moisture and lead to root rot. Aim for a 4-6 inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant and water regularly to keep the soil moist.

Harvesting and Storage

Harvesting and storing your ghost pepper plants is one of the most critical steps in growing your peppers. Ghost peppers can take up to three months to mature, so you’ll want to ensure you know what you’re doing when picking up the right peppers and storing them properly.

When it comes to harvesting your peppers, the goal is to look for bright red peppers. Red peppers tend to be the hottest, so that is the color you should look for when harvesting your peppers. You’ll also want to look for peppers that are firm to the touch and have a glossy shine.

Once you have harvested your peppers, the next step is to store them properly. The best way to store your peppers is in an airtight container, such as a jar or plastic bag. The container should be placed in a cool and dry area like the refrigerator. You’ll also want to ensure that you remove as much air from the container as possible, as this will help preserve the pepper’s flavor. Use the peppers within two weeks of harvest for maximum flavor and potency.

If you want to store your peppers for extended periods, you can freeze them. To do this, place the peppers in a freezer-safe bag and place them in the freezer. Be sure to use the peppers within a year of freezing if you want them to retain their flavor and quality.


Growing ghost pepper plants is an exciting and rewarding activity to add to your gardening repertoire. The intense heat of the pepper gives it a unique flavor that is sure to spice up any dish. Although growing ghost pepper plants may be a bit daunting, it is still possible to enjoy a bountiful harvest if you are patient and carefully adhere to the climate, soil, and water requirements. Furthermore, fertilizers and mulches will help your plants reach their fullest potential.

Harvesting and storing your ghost pepper plants are also an essential part of the process. By following these steps, you can enjoy a steady supply of ghost peppers for a long time.

In conclusion, growing ghost pepper plants is a satisfying and exciting experience for any gardener, new or experienced. You can harvest a large crop of delicious ghost peppers with proper preparation and patience. So grab your gardening tools, some soil, and some water, and you’ll be on your way to a successful ghost pepper harvest!


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