Carolina Reaper Plant


Carolina Reaper peppers are widely known for their intense heat and unique fruity flavor that is appreciated in sauces, jellies, and powders – or eaten straight! Enjoy them fresh for those willing to brave its spicy heat! Its taste has been described as fruity while maintaining a highly intense heat level.

Other peppers have come close to surpassing the Reaper regarding heat levels, but none has officially displaced it from being the world’s hottest yet. On average, it averages 1.641,183 SHUs.

The History

The Carolina reaper plant is an extremely hot variation of Capsicum chinense developed by American breeder Ed Currie and known for its powerful heat. Characterized by gnarled leaves with bumpy textures and small, pointed “tails,” Guinness World Records declared this pepper their hottest worldwide in 2013.

Some may mistake a hot chili pepper for being exotic from distant lands. Still, they’re quickly grown at home from sprouted seeds or seedlings in either pots or outdoors once weather conditions permit. Watering regularly will keep these superhot peppers healthy.

Scoville Heat Units (SHUs) measure the intensity of chili pepper spiciness, and Carolina Reaper boasts a SHU count of 1,641,183, almost three times hotter than the previous titleholder ghost pepper. Jalapenos usually average only around 5,000, so Carolina Reaper stands out in its league. Ed Currie from Puckerbutt Pepper Company in South Carolina developed it by breeding Pakistani Naga Viper with La Soufriere red habanero pepper from St. Vincent to produce Carolina Reaper plants, which thrived to have their unique properties.

The Flavor

The Carolina Reaper pepper is known for its fiery heat but also boasts a sweet, fruity taste. Part of the Capsicum chinense plant species and sporting an iconic appearance resembling the Grim Reaper’s sickle blade, the Carolina Reaper can add zesty heat to hot sauces, chili, and soups or be used to craft jellies and powders.

The Carolina Reaper pepper stands out from other superhot varieties with its fruity sweetness that belies its fiery heat. Most other peppers contain chemical undertones from capsaicin. Puckerbutt Pepper Company founder Ed Currie created it to challenge and enhance food flavor rather than punish your palate with heat alone; its fruity sweetness comes through just before its scorching heat kicks in.

This pepper is so potent it can burn skin and eyes, necessitating gloves. Additionally, you should avoid touching any parts of your body that come into contact with the Carolina Reaper pepper and wash your hands immediately after working with it. Due to its heat and potential stomach irritant properties, drinking plenty of fluids is highly advised after consuming this spice.

Pepper can be used in dishes like hot sauce, salsa, chili soup stew jerky, and barbecue. You can also create your pepper spray to deter insects and pests by mixing dried or fresh flakes of the pepper with a spirit such as vodka and leaving it to infuse for several weeks before straining and using it to repel insects, rodents, and other pests from entering your home.

Scoville Heat Units, or SHUs, measure heat levels. The Carolina Reaper has an incredible heat level that exceeds 2.2 million SHUs – easily surpassing previous record holder Ghost Pepper with 950,000+.

The Heat

The Carolina Reaper pepper has made history by becoming the hottest in the world. Distinguished by its bold red color and wrinkled appearance, its appearance strikes fear in those who come into contact with it due to capsaicin’s chemical constituents; these bind with TRPV1 receptors within your body to cause pain or other sensations.

Reapers may be known for their extreme heat, but their flavorful spice also comes from multiple components, including capsaicin and other oils that give this pepper its kick. Furthermore, reapers contain various vitamins and minerals beneficial to health, including A, C, and K, plus fiber potassium folic acid content.

Carefully cultivating a Carolina reaper plant requires special consideration due to its height; some varieties can even reach five feet (1.55 m). Therefore, for optimal growth, it would be advisable to provide your plant with adequate support, such as using sturdy stakes or trellises, if you plan on cultivating outdoors – exceptionally, as conditions may not always be ideal.

If you are growing Carolina reaper plants indoors, they will require a large container. Carolina reaper plants prefer full sunlight and organic soils that contain plenty of essential minerals and trace elements. Furthermore, they require temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius during the daytime and 10 degrees Celsius overnight; many indoor growers utilize heat mats or grow lights to ensure that their chilies thrive under ideal conditions.

For maximum plant growth, fertilize regularly. Doing this will promote your Carolina reaper plant’s more robust and resilient development. Some gardeners suggest using high-nitrogen/low-phosphorus fertilizers during germination stages, switching to lower-nitrogen fertilizers once flowers start forming. In addition, ensure your fertilizer contains adequate magnesium and calcium amounts since these essential elements can often be deficient in chili plants. The ideal time and frequency to feed your Carolina reaper is immediately upon transplanting and then every two to four weeks afterward.

The Care

Carolina reapers are one of the hottest pepper varieties available, so special care must be taken in planting and growing them. They must be placed in larger containers with high-quality growing media and exposed to full sun for best results. Furthermore, water should be applied frequently to keep soil moisture levels balanced if planning to cultivate this blazing beauty in your garden – for this purpose we highly recommend purchasing quality seed starting mix from PuckerButt Pepper Company.

When planting your seeds, we advise using a heat mat under each container to maintain optimal temperatures for germination. Incorporating a nutrient-rich fertilizer is also ideal and essential when cultivating pepper plants.

Once your seeds have sprouted, they must be moved outside when temperatures remain warm. It’s best to wait a few weeks until outdoor weather conditions have stabilized so you know that your plants can adjust successfully; if their size outgrows their 4-inch pot before this point has been reached, it may be wiser to transplant into larger pots before beginning the hardening off process.

As part of their hardening-off period, it is crucial that pepper plants gradually transition from indoor environments into the great outdoors so as not to shock them with cold temperatures or sudden changes. You can do this by exposing your plants outdoors progressively over several days, increasing their time outdoors gradually.

Once your peppers have matured, harvest them before they turn yellow or brown. Wear gloves while handling these peppers at their hottest and tastiest when entirely red, as their capsaicin can burn skin quickly. Don’t worry if you miss the store because your peppers will still be waiting in your backyard!