The habanero chile pepper is one of the hottest chile peppers in the Capsicum family.
The unripe fruit is green, though the mature peppers may be red, orange, pink, white or brown. A mature habanero is around 3 to 6 cm long.
Thought to have originated in Cuba, the habaneros are indispensable components in the Yucatán peninsular cuisine. Each year at least 1,500 tons of peppers are harvested there.
Other regions that they are known to grow in include Costa Rica and Belize, as well as US states like California, Texas and Idaho. No matter their origins, you can grow these peppers in your own location.
Optimum Growing Conditions
Though habaneros prefer hot weather, too much sun exposure can cause damage to these nightshade family members.
When growing habanero peppers, it is important to understand that they thrive well under a good morning sun with a soil having ideal pH of 5 or 6.
Water the habanero plants only when dry because too much watering can cause the peppers to taste bitter or even die out.
Habanero bushes may be sown directly in the ground, or can be grown in containers and live for several years in pots.
The habanero, a perennial plant, can produce flowers and fruits for several years if cared for properly. In temperate climates, it is considered an annual plant, which grows dormant each winter and is replaced the following spring.
In tropical as well as sub-tropical regions, this plant produces fruit year round as long as the growing conditions are favorable.
The habanero chile pepper is around 100 times hotter than the jalapeno.
The red savina habanero pepper, a cultivar of habanero pepper and once certified as the “World’s hottest spice,” is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Habaneros usually rate between 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units. When growing the habanero plant, attempts have been made by many to breed habanero peppers selectively and produce heavier, hotter and larger chillies.
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