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Growing Chili – Scoville Scale

Please view our article on the Scoville Scale to find out exactly how it works.

This page displays the Scoville Rankings for each chili and will be updated regularly.

If you would like us to put your favorite chili on the scale please contact us.

Scoville Scale Units

Chili Type

15-16 Million Pure Capsaicin
5 Million Police Grade Pepper Spray
1 Million Naga Jolokia (ghost chili)
300 000 Habanero, Piri Piri
100 000 Birds Eye Chili, Thai Pepper
50 000 Tabasco, Cayenne
20 000 Peter Pepper
5000 – 8000 Jalapeno, paprika
3000 – 5000 Pimento (cherry Pepper)
1000-3000 Anaheim pepper
0 Bell Pepper

Growing Peppers – Tabasco Pepper

One of the world’s most recognised chillies is the Tabasco. It’s no doubt that Tabasco is most famous for the sauces that these chillies are made into. This is possible because Tabasco peppers are not dry, the inside of the fruit is wet. Tabasco chilis rate between 30,000 and 50,000 on the scoville scale.

The Tabasco plant is quite distinctive as its very bushy and unlike most chilis the Tabasco fruits grow up rather then hanging down from the stems.

The Tabasco peppers grow to about 4cm and change colour from light yellow and green to orange then eventually ripen at a bright red colour.

Characteristics of the Tabasco bush
Plant height – 4-5 feet
Stem color – Green
Leaf color – Green
Leaf size – medium
Fruit color – light yellow and green to orange and bright red at maturity
Fruit shape – long and conical
Fruit length – 4cm
Fruit width at shoulder .5 cm
Fruit surface smooth

Tabasco Planting tips

Tabasco chillis like most other chillies grow best in warmer weather. People in colder climates should plant the seeds indoors in a warm spot during the winter month. The seeds will germinate and start to grow. When the winter is over the plants can be moved outside ready for the spring and summer months.

When potting Tabasco plants make sure that there is good water drainage. They also like sandy soil conditions so don’t be afraid to add in some sand.

Regular watering is required and if ensure the Tabasco plant has good sunlight and daily watering you should see fruits appear in about 120 days.

Once you have some Tabasco chillies try to make some Tabasco sauce. A simple recipe is provided.

Homemade Tabasco Sauce

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh red Tabasco peppers, chopped
2 cups distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 clove garlic (optional)
Directions:
Combine the chiles, garlic and the vinegar in a saucepan and heat. Stir in the salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, and place in a blender. Puree until smooth and place in a glass jar. Allow to steep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Remove, strain the sauce, and adjust the consistency by adding more vinegar if necessary.

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Growing Chili – Bugs and Pests

So, you’ve bought (or saved) your Chili seeds, carefully planted them and provided the optimum growing chili conditions. However danger lurks in every corner of the garden with a whole host of beastly pests and diseases ready to indiscriminately strike down your plants at a moment’s notice. These pests include insects, bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Slugs or Snails

Slugs and snails love to dine on a chili bush. They will nibble away the leaves

garden slug

and minimise the health of your plant. Fortunately slugs and snails are not too hard to prevent or remove. Hunting down snails and slugs and disposing of them can be a highly satisfying exercise particularly if the little blighters have already struck your prized plants. There is also some chemical solutions for treating your chilli plant from pests. They are listed below.

Aphids

Aphids are the little green creatures you see on your plants. They are very sneaky and camouflage themselves to the stem or leaves and suck the sap from the trees veins. They too are easy to control. Spraying them with a very diluted soap solution, about one teaspoon of liquid pure soap (as near to 100% fatty acids as you can get – avoid antibacterial, perfumed, & detergent based soaps) to a couple of liters of water.

Pest Control Products

There are various products available for pest control.

Copper is known to repel slugs and snails because it produces a very slight electric charge that they hate. You can purchase copper rings to place around the base of plant pots or can place copper tubing or piping round you raised beds. The slugs and snails can’t stand it so much they avoid crawling over to get to your chilies and will head off elsewhere in search of food. The downside to this is that copper piping or rings can be expensive, however once purchased it should last you for years.

Home Remedies to use are egg shells sprinkled around the base of your plants. Slugs hate crawling over the shells. Another method is to sprinkle used coffee grounds around the base of the plants. This is not only a snail deterrent but it helps add much needed nitrogen to the soil, aiding your pepper plants growth.

Homemade Spray A tried and tested spray made from 100g of fresh garlic, crushed and fermented for 2 days in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons of liquid soap or soap powder. Strain into a garden sprayer and dilute 1 part to 50 parts water. Garlic acts as a repellent to further Aphid attack.

Chemical Control There is a range of chemical treatments that you can get from your local garden center or hardware store. Below is the top control product we have found.

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Easy to Grow Chili – Birds Eye Chilis

For any beginner starting out growing chilis i would definitely recommend the Birds Eye Chili.

birds-eye-chilis

 

Birds eye chillies originated in South East Asia. Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore. Now this popular chili is found all over the world. They may appear small but they pack a burning punch and can contain between 50,000-100,000 Scoville Units, almost as hot as a Habanero.

Some sources state that the name birds eye comes from these chili bushes being started by birds picking and dropping the chilis. Birds don’t feel any effects from chilli oil therefore they don’t get the burning sensation humans do.

 

Birds Eye chillies are one of the easiest species to grow and maintain. They are a thick bush with lightweight fruit and are very forgiving. They can grow in sandy soil conditions to rich soil conditions. As with every other chillie they enjoy humid climates and moisture.

These chillies can withstand cold climates too even down to -20deg C. They will lose all their leaves but when spring comes they will re-shoot and fruit. Birds Eye bushes will mature and fruit very quickly, it takes about between 90-120 days and the bushes are known to last several years.

Characteristics of the Birds Eye Chillie plant

Plant height up to 2meters
Stem color Green
Leaf color Green
Leaf size 3-8cm by 2-4cm
Fruit color at maturity green, orange and red
Fruit shape conical
Fruit length 2–3 cm
Fruit width at shoulder .5 cm

My birds eye chili bush

Fruit weight 2-3 grams
Fruit surface smooth
Seed color Light tan
Seeds per chillie 10-20

Birds eyes are used mostly for cooking but they can also be used as a natural insect repellent or pesticide when mixed with water.

I live in a inner city apartment building and have 1 birds eye chillie in a pot.

It is only 3 months old and i harvest about a dozen chillies a week. I water it once a day and make sure it gets lots of morning sunshine. I’m very proud on my plant.

Would love to see other readers birds eye chili bushes and story’s. Drop us a line if you have one.

Check out our great range of chili seeds!!

 

Worlds Hottest Pepper – Naga Jolokia or Bhut Jolokia

The worlds hottest pepper is officially the Naga Jolokia also known as Bhut Jolokia. When translated in Hindi this means Ghost Chilli which is also another common name.

worlds hottest chili
worlds hottest chili

The chilli hails from Bangladesh but is also found in Sri Lanka and India. The Ginnis Book of Records officially name it the worlds hottest chilli in 2007.

To give you a idea on how hot it is, Jalapenos are about 6000 Scoville Scale units, Tabasco measures in at about 195000 scoville scale units, and the Naga Jolokia is a burning 1 million scoville scale units. this is about 400 times stronger then Tabasco. When eating this chilli it BURNS!! then it gets worse. Effects can last up to 30min. Milk can help sooth the burning but will not eliminate it.

Characteristics of the Naga Jolokia or Bhut Jolokia Chillie plant

Plant height 45–120 cm
Stem color Green
Leaf color Green
Leaf size 10-14.5cm by 5.5-7.5cm
Leaf width 5.4–7.5 cm
Fruit color at maturity Red
Fruit shape Sub-conical to conical
Fruit length 5–9 cm
Fruit width at shoulder 2.5–3 cm
Fruit weight 6–9 grams
Fruit surface Rough, uneven
Seed color Light tan
Seeds per chillie 19–35

This chillie is so hot that In 2009, scientists at India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation announced plans to use the chillies in hand grenades, as a non lethal way to flush out terrorists from their hideouts and to control rioters. It will also be developed into pepper spray as a self defense product.

We would love to hear from you if you have tried this chilli or grown it. We hope to obtain some Naga Jolokia/Bhut Jolokia Seeds shortly.

Check out our great range of chili seeds!!

Grow Chilli – Peter Peppers

You have to see this to believe it. Peter Peppers are a conversational piece to say the least!!!!
The peter pepper chilli pods look like “a man’s private parts”. Hence why they are known as the Penis Pepper and Chili Willy.



This chilli is quite rare and comes from the southern states of Louisiana and Texas.

Peter Peppers are listed as a medium heat on the scoville scale ranking. Peter peppers are 5,000 to 30,000 Scoville Units which is hotter than Tabasco and even more hotter than the Jalapeno.

Characteristics of the Peter Pepper Plant
Plant height up to 3 feet
Stem color Green
Leaf color Green
Fruit color at maturity green and red
Fruit shape conical
Fruit length 2-4inches
Fruit width at shoulder 1inch
Fruit surface shaped

Peter peppers seeds can be purchased and grown within 6-7 months. Germination tips, soil tips and all other growing chillies from seed guides are available from growing chillies. As with all chillies they need regular watering and plenty of sun for optimal results.

Willy Peppers Chili Pepper

Peter Peppers are a defiant must for the chilli growing enthusiast. They would make great presents for a fellow gardening enthusiast also. Purchase some peter pepper seeds today and let us know how your plant went.

Check out our great range of chili seeds!!


Growing Chillies – Soil Tips

Although chillies can be grown in many varieties of soil we have compiled some of the best soil methods to get your chilli plants ground and fruiting consistently.

Growing Chillies in a pot lets you build and maintain the optimal soil conditions. When is the last time you have seen chillies grown in swamps…NEVER!! Chillies plants are quite fragile and need good draining soil. The top layer of the soil should be a light but moisture holding mulch. Topping up the mulch every 4 weeks or so will keep the nutrition running through the chillies roots.

 


 

To Grow Chilli choose a soil or mulch that is higher in potassium. Chilli plants fruit better when potassium is slowly feeding through the roots and plant. Try to avoid nitrogen as the plants will grow soft leaves and minimal fruit will be produced.

If you really want to make your chillies thrive and fruit well as soon as the plants start growing little flowers place some premium organic soil or fertiliser on top of the pot. If you’re on a budget any multipurpose compost is will help out.

Remember that Growing Chillies requires regular watering, once a day they must be watered to keep the soil moist and the roots nourished. And don’t forget Growing Chillies in sunlight will keep them at optimal health.

Check out our great range of chili seeds!!

Scoville Scale

The Scoville scale is the world recognised scale for measuring the heat in chillies and other peppers.

The Scoville scale was created in the early 1900’s by Wilbur L. Scoville who was a pharmacist.

Scoville’s method was simple. He soaked each different variety of pepper separately in alcohol overnight. Because capsaicin is soluble in alcohol, the soaking extracted the pungent chemicals from the pod. Then he took a precise measure of the extract and to it added sweetened water in incremental portions until the heat was barely detectable on his tongue.

In the case of Japan chilies, it took sweetened water in volumes between 20,000 to 30,000 times the pepper extract before the heat was barely discernible. He thus rated the Japan chilies 20,000 to 30,000 Scoville Heat Units. Jalapenos were rated 3,000 to 5,000, and Tabasco 30,000 to 50,000. The hottest chillies Scoville tested was a naga jolokia which is primarily found native in Bangladesh which he measured at 850,000-1,000,000 Scoville units.

Scoville’s name has since become closely associated with the measure of pungency (heat), but the oral test is now being slowly replaced by a modern machine (High Pressure Liquid Chromatograph) that is as sensitive as the human tongue and unlink Scovilles method numerous tests can be conducted each day.

When choosing to Grow Chilli looks at the Scoville scale and choose a chilli that will suit your tastes. My favorite is birds eye chilli but they are quite hot coming in at about 50,000-100,000 scoville units.

The Scoville Scale of Hotness

Growing Chillies Introduction

Growing chillies and easy and fun. Young kids to elderly people can grow chillies with minimal effort. Growing chillies don’t require much time to mature and you are able to harvest the fruit which makes them a ideal starting plant for your home garden.
Chillies thrive in warmer climates but can grow in colder places also. I have friends in North Europe who grow them on their windowsill to get maximum warmth.

Growing chillies means that there is always fresh fruit available for your favorit spicy cooking dish and it’s always a nice gesture to give a friend a few chilies.

Chillies can be grown from simply collecting the seeds from the chillies you would buy at the local supermarket or groser. it is however recommended that you purchase chillie seeds from a specialise store to maximise your results.

There are thousands of different types of chillies and choosing the right ones to grow for your climate and taste is essential.

Chilli plants don’t take up much space and can be grown in a pot or in the garden. You can grow them if you live in apartments. We currently have 3 chillie pots and our balcony is no bigger then the average family car.

Things to look out for when growing chillies is that the stems are quite thin and sometimes fragile, sometimes you need to aid them with a support stick or something to lean against. Humans are not the only creatures that want to consume chillies, grubs and other insects like to feed on the trees and must be dealt with accordingly.

Check out our great range of chili seeds!!