How To Grow Habaneros: Tips on How To Do It Right
Growing habaneros is a good idea for anyone who like their food hot. It will provide you with a naturally spicy and flavorful dish, which can be accessed right in your garden. There is no need to buy one in the supermarket. The best thing is that if you grow them on your own, you can be sure that they are organic and safe from toxic chemicals. With this, in the rest of this post, we will provide you with some practical tips on how to grow habaneros. It is not as easy as it may sound, but it is doable for most people. The important thing is for you to have knowledge on how to do it right.
Before we proceed further with the discussion, let us first have a quick look on what this plant is. It is a member of the capsicum family, which is known as one of the hottest groups of peppers. When they are unripe, the color of the fruit is green. Once they have ripen, on the other hand, they transform into pink, orange, white, brown, or red. A mature fruit will generally have a length of somewhere from 3 to 6 centimeters. They are grown as fruits of erect bushes, which generally have a height of 1.5 to 2 feet. Since it is a perennial plant, you can expect that the fruits will grow throughout the year. Warmer climates will result into the highest yield. They can also be grown indoors or in a controlled environment. Once planted, it may take an average of 75 to 90 days before they can be picked.
How To Grow Habaneros
One of the first things that you should do is to select the right site, which will be highly influential of your success. You cannot just plant habaneros anywhere. You need to make sure that the external environment will positively influence its growth. With this, it is important to choose a place that receives generous sunlight, preferably about 6 hours of sun per day. It should also have a rich soil, which should be moist, but not too much. A soil pH of 6 to 6.8 is preferred. If it is below the recommended level, adding limestone will help. On the other hand, if it is above what is recommended, the addition of peat moss can help. The right soil temperature will also be essential. With this, you have to make sure that it is above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
When thinking of how to grow habaneros, another thing that can prove to be critical would be the right timing. It would be good to start at least six to ten weeks before the expected frost. At this time, it should be grown indoors first. When you start planting, see to it that the temperature is optimal for the growth of your habanero.
Your hot pepper seeds should be planted at a depth of around ¼ to ½ inch from the top of the soil. More so, the spacing should be anywhere from 18 to 24 inches apart from each other. This will make sure that each individual plant will have a generous amount of space to avoid being cramped once they grow. If they have grown 4 to 6 inches in height, this is an indication that they can now be transplanted in the garden.
Watering and feeding will also be important in growing habaneros and this will be highly-instrumental of their health. You have to make sure that they are appropriately watered so that moisture can be retained, but see to it as well that the soil is not too moist. If they are deprived of water, the fruits will be pungent and they may show color that lacks life, indicative of being unhealthy.
Aside from watering, in order to take care of your habaneros, it is also important to get rid of the weeds surrounding the plant as they can compete with nutrients in the soil. Mulching is also required in order to retain moisture and temperature in the soil. High nitrogen fertilizers should be avoided because they can lead into the growth of large leaves while the fruits are significantly small.
In addition, you should also do what it takes to get rid of rot, mildew, bacterial spot, tobacco mosaic virus, and anthracnose, among other diseases that can possibly be damaging for the plant. You should make sure that the garden is free from weeds and that it is cleaned regularly. If there are infected plants, make sure that they are removed as soon as possible before disease will spread to other plants. If you are a smoker, make sure as well to wash your hands carefully before touching the plant in order to prevent the spreading of tobacco mosaic virus.