I have some Bhut Jolokia peppers coming in the mail. What are the best conditions to get the most yield, and the hottest fruits? Thanks everybody!
I can only give my experience from last year, and being my first year growing chiles I think I had a fairly good run!
I germinated early, started them December 26th and had all the seedlings indoors until about the middle of March. Safe to say they were anything BUT seedlings at that point when they were all transplanted for the final time into pots that were about 2 gallons. I used a potting mix combined with a medium for orchids and a bit of hydroton to keep the roots aerated. I used a fish/seaweed fertilizer for most of the season, feeding every other week (probably could have gotten away with once weekly) and watered only when necessary.
My plants only reached a height of about 2 1/2 feet and produced a fair amount of fruit. I wouldn't say a truckload but a nice yield. This I have attributed to the small size of the pots, light fertilization and the biggest one I feel was not properly hardening off the plants.
As far as the heat, I think that as long as you have good seeds it will be damn near impossible to NOT get blistering chiles! They are ridiculous! Delicious but devastating and not to be toyed with.
Have a good grow!
Thanks, Bryan! Have you tried Bhut Jolokias? It sounds like you know what they are :-) I figure as long as they're true Bhut Jolokia seeds, it would be hard to botch as much as 1,000,000 SHU. I dont really intend on eating them myself, they are for my sister's boyfriend(he he he) AND for seeds, of course! I hope to have some seeds to trade next year! Thanks again
Yes, I have eaten them and prior to the searing heat they really have a very nice fruity flavor.
I have about 6-8 ounces of pureed Bhut's in the freezer that I am going to make a sauce with, still working out what to pair it with, as well as a bunch of dried pods...I should be germinating some right now!
At the risk of straying off topic, in response to your comment about what to pair the Bhuts with in a sauce may I suggest the following. IÂm attempting to grow my first Bhut Jolokia peppers and have yet to taste one. I do hear that they are quite tasty.
I use Orange Habaneros in this sauce and it really turns out nice. First you get the fruity pepper / citrus / sweet flavor and then itÂs followed up by a kick!
For what itÂs worth, you may want to scale it down and try it with a small portion of Buht.
Caribbean BBQ Sauce
2 scotch bonnet chilies (or whatever you can handle), fresh or dried
1 cup orange juice
1 cup honey
1/3 cup soy or Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried thyme (1 TBS fresh)
Blend together well in a blender and then simmer in sauce pan for 5-10 minutes.
Let stand in fridge overnight for fullest flavor
b hoops --- how long it take to germinate Bhut Jolokia seeds???
Thanks for the recipe Bill, that may end up on a pork chop tonight!
Andy, I got pretty lucky compared to some that grew them last year. I had almost 100% germination within 10 days. I started them in moist paper towels, in plastic bags that weren't completely sealed and then I stuck them in a tray on a heat mat and left them in my closet. With the Tepins, Habaneros and Bhuts I expected 2-3 weeks just to germinate and was quite surprised when I had them in small pots 2 weeks.
Bhut Jolokia, Naga Morich, and Dorset Naga all germinated in 10 days for me. I set the tray of seed in a back room with a wood heater that kept the room near 90 degrees. This is near perfect germinating conditions for hot peppers.
Brian, the Bhuts will get larger if planted in the ground
in your zone, they get around 5 feet tall here, kinda
bushy too,you need to give them room to spread out some (I
plant them on 2 1/2 foot centers).
Still waiting for my babies to arrive :-( I can't wait! I was hoping to get a good head-start on my peppers, but it looks like that won't be happening unless I get them soon.
P.S. Thanks for all the great advice guys!
If your worried about your first run (I wasn't sure if you were waiting for seeds or seedlings), I also ordered my seed as well as a couple of plants from here http://green2995.stores.yahoo.net/bhjoseandpl.html
They arrived in perfect condition in 2-3 days and they even included a sample of some dried jolokia to taste. I was too psyched to have a bad first time run so I backed myself up with seedling/plants (6-8"), just to get an earlier start here in zone 6.
Here is a link that might be useful: Green Earth Inc
the temptation will be to pick them orange because they stay that color for a while. don't give in. let them ripen to red on the plant. they will be substantially hotter for it.
I got my seeds in the mail a while ago, and I am trying to germinate them. I put four seeds in a small pot with some heat tape wrapped around it. Hopefully they will germinate well and produce.
As Shelbyguy said let them get very red....like this.
Hi everyone I just got my seeds in the mail does anyone know the best way to plant and how much to water them?
Grow them like any other pepper or tomato.
I have 6 of them coming in late April. Last year I grew Red Savinas in 5, 8, and 10 gallon pots. The largest was in the 8 gallon pot and was almost 5 feet square. Had many lbs. of peppers from this and the others. I uae an organic mix that seems to keep them happy. I brought in 2 of the best Savinas to overwinter, cutting them back. The have since lost all but new leaf growth. I feel after a week in the warm spring sun, they will come back even larger than last year. Now I will need to find some 12 to 15 gallon pots to run them in. Do habaneros get stronger (heat) with age? Thanks TiMo
Fusion Power or anyone else, do you have seeds of those 3 varieties I can try? I want something hotter than habaneros.
Bhut Jolokias are habaneros. there are no hotter peppers than habaneros. I suggest you try red savinas, scotch bonnets. Most folks cannot handle these. I was fortunate enough to try a Bhut Jolokia last year grown by another pepper grower, and suffice to say I was in agony bliss! These devils are dangerous! Good fruity flavor to start though. I plan on hybridizing them with my savinas, and my hybrid savina scotch bonnet that is also a barn burner.
I have a question about these. I love the hot peppers - the hotter the better. I have a neighbor that loves as hot as possible as much as I do and we enjoy comparing peppers. Having said that I also love the less hot peppers and enjoy having a flavorful variety so it isn't about just trying to see who can eat the hottest pepper.
My question is, especially hearing they have great flavor as well as that intense heat, are they really edible in a normal pepper-eating kind of way? When you say they're dangerious do you mean you really have to be careful how you eat them or are they ok in cooking things you'd generally put the hottest peppers into?
Unfortunately, I bought a bhut jolokia plant last year and it never did much and never had a chance to put out any fruit and I'm still dying to try it. But not if it really is difficult to eat.
Never mind...I just watched the video of the WSJ reporter that ate a fresh Bhut Jolokia and he's still alive. :o) That's all I needed to know.
Hey guys... Back on topic here.
I started some Bhut Jolokia seeds in a hothouse at the beginning of March. 20 seeds, 19 germinated. I used some jumpstart cocoplugs and a heat pad. My little seedlings seem to be growing very very slowly. They still only have their starter leaves and some of the seedlings have leaves which are starting to curl under.
I am trying to keep the moisture level pretty constant, but since they have germinated, I took the dome off of my hot house. I also was putting them under a plant-grow light for a few hours after the sun went down. I was told that that this could be part of the problem, as I am just burning the starter leaves with too high of an intensity light. So a friend told me this was most likely the cause of my sudden demise on a few of the seedlings.
Still, they just are not growing that fast. I can barely see the start of a new leaf on a few of the plants, and some of them I cannot see any new leafs sprouting at all.
Suggestions? I really want these guys to survive!
I have a few pics here: (sorry for the size, I am too lazy to downsize!)
(I live in Southeast Oklahoma (Durant), 90 miles north of Dallas)
I'm not sure I'd agree with the grow light being a problem. Maybe the high humidity with the cover on or overwatering resulted in damping off. Too much moisture is not a good thing.
Seedlings need a lot of light. Most grow lights are less intense than outdoor sunlight and should not burn the leaves. Without enough light, growth will be slow and your plants will not thrive. Many of us keep our seedlings within 1 to 2 inches of the bulbs for 14-18 hours a day, and they do fine.
The plants also grow faster if it is warmer. Sometimes a heat mat after germination is needed if you have an especially cool home.....as in temperature :)
So should keep the cover off and keep it under my lighting system?
My Grow Light info is: compact fl. with specs: 120V 60kHz 125W 2700K 1.49A on a hydrofarm reflector kit.
"My Grow Light info is: compact fl. with specs: 120V 60kHz 125W 2700K 1.49A on a hydrofarm reflector kit."
I'm not 100% sure on this but I think you need a light higher that 2700k. I know that in aquariums you need at least 6000k to grow calurpa(form of seaweed).
Hmm.... So are my plants going to not get any light out of this comp. fl. then?
I think they will do fine. Maybe someone with more technical knowledge can tell you why. I just know I've grown transplants under various inexpensive flourescents made for residential lighting and they have all done well. If I wanted them to flower and fruit inside the house I would need to be more particular...although I have peppers on several plants right now and they have had only cheap flourescent lighting since December.
And isn't yours called a grow light? Seems like a grow light should work for growing :)
I'm no expert but I concur with naturegirl on the CF lights getting you by but I don't think they produce enough intensity over a good sized area. Most growing under four 4 foot F tubes place seedlings 2-3 inches below the tubes to keep them going until they get outside under the sun. I am doing this now. I'm also using a 400W high intensity discharge (HID) light over other seedlings and can adequately cover a 4x4 foot area. I've got 6-8 weeks to go before I can start moving my seedlins,both under HID and F tubes (including 5 Bhuts) outside and am comfortable the F tubes will suffice till then.
I'm also growing three Bhuts in a hydroponic bucket under another 400W HID. It's the only way to bring them to fruit indoors.
I suggest you wonder over to the Growing Under Lights Forum. I'm sure the experts over there will answer all your questions with authority.
Best of luck,
Also, I am not too concerned with overall coverage area. I have the light about 2 inches from the seed tray, which is only 11 inches by 22 inches overall...
I took some seedlings, stuck them in some nice compost soil that I have and took them outside and added a little chicken manure. I figure either the outoor ones will survive, or the indoor ones will.
Anyone here care to trade some of these seeds? I want to try them and compare with the new Naga Jolokia plants I have going. I know they are different types but I want to have contrasting flavor/heat. Thanks.
My little guys don't look like they will make it. I have been babying them constantly and I transplanted them into their own pots a few weeks ago. They had a very tiny root system, although the plants are still small. They have maybe 2-3 sets of leaves and they are all starting to curl under and turn yellow. I thought they might have been getting too much water so I poked some holes in the soil(away from the roots) in hopes to dry it out quicker. Maybe they need a tiny bit of fertilizer? please help!
P.S. I'm very impressed by those pictures you guys posted! I envy you guys :-). (or gals)
Piranha, good thought about the water. Too much water causes alot of problems. It's better to keep them on the dry side. Poke some extra holes in the pots if there aren't alot there already. If the holes are only on the bottom, add some to the sides or/and make sure the pots are not setting on a flat surface that blocks the drain holes. A ribbed tray works well.
I've had my super busy tax accountant husband taking care of mine the past week while I was gone. Understandably, he had little time to water or fuss over the plants yet the plants looked incredible when I came home and definitely on the dry side. I'm like you and tend to baby the plants. DH showed me that isn't needed or even good.
He and I water with a dilute fertilizer solution....1/2 teaspoon Miracle Gro in a gallon of water. I usually start using that when the plants have 2 or 3 true leaves....or when they start to look a bit yellowish. Once yours dry out quite a bit, you may want to try some dilute fertilizer.
I have a plant I put out in the spring it grew to a nice 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide! It's covered in fruit but......it won't turn red! I have no idea why! I just dug up the plant and put it in a deck pot so I can move it in for the cold nights but I have been waiting and waiting but they are still green! Any idea why? It's been over a month and a half since the fruit started to appear. Am I just being impatient? I have grown Red Savinas and many other peppers but this has never happened before! Please help!!!!
I am interested in growing bhut jolokias but have not attempted. I was reading on here when searching for info and noticed the posts about compact fluorescent lights and thought I might give some input.
Keep in mind i've never grown peppers before, but in growing other plants, I know which temperature rating is best (27k, 6k, or cool white, warm white, etc) largely depends on the type of plant as well as the stage of growth (sprouting, vegetating, fruiting..) What many growers do is use a variety of temperature ratings, so as to better mimic the full-spectrum provided by natural sunlight.
Keep in mind that CFL lights indeed do not provide great penetration and intensity (due to low wattage; more wattage = more penetration). At the same time, generally the higher the wattage the less lumens per watt you will get. Many have found that about 23 watt CFL's when placed up close provide satisfactory penetration and still a good amount of lumens per watt. The trick is to use many CFL's and place them as close to the plants as possible; they run cooler than high intensity discharge lights such as metal halide or high pressure sodium, and therefore can get closer without burning. Because they are cheap and small and cool and do not require external ballasts, you can arrange them around the plants so that light penetration comes from many angles. The other benefit of this is that if a single bulb burns out, you still have good light getting through from the remaining bulbs, and it will only cost a couple of bucks and a couple of minutes to replace the burned light.
I plan to do lots of experimentation with bhut jolokias and find optimal growing conditions for yield as well as quality (keep in mind that with fruits one is usually a trade off for the other). I would like to try different lighting cycles, different light color temperature ratings, etc. If I ever get that done I will chart findings and post all over the web. Hope this info helps.
Wish I could get my hands on some Jolokias, but serrano and jalapeno will have to do, habanero are still to small. heres the serrano and jalapeno bout 3 weeks old under CF lights.
I backed off the other 2 CF lights to get a pic, but are usually within 2 inches from the plants as the one you see in the upper right..I stuffed the reflector with aluminum foil..
it's pretty bright.and since those peat pots dry out so quickly I have them placed inside little 8oz styro foam cups..it helps..
i think i messed my first germination up i dont know if i did this right or not i first got the seeds today well this morning i got a pot since i don't have a little tray i put them in there about a inch in the middle and i let my baby cousin put in a seed in the corner and then i watered it and put it by my heater my heater has been going at about 75 degrees around there can anyone tell me if im doing good or any tips on when to water them ?
Just planted some seeds last night. The paper that came with the seeds stated that they can take up to 160 days before harvest. Does anyone know how accurate this to be? Thanks, J
I bought a couple bhuts last year online and they seemed to take forever to start growing, so I bought seeds this year from NMSU and started them 30 days ago thinking they would be slow growers, well they are actually growing like crazy( have some pics I can post later of my setup)and I have 6-8 weeks to go until the last frost date here. Any advice on how to make it 2 more months? I have them in 3.5 x 3.5 containers now and 12 hours of light per day.
I'm not an expert but cooler temperatures, low nutrient levels, less light, shorter light cycles, small containers and pinching off shoots and flowers could keep them under control. In my experience the Bhut Jolokia sends off so many side shoots that a bit of pruning helps.
thanks for the response, by shorter light cycle do you mean less than 12 hours a day? or shorter cycle like 6 hours on, 6 hours off, etc. Since it is such a bushy plant, would it be crazy to just "top it off"?
I wouldn't go less than 12/12. I wasn't sure what you had them on before, but I think changing from 24/0 to something like 16/8 or 14/10 would slow them down a bit. I've only grown a few, but they were all eventually topped. Nice setup BTW, what do you plan to do with all those? I didn't have a mega harvest but I ended up having to dry most of them for powder, it's so hard to eat more than one a day.
I make a lot of pepper jelly, about 300 9 ounce jars last year. I use 3-4 peppers per batch which yields about 20 jars. The rest I dried and pickled, that was 2 plants, I pickled a one gallon jar and dried enough to fill two gallon ziploc bags. The local food co-op wants to sell them this spring, so I was trying to get around 50 for them. I am going to let them go for a while, then probably try and top them off or trim them back, I'd hate to have to change containers. Thanks again.
I'm a "FTG" myself (first-time grower). I just planted my ghost chili seeds that I received from NMSU Chili Pepper Institute on 4 Mar. My fingers are crossed. I have 12 seed containers planted, with two seeds per, planning to crop back the weakest seedling in favor of the strongest. With the temps starting to rise here in FL, I feel that the sun will do the seedlings some good. I was amazed to read from some of you to see seedlings in 10 days. Now I'm really excited. I'm growing mine for my homemade salsa recipe - which after seeing Adam Richman from Man vs. Food eat the pasta with the ghost chili up in Boston, I think I have to come up with a new, hotter name for my hottest, which right now is Armageddon. This may put it up to Supernova. Thanks for the tips, etc. I'll submit pics, etc. when my babies start growing here in central FL.
I grew bhuts last year, and am doing so this year. From the pictures you have there, I wouldn't worry too much yet. From my experience, and from what others have stated, the bhuts get to a certain size (about like what you have there) then they pause for a little while. (Someone correct me if I am wrong). I would just keep on doing what you are doing and not worry about it. It takes soooo long to get mature peppers off of this thing, don't waste time!
Probably my first post here; anyways, I have started to grow a mix of Bhut Joloika/Naga/something I can't remember in a small starter tray, and had it for almost 24/7 under a halogen light for heat for about a week now. Last Wednesday three seeds appeared to have broken the soil, but on Friday, my mother moved the seeds outside for sun, and when it got dark left them without heat for roughly four hours while I was gone. I have had it under the heat lamp since, but the seeds seem to show no progress. Has this damaged them? Should they have sprouted by now?
In my experience Bhut Jolokia and similiar chinense peppers need:
soil on the dry side(dry on top only.
ph 6 for good growth but they will grow up to ph 8.
very weak foilage spray on a regular basis, high nitrogen during early growth then switch to a bloom mix when flowering.
constant 15-30 celsius.
some humidity but not excessive.
good seeds to start with.
heavy watering will shock(fruit drop possible)
water drought from very hot days(may need water several times a day in smaller amounts or keep in heavy shade on 35 celsius and above days.
Never drop old fruit on the ground(attracts fruit fly).
Here is a link that might be useful: Bhut Jolokia best growing conditions
I am a first time grower of the Bhut Jolokia / Ghost pepper. Just 5 days ago I purchased one of those seed trays with a heating pad at the bottom. My seed were sown that evening and to my suprise last night they had already germinated, pushing up the soil in most of the tray cells. This morning I was even more shocked to see that 3 of them had produced their first leaves. After reading how long and how hard they are to grow, I am very pleased with the results so far. Just hope they continue in such a way and I get some good fruits at the end.
I too am trying to grow jolokias for the first time this year. I had great germination but none are very big at all and a few died off. The largest one is maybe 1/8 inch tall with maybe 2 sets of real leaves and the leaf size is about the size of a pencil eraser? also just recently the leaves are starting to get a little yellow so I backed off the water, but it is almost 90 degrees here now everyday. anyone else have this problem before? I don't know what i'm doing wrong.
I've been growing chillies for about 30 yrs now, and this year decided to try my hand at the famous, or should I say infamous,Bhut Jolokia. Well due to the Godforesaken, British climate it,s proving to be a bit of a struggle to say the least. It,s been a nightmare trying to maintain a decent temperature, I built a greenhouse especially for them, it has underfloor heating, and various heaters constantly working overtime, and I,m only achieving temperatures of 70-75. barely enough, thats with outside temps dropping to 0 to-1, just hope this weather improves.
Add me to the list of ghost pepper attempters! Thanks to a most generous and plant crazy relative, I was provided one pepper with seeds to start on. I intend to grow it as a specimen this first year and hope for fruits to gain extra seeds. It will be babied like royalty for sure. One thing I remember reading about the heat units......the climate in which the peppers are grown has some bearing on the heat factor. The higher the humidity the milder the pepper, the drier, the hotter. Regardless, if I am able to get a harvest I intend to use the peppers in my critter repellants.
"Regardless, if I am able to get a harvest I intend to use the peppers in my critter repellants."
I trapped and relocated 16 squirrels this year, but one guy was wise to me. Squirrels were wreaking havoc on my bird feeder....so I trapped them and took them to the golf course I work at. The other day I made a special batch of of bhut laced sunflower seeds and was fortunate to actually see mr. squirrel sample them....he honestly looked like he saw a ghost after that second bite, it was pretty cool.
Hi! Long Time Gardener, First Time Poster!
I just purchased (And it has since arrived 4 days ago)
A Ghost Chili growing kit with pre-planted seeds which just needed water (It came in a weird container that I had to pop the top off and open the bottom of.) It's been a few days and I've been moving it outside in the morning for the sun then moving it back in, in the noon time. Though today I think I ran late on bringing it back in and when I added some water, the water that came out the bottom was very hot. Could this have harmed the seeds in anyway? Or can I be safe to say that it should still germinate, or did I just boil the poor thing? (Like I said, only been 4 days since purchased.)
Ok So I also just planted 8 red caribbean habanero's in my backyard garden which gets mostly full sun (I say mostly because there's a tree nearby that has limbs that dangle alittle over the garden)
The soil I'm using is average, since I'm pretty shy at fertilizing. I mean the soil isn't too bad since my Hungarian Wax peppers are fruiting quite well just a few feet away.
My question is, how do I get them to grow large and fast... and most of all HEALTHY.
I ask for help since you all seem to be very knowledgeable on these types of plants and it seems I either get the plants to thrive beautifully, or die miserably. I already have alot of friends and family anxiously waiting for these peppers to fruit and to try them. So failure would be kind of a let down. So any advice to 'JUST' above Novice Gardener?
I've been growing some bhut's since around december. My plants are outside (in Houston, TX) and are currently about 2 1/2 feet tall. I just noticed peppers starting to grow. Since the peppers are green and I did not notice them until recently, I don't know how long they've been growing. The peppers range in size from about 1/3 inch to about 2 inches. How long does it take a bhut pepper to age to maturity (bright red). I'm really excited to try these peppers.
This is my first year growing ghosts. I did all from seeds staring in january. Planted outside iApril 15.
Here's the pepper row now.
The ghosts are producing well in soil with mushroom compost mixed in (i harvest large amounts of it annually).
One days harvest.
Hi guys, thanks for all of the great info over the years! I actually picked my first (green) bhut a few days ago, cut it up, and licked the tip of the knife. HOLY SMOKES was it hot! I can't wait until they are ripened and even hotter :)
Hubris, what zone are you in? Your plants look amazing! Mine are in large pots, but they don't even come close to yours.
Springfield, Il. What is that, zone 5 i think. Hot and humid all summer long. This week has averaged 95 in the shade with 93% humidity. The whole garden is plastic mulched, which further raises the temperature of the peppers feet, which i think helps a lot. As for the size of the plants, you can see my nitrogen source in the background of the first pic and i run about 55 gallons per day through a drip irrigation system under the plastic. Makes for some big, proliferative peppers.
I recently retired and was looking for a hobby. After reading the post, I'm excited about trying Jolokia Peppers. Sounds like great fun. Went to a Chili Cook-off last weekend and someone was selling these peppers (expensive $5.00 each). I bought two to harvest the seeds. I just put them on a paper towel in the window. Is this OK. When will the seeds be dried, how do I store them, and to be goof proof for a novice, do I need a seed growing kit with heat pad? I plan on purchasing more seeds from NMSU. I live in Corona, Ca. Thanks
I would say about 1 month the seeds should be ready to germinate. These bugars like the soil temp around 80 to 90 degees. Can take up to a month to sprout.Heating pad would be good. Keep them inside for a few months during the winter then bust them out in early spring. Not sure about the weather in Cali but that's what I do Florida.
I'm not 100% sure on this but I think you need a light higher that 2700k. I know that in aquariums you need at least 6000k to grow calurpa(form of seaweed)."
Guila is correct, a 2700k cfl is for the flowering, fruiting stage of a plant. It mimics the fall sun. A 6500K cfl is the proper color temperature for sprouting/growing stage. You can use both in combination when the plants get bigger.
What size pots should I use if I decide not to plant them in the ground? I know they grow large. Any suggestions?
I just got my seeds in from NMSU and yes - I am stoked!
Having heard everything from treating them like any other pepper or that they are as complicated as raising mugwai, what advice might some of you all have considering I am in the Houston area?
The avg highs are nearing the 80's here.
I have already taken a few of the seeds and are germinating them in starter soil on my window sill.
I've been learning the hard way that just because I have good strong grow lights doesn't mean my bhuts aren't going to have to be hardened off slowly.
I put mine (just sprouted first true sets of leaves this week) out for some morning sun here at work, got busy and forgot about them until noon. The leaves are already turning white.
Hey, got a legit question for future bhut planting.
I've read repeatedly that its best to let these dry out between watering. I also have some of those water crystal silica/gel grains that swell up when you over water and slowly bleed it back out when you forget to water.
Has anyone had any experience mixing these in with bhut (or any other hot pepper) soil?
hubby wants to grow some Bhut Peppers. We live in Utah and was wondering if it's possible to grow them here? When is the best time to start growing them? Any tips would be appreciated.
Sure you can grow them where you are at. But you will normally have to start them indoors. I am growing some here in Wisconsin in zone 4. I started Mine in January and will but putting them outside in their summer spots in a couple weeks. You might have enough time to grow some this year but it might be close. I am not real familiar with zone 6 but I would guess you got time this year. The key is that you should start them early enough so that they are ready for their summer home when night temps are consistently above 50 degrees. Bhuts dont like less than 50 degrees. I would guess you should start your seeds in March. Then put them through the hardening off process before putting them outside for good. If you use containers for your Peppers, you can probably get them outside a couple weeks earlier since you can bring them in on nights where the temp is supposed to get cold.
For this year, you should still have time to get some peppers but you should start now unless you can find some starters somewhere. Those are pretty tough to find however. Most people who grow Bhuts must do so from seed.
I hate growing from seed. You all must be wonderfully patient people. I stumbled on a website where you can get tons of varieties of peppers and even chocolate bhut jolokias. I haven't ordered from them because I managed to track a bhut seller in a distant farmer's market. The only downside for the website is that you have to buy at least 12 plants at a time. At least they only between $3-$4 each.
Also, my bhut jolokia aren't growing very fast and the leaves are always curled up. I have the same problem with my habs. I almost never water them so I don't think it's because they have wet feet. Is it possible that the heat is causing it? The temperature was around 97 degrees today (Arizona).
I have just one Bhut plant that has grown just fine so far.
However, it is beginning to flower, many, many flowers for the last 2 weeks now. Problem is, not a single one so far has resulted in the formation of any peppers. It seems that the flowers are just blooming and then falling off.
Any advice would be great!
At one point, many of mine were falling off unpollinated also. It was due to one of two issues as far as I can tell. Only one would apply in your case. The first issue was possibly that I already had too many buds that were fertilized so the plant was just dropping the rest. This one obviously doesn't apply to you. The second issue that could be your problem is that it just was too dang hot for too long. At the time, we were going through a long nasty hot, mid to high 90's heat wave with high night temps too. By the time the heat wave ended, the plants ceased putting out blooms altogether as I had loads of pods on the plants already. Now that I have picked several ripe pods, they are again starting to put out buds again. Have you been going through a hot spell at all?
Also, try shaking the blooms slightly when they are open. That helps to pollinate them. Just flick the branches slightly or even the blooms themselves. You can do this once or twice a day.
I was provided four cuttings that were just barely rooted. Once past frost season, I stuck them in the aquaponic system and just let them be. In a ring about 8" apart. Today they are 3 to 4 feet tall and are interweaving to make a 5-foot diameter canopy. We had a pretty bad drought this year (like last year) but that's why I built the aquaponic system. Otherwise, I never know if I'm overwatering or underwatering...
Night temps have dropped enough now for some fruit pods to set. I can't wait to ripen and try them! Should have hundreds of nice pure strain seeds too, no one is growing any chiles anywhere near me. I will put some pics on the site linked below.
Here is a link that might be useful: My Aquaponic Journal
would love to grow some of these, where would be the best place to source Bhut Jolokia and Ghosts??
would love to trade but am a fairly new grower so probs got nothing you all already havent got :D
HELP!! Okay, I'm around the Seattle area. I've got a beautiful Bhut that I grew from seed this year that's about 18" tall. I have flowers. I can't get the damn thing to fruit though and it's driving me crazy. I brought it inside since Fall hit a few weeks back. Temperature is around 68-70 inside. I have a plant fluorescent light on it for about 6-10 hours a day. I hand pollinate every couple of days with a damp fine paint brush. There's still some flowers left to open. The previous ones open, wilt a bit and eventually fall off at the stalk.
What else can I try!?
Some swear by an epsom salts bath. Make a solution and spray the leaves until they drip. Repeat for a couple of days.
I think iron, especially a foliar spray of seaweed (MaxiCrop is one) with chelated iron included, is a good thing to try. If you test a high pH in your soil, try the iron first.
Here is a link that might be useful: A Suburban Houston Aquaponic Outpost
Alex, I have a feeling it is suffering from being indoors. Typically, they dont produce real well indoors. Most people keep them indoors just to get them through until the next growing season starts. Even if it winds up producing any significant crop, it is probably hurting right now due to the change from natural sun light to artificial light. Also, 6-10 hours of light is a bit low in my opinion. Usually 12+ hours of artificial light is recommended.
Good luck and keep us updated on the progress. Also, post a photo or two if you get a chance.
Its also good to check the light. There is a difference between a plant light and a growing light. Lot of times the stuff labeled as a plant light will say "for the appearance of healthy plants", usually by tinting it blue so that the greens look darker.
Thats not actually what the plant wants/needs. If you want a good grow light, you should get it from a nursery as they'll be able to tell you what you need (for example, the light spectrum you want for fruiting is different from sprouting/growing leaves).
I purchased some seeds, started growing them.. Had 2 of 4 sprout up, 1 perished.. I started them in an AeroGarden, and I've got the survivor in a pot now hoping to salvage it. Looking at pictures online, mine looks a bit different than everyone else's. I've got it under sun most of the day, since it's rather cold out (I plan on starting a few more this week). My plant is about 5 weeks old, I'm just looking for some tips on how to keep it growing well. Thanks.
it is pretty tough to tell from such a small plant if it is a genuine Bhut. Bhuts are one of them most commonly counterfeited peppers seeds out there. Many times, people are sold Habanero seeds that are labeled Bhut Jolokia. Unless you purchased from a solid reputable source, you will just have to wait and see.
My suggestions to keep it growing is:
1: Dont overwater it. It is getting close to the stage where it will be vulnerable to Damping Off Fungus and other inflictions caused mainly from soil that is too moist for too long. Along with this is make sure you are using well draining soil.
2: Give it some artificial lighting if it isn't getting a good amount every day from the sun.
3: Make sure it has good air circulation, a small fan or other source of air movement is highly suggested.
4: Use nutrients and fertilizers very sparingly.
Good luck and keep us updated.
PS: If that thing survives, it is probably going to be pretty big by the time you can get it outside permanently next summer.
I second everything esox said. I'd put it under a florescent light - within a couple inches. Otherwise, it's just going to be stretchy.
Thanks! I've had it under fluorescent lights pretty constantly.. Just when it's sunny enough, I put it in a window to try and give it some natural light. I got it from someone who had the peppers, so I'd thought they were the real deal. I try to water it just a bit, once a day to avoid over watering, as that's what every forum I've read says. I'll have to try the fan, and possibly get some better nutrients. I've got it growing next to some tobacco plants, I doubt the fan would bother them though. I'll definitely post more as it moves along.
Bruce & Rick etc, thanks for the info. I'll try it out.
It's just developed a bunch more flowers. The first flower after a few days fell off despite attempts at hand pollinating. It's grown considerably since being inside and seems otherwise happy. It's in a South facing window + I'm increasing the grow light time. I've added some epsom salt water & will try spraying and get some iron supplements in. I tried using greenlight tomato bloom spray that includes calcium. The growlight is a Sylvania gro-lux flourescent.
Happy New Year!
I have some pictures
Nice looking plants. It sure looks like they want that light coming through the window. When we get to longer days, it will help you out some. Getting blooms to set indoors is just really tough though. Good luck.
Hi, I purchased some seeds from the chili pepper institute and my plants are like 4 months old. It has been like a roller coaster ride with these plants... didn't know iguanas like them very much...:( they ate most of the leaves. They survived and are growing strong in their individual pots. I have been seeing a problem though; new leaves are starting to grow brownish and are getting curled up. I don't know why this is happening. any solutions? I've been fertilizing with 15-15-15 and receiving plenty of sun and water. temps are around 30Ã¯Â¿Â½C. (south america).
this is an example.look at the top leaves.. they are getting worse.. Thanks 4 ur help
Here is a link that might be useful:
I'm a first time grower of the bhut jolokia and so far I'm extremely pleased with the turn out. I planted 4 seeds on January 6th and I had my first one sprout on the 12th. Are they supposed to come up that fast? I had been giving it a constant soil temperature around 86F (thanks to some bottom heat) and a surrounding air temperature of 81F. I have the seedling on a pretty cheap fluorescent right now but I will be upgrading it tomorrow with something better. Ideally I'd like to get a light that will act as a multi-tasker for my other vegetables I'll be starting indoors. Any suggestions on how many kelvins i should shoot for? I know certain mimic shade, partial shade and full sun. I'd get the full sun but I'f i happen to start lettuce or other partial shade veggies I don't want to burn them.
Also, any suggestions of types of fertilizers I should be giving the bhut at the seedling stage?
After doing a quick search on google Borolo, i found a link that brought me back to this forum that suggests excess nitrogen and aphids are likely culprits (along with weed killer, and a number of other things).
Here is a link that might be useful: For your reading pleasure :)
This will be my first season growing these devils and was wondering howfar away I should keep these from other pepper plants in my garden? I intend to harvest the seeds but have read about cross polination problems. I got some fresh bhuts in fall 2011 from a produce supplier that had them shipped from Holland. Also, if these did cross pollinate with the Trinidad Scorpion pepper that i am also growing, will my 2013 crop produce a hybrid? Is getting a hybrid as simple as cross pollinating??? thanks in advance
I don't think it matters how close you keep them or how far you separate them. Peppers will readily self pollinate, so, that is the most likely scenario. But, there is always the chance that wind or insects will carry pollen from another plant which can be 2 ft or 2 football fields away. If you want to ensure no cross pollination, you need to isolate the plant / buds before they open. If they did cross, then next year's seeds would be a hybrid..not a stable one, but, every seed would be some combination of genetics from the parents.
Any seedling with artificial light should be under "daylight" 6500k bulbs, as bright as you can get. I use the 150w equivalent daylight CFLs from Walmart, and they work quite well.
I've grown them indoors and out and have had blooms and fruit indoors. I hope to answer some of the above questions based on my experience and research.
Peppers need a LOT of light to set bloom. I grew peppers under a combination of 6500K T5H0's and LED. Planted in February, they bloomed before I put them out end of May (Zone 5a). I did have some fruit set before putting them out, but only the ones that grew directly under the strongest part of the LED. I found they grew best on top of a heat mat keeping the roots slightly warmer then the air. I really didn't get most of the fruit set until I put the plants outdoor in black pots. I started harvesting the second half of July which was quite early. Plants I put in the ground didn't mature until late August/September and lost many to frost. I think the ground temps were the reason, and I think I need black plastic mulch to harvest earlier in the ground.
The point I'm making is that peppers like a LOT of light, and warm roots to mature quickly. They grew vegetatively quite well under 6500K T5H0's but I don't think that's suffficient for fruit set. Fine for prepping for outdoor growing, but not enough for growing indoors. The additional strong red light of the LED did allow for fruit set though.
I think lighting is a factor but not a sole factor and maybe not even the main factor. I used shop lights with 40W T12 6500K bulbs last year and I had lots of blooming going on before I got them outside for the summer (zone 4b). I had many set fruit also and let one go to maturity. The others I snipped as they began to grow. I "think" the limiting factor indoors is a combination of things. One of which is light. I dont think indoors provides very good pollination factors such as insects and wind. I think temps have something to do with it too. Seems to me I remember hearing that pollination occurs best in the early afternoon outdoors. That is hard to replicate indoors. Basically, the best thing is to get it outside with the bugs, temp variations, wind, and real sun.
Bruce I agree. Personally, I still think the sun is the main factor for peppers, but there certainly are other factors outdoors as you mention. The fact that the peppers in pots did much better then in the ground with basically the same amount of sun points to other factors. The main difference between the two that point to is the temperature of the roots. The ground temperature was much slower to raise then the black pots that actually got quite warm, but didn't seem to hurt the plants. Other factors that varied that I can't rule out were the difference between soil and soilless mix, and organic vs chem ferts. My gut feeling, and that's all it is the main two factors were sun and soil temperature, mainly because manipulating these factors indoors made a big difference.
Yes, you are definitely right about temps at the roots and the soil type. They can make a big difference.
Hello everyone! I'm glad to see this forum! I'm a first time bhut jolokia grower and I think I will need to use your help a lot! (and sorry for the bad english, I am french speaking guy here)
I need to know what kind of artificial lightning to use when my seeds begin to sprout? Can I use a simple neon, the cheap ones? If not, can you guys help me by telling me a specific lamp or neon type/brand? Thanks guys, I appreciate it!
I use inexpensive shop lights that are 4 feet or about 1.2 meters long. They each use two 40 watt, t12 fluorescent bulbs that are labeled "daylight" and have a spectrum rating of 6500K. You can also use the CFL bulbs (twist style) but just make sure they are rated as "daylight"/6500K. Some people use LED lighting also. Others can chime in on that.
Thank you Bruce. Do you use the same lightning for all the maturity process or I would need another source of lightning in the process? I'm planning on growing indoors only, because here in Quebec, even in summer, temperature can be unpredictabely cold.
Thanks again for your answers.
Yes, those should be good for all season. I would try to get them outdoors as much as possible when the weather is nice though. There isn't anything like real sun. Also, do not forget to harden them off if you do take them outdoors at all. If you are unsure what the hardening off process is, just search for it in these forums. Basically it is introducing your house grown plants to the sun and other elements. If you just plunk them down outside in full sun one day when it hits 80 degrees, they will get fried.
Thanks for the tip! I will definetly harden them off, but only when the temperature outside will be around 80-85 and I will start with just a few minutes per day! But untill then, I'M still waiting for the seeds to sprout ;)
marclocas: You can wait for the higher temps but I started hardening mine off last spring when ever it got in the 50's outside. I would bring them in when the temps started dropping under 50. You can wait but I would start much sooner than 80-85. You are in Canada so I assume your climate isn't much warmer than me in Wisconsin. Last year I was putting them out in late March on acceptable days. They were out on a permanent basis by the end of May. Definitely start hardening them off at least two weeks prior to putting them out permanent.
to Bruce : Thank you. I tought that the soil temperature had to be between 80-87 degrees (from the instructions that came with the seeds) at all times! Oh well, it would be good news for me if I can transplant them outdoors. But still, I'm pretty scared that I would kill the plants if it's too cold. I guess that I could try and test with one and if it works , I put them all outside. And again, sorry for the bad english, and thanks again for answering me... I don't want to be a pain in the a** with all my questions.
Yes, they do need warm roots when they are seelings. But by the time they get about 20cm or larger, they should be fine to go outside for good and certainly for a couple hours at a time when the temps are above 50. The larger the better though. This will be probably about 2 months or so after you planted the seeds. 2-4 weeks prior to getting them outside for good is when you should start hardening them off. You want to harden them off slowly to get them ready so it isn't a big shock to them. Many times, just being transplanted and the change in climates when planting outside will temporarily stall their growth for a little while but then they settle in and go right back to growing, putting out blooms and eventually little peppers.
Just for reference, I am in zone 4b and I figure to get my peppers outside in the last half of May.
Use the link below to find your growing zone and from there you can estimate when you will be able to get your plants outside for good. Make sure you click the link for Canada growing zones.
Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Zones
Some seeds have sprout this morning. This is a great day! @ Bruce : the link for Canada growing zones did not work, but I found the info somewhere else. Thanks for your support!
I'm so happy to see some seeds hooking after only 7 days after I put them in the soil! I thought it would take up to 1 month! I now have to go to the gardening store to buy some lightening.
I will definetly be back for more questions, anr/or help new people in this forum!
Is there anything else I need to know for now? I will put the lights 2 inches from the seedlings.
24/24 of lightning for 2 weeks and after that, 16h of lightning and 8h of darkness until i have 2 or 3 sets of true leaves before transplanting them in a 16 ounce cup.
I will start hardering them off at that time. Sounds good?
Sounds pretty good. Just make sure you use the correct types of bulbs as suggested earlier in this thread. Also, I never run my lights 24/7, even for few days. I think anywhere from 12-18 a day is fine with 14-16 being the sweet spot. I have read where continuous light isn't a good thing although I dont remember where I read that.
I don't think 24 hours of light is necessarily bad...but, you just reach a point of diminishing returns. I don't have any proof / evidence of that...just my gut feeling based on the debates of how long to leave lights on. I turn my lights on when I get up, and turn them off when I go to bed. So, they get about 16 hours a day.
There was a thread recently on another forum, that basically said the majority of the growing occurs during the night cycle. Calvin light cycle I believe its called... 18/6 was the max recommended iirc, though I've heard of other studies saying that 24/7 is beneficial if used for a few days/week or two, because the plant stores up all that energy, and then grows like crazy.
*shrug* I don't have any type of lighting beyond the sun.
Thanks guys. I will try 1 week with the lights on 24/24 with a couple seedlings and 16-18 with the rest. Can't wait to see any results.
Yep, let us know how the experiment goes. Good luck.
Bruce, of course I will! I'll try to put a couple photos in the process. Thanks again for your help. Now, it's my turn to help the ones who want to start their seeds!
I'll be back fore more questions soon.... hehehe
Running light experiment now. Due to TOU billing, I'm attempting comparing 18 hour with 13 hour to reduce peak hourly charges. So far, 13 hour is causing faster growth (larger leaves, not stretch). Each has two T5HO's. Test had only been running for a week, but already seeing a difference with young seedlings. Not sure about larger plants yet.
I think I've seen enough to know the 13 hour cycle works just fine. I think I will put them all under that cycle for now to save energy and space. I may adjust as the plants get older. It wouldn't surprise me they may need more hours as they get older.
I have another question : When I'm ready to tranplant the seedlings, when they have 2-3 sets of true leaves, in what kind of soil should I transplant? Regular potting soil, or compost and/or a mix of the 2 or anything else?
I'm still running the little 24/24 of lightning on the seedlins...
In generic terms, potting mix, not potting soil.
Marcolas: Use the 5-1-1 mix (bark, peat, perlite) discussed in the container forum. Currently, due to running out of raw materials I have some peppers transplanted to 5-1-1 and some in Pro-Mix BX I had on hand. Pro-Mix is supposed to be one of the best commercial mixes you can buy, but I am seeing almost twice the growth in the seedlings that are in 5-1-1. I may post some pics to show the difference. It's really that much.
Yeah, I need to do some research on that as far as where to get the bark locally. I know it goes by different names / marketed under different uses, etc.. I have heard almost nothing but praise for that mix. I'd like to give it a try, just haven't gotten around to it. :-)
Agreed. If you can find a reasonably priced supply for fir bark fines or Pine bark fines that are really "fines" and not chunks, then jump on it. I have been unsuccessful in over a year searching locally. It shouldn't cost a fortune as it is normally sold as mulch. Best I can find is a local orchid nursery that will sell it for about $20 per 2 cf bag. that is 3-4 times what it should cost.
If I can't find some bark locally, what else would you suggest? Is there a pre-made-potting-mix 5-1-1 (a mix that is similar, that is aleready made) in stores? If not, is there any other commercial potting mix that would do the job? Thanks
Marc, I hope you find an answer to that question. I haven't been able to. If you are willing to pay the huge shipping prices, then you can probably get what you want but shipping is likely to double the prices.
Hmm, after making a couple of serches on the net, I finally see what I'm looking for... There is some bark fines at the garden store I usually go! And even better than that : I have a Pine tree in my backyard! Thanks for your answers.
And sorry again for my bad english, I'm a french speaking guy here....
Thanks to everybody for your help!
You all only use this 5-1-1 potting mix (bark, peat, perlite)?
Or do you think that this mix would work, I found this at the store....? (I don't know the ratio): sphagnum peat moss-perlite-vermiculite-composted manure-wetting agent-calcium enriched....
Where in Quebec are you? I have been successfully growing Jolokias for a few years now in Ottawa, both in the garden and in 5 gallon pots. I have found that growing in pots in my climate (5a as well) produces the best results.
When I started growing peppers I got all hung up on making my own potting mix. I got to the point where I was growing so many plants/pots that I was thinking about renting a portable cement mixer to mix my soil blend. A master grower on this forum turned me on to Pro Mix BX. It's all I use now. You and I are lucky in that the manufacturer is in our region. Our US friends pay significantly more than we do.
If you are in Zone 5a, don't worry too much about our summers. The Jolokias are from the Assam province of India, an area with moderate temperature and high humidity. Sound familiar ;-)
I'm very near montreal : laval. I'm happy to see I'm not the only one from the area triying to grow theese devils! Pro mix BX.... je note... merci : )
Laval, J'ai grandi sur la rive sud. I had a girlfriend from Laval way back then. I still think of her now and then ;-))
You should have no issues growing Bhuts in your location.
See link if interested in Pro-Mix I use.
Here is a link that might be useful: Pro-Mix BX
Cool, thank you. There is a store 10 minutes away from my home that has some Promix! Question : where do you get your Bhut seeds?
I originally purchased my Bhut Jolokia seeds from the New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute (NMSU CPI).
My other Naga / Jolokia varieties were obtained as gifts or trades from / with other forum members. There are a lot of fine people here who love to spread the heat.
marclocas: If no one has offered you any, I have enough for one more person. email me your address if no one else has offered any Bhut Seeds.
marclocas, just say oui merci.
E-mail sent Bruce. Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it. And thanks Bill for the info. I will think of you guys when I harvest my peppers, if you need any seeds!
In the mail, will go out Monday morning.
Thank you very much! I'll take grand care of them. I appreciate this.
You don't have an email option on your profile. Send me an email via my profile page.
Ottawapepper: I have about half my pepper plants in 5-1-1 and half in Pro-mix BX. The plants in the 5-1-1 are definitely doing much better, almost twice the size. I plan to stick with the 5-1-1 when I transfer to large pots. Much better aeration in the 5-1-1.
Marclocas: You can get composted pine bark in Canada. The Alltreat Canada Red Pine Mulch is available in many stores including Canadian Tire.
Thank you Capoman. Do you think this would do the job? :
Here is a link that might be useful: this
I would not use that stuff for three reasons.
1. Cedar is not a preferred medium for the mix.
2. It isn't bark but rather the wood itself
3. Colored mulch is not recommended for a growing medium
I should know, I have a crap load of seedlings that are floundering because I violated two of those reasons. Don't make the same mistake as me.
I will stick to the Promix BX for now. I'm a first time jolokia grower. As for potting mix, I don't know anything on the subject yet...
Thanks for the advice Bruce.
Capoman, do you have a link of the exact product you are talking about?
Other question : I have plenty of fish that I will throw in the trash....dryed because of freezing for too long. I read that fish emusion is a good natural fertilizer... So I thought that I could oven-dry the fish and ground it , and add it to any soil....
I need your opinion on that one hahaha!
marclocas: Here is the product. You can search for stores in your area that sell it or can order it. It's only about $5-6 per bag.
then select Canada Red Pine Bark Mulch.
Marclocas: oops, just looked and there's no retailers of this brand in Quebec???? They are everywhere in Ontario. Do you come into this province at all?
Capoman : I don't go in Ontario too often but it's not too far away from home. Next time i'm in the area, I will buy some for sure. Thanks for the info!
As per Bruce's point 3, the product you were looking at states; Treated with a colour bonding agent to keep mulch looking better, longer,. I'm pretty sure the "agent" isn't food safe!
I checked out Capoman's link. The product is available here at Metro stores. If you want to try the 5-1-1 maybe you could ask your friendly local Metro manager to special order a bag for you.
Great the 5-1-1 mix is producing some nice size plants. I guess I'm sold on the Pro-Mix BX for a couple of reasons; 1 - I'm too lazy to mix up enough home blend for 40 - 50 5 gallon pots and 2 - I'm more concerned about root development than plant size.
I could be delusional here but I have found that the Pro-Mix with mycorrhizae promotes healthier roots. Healthier roots means my plants weather pests and some (OK sometimes more than some) neglect like champs. I suspect you'll get the same harvest from your 5-1-1 and Pro-Mix plants regardless of size. It would be interesting to get your observations at the end of this upcoming season.
"I would not use that stuff for three reasons.
1. Cedar is not a preferred medium for the mix.
2. It isn't bark but rather the wood itself
3. Colored mulch is not recommended for a growing medium"
A fourth reason I would add is cedar seems to be a squirrel magnet. They might not do much damage to pepper pods, but they love to dig & bury things in the stuff.
They can tear up roots and chomp on tomatoes, etc. while they're at it.
I will try a couple of plants with the 5-1-1 mix, and the others in Promix BX..... I think I finally found Pine barks.... I will let you know the results later..... If the peices are to large, I guess i will have some bark grounding work, that's all.
Here is a link that might be useful: barks I found.... sound good?(exept for the size)
And the bark is used more as a draining agent , to give the roots some space, or as nutrients for the plant?
Bill: I don't plan to keep peppers in Pro-mix BX for the entire season. The reason I am using it at all is the ingredients I had for 5-1-1 were all frozen solid from being outside, and I was in the middle of seedling transplanting, and had BX on hand. I may consider keeping a plant or two in BX when I move them to their final pot size if I have extra plants for an experiment, but in my experience since I started 5-1-1, I find the roots very white and healthy in 5-1-1, but I've always found that roots tend to be thin and brownish in peat dominant mixes. I'll be honest and say that I haven't used BX until now (my wife was using it), but initial results are really no different then other peat based soils I've used in the past. Maybe I just haven't adjusted to the water retention of peat based mixes. 5-1-1 is much cheaper and more forgiving.
Marclocas: Bark is to increase particle size and drainage, allowing for more oxygen to the roots. That's why roots are very white and healthy in a bark based mix. It's not used for nutrition. In fact, the 5-1-1 mix is basically an inert soil less mix. It is best treated like hydroponic. Keep pH between 5.8 and 6.2 Pro-Mix BX is also a soil less mix. You will need to add fertilizer early, but at low concentrations and build up slowly as the plants grow larger. Very similar to hydroponic. This is very different then using MG soil for example which has enough nutrition to last quite awhile without fertilizing. The biggest advantage of 5-1-1 is that it's almost impossible to overwater it. It will simply drain out. This is a big advantage when containers are outdoors, as you don't have to worry about moving containers out of the rain as you often do with peat based soils that tend to get waterlogged. Also the fast drainage of bark based soils helps prevent salt build up.
Thanks Capoman for the very explicit answer. I guess I will have to go check out hydroponic forums so I can understand...
And last question for now (untill tomorrow lol) : What kind of fertilizer to use? And in what low concentrations?
Thanks again and sorry if I ask so many questions....
Many here use Foliage Pro 9-3-6. I am unable to get it in Canada, so I've never used it. It is a complete fertilizer. Outside, I use 24-8-16 MG, but it's missing calcium and magnesium which is replaced by dolomitic lime in the 5-1-1 mix anyway. I do find for some things a bit of epsom salts (magnesium) helps. Use rainwater if possible. Indoors, I use my hydroponic nutrients, but it's just what I have and used to, and I know how to compensate for my hard tap water indoors with it.
Main difference with hydroponic or soil less mix is pH. pH for most plants is 5.8-6.2. In organic soil, pH would be higher. I would start fertilizing seedlings with about 4 true leaves at 25% or less and build up from there. Usually rainwater is at a compatible pH, and allows you full control over nutrients. Plants are quite responsive in this mix, and you can adjust quite easily.
Hey, Capoman, Try Ebay for Foliage Pro 936. I got mine from there and I realize some people don't ship to Canada, many do. Unless there is some kind of customs issue with sending ferts over the boarder.
Thanks Bruce. I'll have to try that. I went to the Dyna-Gro site and looked for dealers, and even dealers in Canada that were listed were unwilling to order for me. They had other products, but not FP 9-3-6. I suspect FP requires a minimum size order. I think I've gotten plants to close to potential for our climate with cheap MG stuff, so I haven't really concerned myself too much with it. I would like to try it though.
I will definetly go with a mix of 5-1-1 and Bx. Mother nature will let me know the results. Thanks for all your help guys.
Yeah, chemical fertilizers kind of scare me. I hope it works for me anyways.
I bought today some liquid fertilizer (plant food) : 10=10-10 Nitrogen - phosphoric acid - soluble potash. Sounds any good?
Started indoors in February. Grown organically with a 50/50 mix of manure and topsoil. 10% added vermiculite. First year plants yield about 10 peppers in the first wave and are hottest about 3-4 weeks after they've turned completely red.