Bhut Jolokia Care

Obi_JuanMay 12, 2012

Hi, I just received a sprouted Bhut Jolokia. I live in North Ohio, and the average temp. is about upper sixties to seventies. Rains often. It will get warmer here soon more like 70s - 80s everyday.

I was just wondering if I could receive some advice on growing this pepper, as I am an amateur gardener.

It has been something I've been wanting to do for awhile so all advice would be helpful!

Thanks in advance!

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Also the sprout has two levels of leaves, and is about 2-inches high.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 4:55PM
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The link below will take you to a thread where you'll find loads of information on growing Bhuts spanning four years. If you still have questions after giving it a scan, as away.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bhut Jolokia best growing conditions?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 4:58PM
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Thanks! But I was also looking for a little advice, specific to my climate.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 5:38PM
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I have no experience with your zone. I'm sure other members from your general area will chime in.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 6:38PM
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esox07 (4b)

OK, I am from S central Wisconsin. Probably a bit cooler on average than Ohio.
You have two choices, plant it in the ground or plant it in a container. I recommend a container. It should be a minimum of 3 gallon up to 7 gallons. Use well draining medium. Peat is generally not considered a good choice. It can be part of your soil mix but a small part. Straight potting soil is also not recommended. You need something with real good drainage. For a single plant, I would probably just go with MG Orchid Mix which is what I use to grow my seedlings. It has a good percentage of pine bark fines in it. I would maybe add some additional perlite to that. You will probably need two bags for a 3-5 gallon pot.

Keep your plant indoors on nights when the temps dip much below 50. Once, the temps at night stay close to or above 50 you can leave it out for good. Water it only when the soil is almost completely dried out, then water it thoroughly. Do not over water. Letting it nearly dry between waterings is crucial. Plant/place it in 3/4 to full sun. Most peppers (ghost peppers included) like a lot of sun and are more suited to southern climates so don't worry about too much sun in Ohio.

If the pepper was kept indoors up until now, make sure you harden it off before putting out in full sun/wind all day. It will be pampered and not used to the elements. Introduce it by first placing it in the shade when the temps are about 60 or higher. Then after a couple days, move it to a place that it gets an hour or two of sun a day for a few more days. Then increase it gradually until it is ready for full time. Also, watch the wind. The plant is probably not used to wind and even 10 mph winds could level it right off the bat. Shelter it for the first couple days if there is any wind and gradually expose it to more wind just like the sun.

That should get you started. Chances are you will come up with some more specific questions as you get going. Just post them in this forum when you do and you shall get advice. Pictures are very helpful when asking questions and be as specific as possible in describing your questions or problems.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 11:09PM
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Well I bought them from some local play as a seedling, and they were outside for the whole time in a biodegradable little pot.
Should I just leave it outside permanently then? Even through rain, and/or storms?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 11:33PM
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esox07 (4b)

It should be hardened off in that case. However, just like any plant, 40+ mph winds, hail, etc.... will have negative affects on any small plants. But it should be fine for relatively normal weather. Just watch your night time temps. Like i suggested before, I would put it in a large container 3-5 gallons and that way, you can put it the garage if the temps will drop too far over the next few weeks. After that, you should be fine. I would also move it in if their are severe storms forecast for your area but they are plants and most plants live outdoors all summer long and endure what mother nature hurls at them. Treat it like any other small vegetable you might grow outside.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 12:10AM
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okay, night time temps are about low 60s right now so, tomorrow I will keep it outside. Should I move it into a pot even for how small it is right now?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 12:22AM
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esox07 (4b)

Moving it to a larger pot is your choice right now. I assume it is one of those starter pots about 3.5" wide at the top. YOu can leave it in there until it is about 6" or so tall but those things tip over easily and they also dry out really fast outside. I guess I would pot it up when it is convenient for you. Not a big rush right now. It will likely go through transplant shock and slow its growth for several days or so after the transplant but it will do that no matter when you do the transplant.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 12:35AM
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You could also just dig a hole and stick it in the ground..ESOX is correct in all of his advice, and he does a great job with his peppers - not arguing with him just presenting another option. Once the danger of frost is gone, plant it where it will get plenty of sun and let it grow. I grew 30 pepper plants in my garden last season and had to water them on average once a week.

Container gardening definitely has its advantages though - especially if you like to overwinter plants.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 8:01AM
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esox07 (4b)

Right, Simsedward is correct. I did mention you could plant it in the ground in an early post but then went on to concentrate on putting it in a container. I actually have 5 peppers in my above ground garden now but I have a removable cold frame over it to protect it when things get bad.

Putting it in the ground is probably the simplest solution. Just don't forget to "harden it off" as I described earlier.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 10:29AM
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I will also add that in my opinion you should remove the biodegradable pot which ever direction you go. They say you can plant the whole thing / don't have to remove it, but, I always found that I had better results if I just got that peat pot out of the way.

As the guys above pointed out, in the ground is probably easiest, but, it is less portable that way (harder to protect from adverse weather).

Since you're talking about a longer season pepper, having that portability at the end of the season, may be the difference between getting ripe peppers and having green (unripe) peppers. Also, in a pot the roots warming up quicker at the start of the season will help it get going quicker.

So, you've got a choice between the easier way or the potentially more fruitful way that is a lot more work and you have more opportunity to love it to death with. :-)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 6:07PM
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I decided to plant it in a pot. I got a black clay pot, black to make it absorb the heat from the sun and warm the roots. I got rid of the bio-degradable pot..

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 7:38PM
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esox07 (4b)

Good choice. How big is the pot? Make sure you use well draining soil. Don't just throw in a bag of stuff labeled "potting soil" or you may be disappointed.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 8:08PM
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The pot is decently big, I don't know the exact measurements. My dad used the same size for herbs, and such. I used some organic compost, mostly bark, then peat, and chicken waste.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 8:28PM
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Go easy on the chicken stuff. While it is beneficial it is also high in nitrogen. Bhuts are finicky and most beginners tend to... 'over-tend".

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 7:43AM
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got it, it's the least used ingredient in the mix, so I figured I would be alright.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 7:49AM
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