Aloha Pepper Heads!
As we move towards Spring and warmer weather on the Mainland, it's a good idea to get your Bhut Jolokia seeds started indoors. Be sure to soak your seeds in water overnight before germination. This will give you a better germination rate. Do not transplant your Bhuts until they are at least 3-4 inches tall, and have 3 or 4 nice size leaves growing.
Bhut Jolokia Time-Line
Here in Hawaii, our weather is always good, but we too have to think about when to plant our Bhut Jolokia starts. The Bhut Jolokia requires 4 plus months from seed to fruit, so it is very important to transplant in the 1-3 month window on the Mainland. The Bhut Jolokia needs warm weather and long days in order to produce a good crop. However, temperatures greater than 90 with high humidity will cause stress to your plants. If they are in the flowering stage, excess heat and humidity will cause the flowers to drop. The best thing to do is the buy some shade cloth from your local nursery which will lower the ambient temperature. Water long and deep a few times per week. Best to use drip or a dribble out of your hose and allow the water to percolate at least 16-24 inches. This encourages deep root growth which will produce a stronger, healthier, and better yielding plant.
Great Soil for a Better Pepper
Bhut Jolokia peppers are heavy feeders, so fertilize them every 3 weeks with a good organic fertilizer. We use fish emulsion, and a well-rotted horse manure. Check out our gallery, and your will see that our Bhut Jolokia plants are more than 6 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and yield 300-400 peppers per plant! You too can achieve this bounty with a little thought and care of your plants.
Aloha, and keep growing!
Aloha Pepper Heads, Over the past 5 years the Waimea Bay Chili Pepper Company has shipped more than 10,000 orders world wide. Most of our orders go to our customers in the USA, but this time of year, most of our orders ship to the Southern Hemisphere. This is because the growing seasons are opposite, and the Bhut Jolokia peppers need hot weather to produce a bountiful crop. We grow only in Hawaii and every one of our seeds must be inspected by the USDA before they can be shipped elsewhere. I live on the North Shore of Oahu, and the USDA inspection facility is at the airport in Honolulu which is a 3 hour drive round trip with traffic. And since we ship our orders within 48 hours, this required me to drive to the USDA facility 3 times per week. This was just too much for me, and now that our USA business has slowed down because of winter weather, we ship all of our Mainland and International orders from our office in San Diego. All of our seeds are still inspected by the USDA in Honolulu, but are inspected 20,000 seeds at a time instead of by individual order. They are then vacuum packed, and air-freighted to San Diego where they are the frozen and shipped as the orders come in. Bhut Jolokia seeds will last for 5-7 years when vacuum packed and frozen. Germination rates decline very slowly utilizing this methodology. All Hawaii orders are still shipped from our office on the North Shore. Remember to always soak your seeds in water overnight before germinating.
Mahalo nui loa,
Bhut Jolokia Plant Size and Crop Yields
I have had many, many questions about the size and yield of a typical Bhut Jolokia pepper plant. Please go to our gallery and look at the fourth image. This is a typical Bhut Jolokia plant from my garden here in Hawaii 6-7 feet tall and 300-400 peppers per plant. Yes I know, this is a ridiculous but what can I say? I have a green thumb. And we have perfect weather here in Hawaii which makes it easier to have this type of success. But, I will give you some inside tips so you can grow and bigger and better Bhut Jolokia plants and have greater yields.
We amend our soil straight from our compost tumblers and worm farms. If we need more soil, I have a neighbor with acreage that has many large Banyan trees on it. These giant trees are part of the Ficus family and drop plenty of leaves. There is always a great supply of beautiful humus more than one foot thick for our garden. This is one of our secrets- a garden soil of many organic, nutritious amendments that are utilized by the BJ peppers as they need it. Find something similar in your neighborhood to amend your garden. The next thing is watering. This is very, very important. Bhut Jolokia pepper plants are a bear to get going, but once established are very hearty. When young, water everyday until your plants are 4-6" tall and have at least 4 good sized leaves. Then transplant them into loamy, well-amended organic soil in your garden. As your Bhut Jolokia plants get taller and established, you will need to encourage a deep root system. You do this by watering very slowly (drip irrigation is best) to a depth of at least 16". Do this 2-3 times per week. Your BJ plant will now search deep for the water. If you do not use this method of watering and only "surface" water, your Bhut Jolokia plants will have a spindly, shallow root system and will not be more than 3? tall and will not yield half as many peppers. You will have to adjust your watering schedule according to your local weather, so do not just water without thinking about what has transpired over the last few days. Over watering your Bhut Jolokia pepper plants is worse than under watering. A quick way to check the moisture content of the soil is to take a tablespoon and take a sample of soil at least 6" deep and see how much water your soil is retaining. Remember that if you have a lot of organic amendments in your soil, they will help retain the moisture. If your soil is always dry when you take your samples, it is probably too sandy and you will need to amend with compost.
Another frequent question I get is about the Bhut Jolokia dropping it's flowers. These questions are almost always from customers in Florida, or Texas, or are asked in the middle of summer from hot and humid parts of the USA. The Bhut Jolokia pepper does not like temperatures above 90 degrees. Optimum temperatures are between 80 and 90 degrees with night time lows in the 70's. IF you live in a hot and humid environment, use shade cloth to keep the temperatures in this range.
To read this article and more, click here.
NAGA VIPER CHILI PEPPER RECORD --- FACT OR FICTION?
Dear Chili Heads, and Everyone Else,
I have been receiving email after email for several months now regarding the "Naga Viper" pepper that supposedly has broken the record for the hottest pepper. I have researched this extensively and have found no concrete evidence that this record has been broken. Sure, I have seen pictures of this pepper, or something called the Naga Viper but the testing from Warwick University in England is not conclusive. Sure, they tested something that rated the 1.3 million on the Scoville scale, but what was in this sample? It could have easily been laced with synthetic capsaicin (remember pepper spray tests at approximately 2 to 5 million SHU). Further, they stated that they only tested a small sample and concluded that further testing was needed by another source to verify and confirm the results. AND, how did they test this small sample? The only recognized testing method that I know of is via HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography). Was it tested by this method? We have had our Bhut Jolokia peppers tested many, many times in New Mexico. We ALWAYS send them about 1/4 cup of each sample to be tested and this is because the lab requires this amount to verify results. Warwick University stated that they only had a small sample for their testing. Did they test the "Naga Viper" more than once? I think IF a potential world record was set, that they would have tested again, or THAT THE OWNER OF THIS SAMPLE would have tested again to verify. I know that if I would have set the world record that I would have had Guinness there to verify and post this ASAP. With this being said, I have doubts that this chili pepper did test at this record breaking level. Not to ruffle any feathers in the UK, I just don't buy this story.
To read this article and more, click here
Aloha and Mahalo,
Back in the USSA
Aloha Pepper Heads! I have just returned from China. Again! And, I have to go back in another 4 weeks. In a few of our companies, we are manufacturers of outdoor/backyard products - backyardxscapes.com and bambooandtikis.com. This requires me to go to China, the Philippines, etc. a few times per year. This year however, I have been to China 3 times. With each new trip comes a new adventure...
How to Care for Your Pepper Plant and Keep it Alive Through the Seasons.
Many people have asked me if it is possible to keep pepper plants through the winter and replant them next season. Pepper plants, both sweet and hot are perennials which means they live for more than 2 years...
Note from "Clean Water for the World"
Dear Jamie Kocher, Thank you for your generous donation of $1,000 from the "The Waimea Bay Chili Pepper Company". Your donation will help "Clean Water for the World" put our water purifiers in places that do not have potable water. 4,500 children die every day from water-borne diseases. Thanks for helping us in our efforts to change that statistic. Peace, Paul Flickinger, Executive Director, Clean Water for the World
THE HOTTEST PEPPER - JAMIE TV
Meet The Hottest Pepper
The hottest pepper in the world (By Far)
The origin of the Bhut Jolokia goes back hundreds of years and can be traced to the state of Assam in northeastern India. It was originally grown in this region as well as in areas of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.
It is also called the following names-
Naga (Cobra snake) Jolokia in Sanskrit
Raja Mirchi (King of Chilis) Nai Miris (Cobra Chili) in Sri Lanka
Naga Morich (Cobra Chili) in Bangladesh
Oo-Morok (Tree Chili) in Manipur
The Ghost Pepper or Ghost Chili in US
It was not known to the Western world until around 2000.
On September 6, 2000 the Defense Research Laboratory (DRL) located in Tezpur, Assam, India published a report stating that it had achieved a new world record of 855,000 SHU (Scoville heat units) obtained from a Naga Jolokia pepper. The DRL utilized the original method of measuring the heat of peppers invented by Wilbur Scoville in 1912. This method of testing was disputed by several professors, and experts in the United States and other parts of the world. They stated that this type of testing was too subjective and the only recognized and accurate type of testing was High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) because it removes all subjectivity. The chili tested by the DRL was not recognized as the record holder because of this.
Bhut Jolokia seeds were brought to the United States to be planted and tested by members of the Chili Pepper Institute (CPI) located on the campus of the New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico in 2001. Because of poor fruit and seed set, it took several years to get an acceptable field trial. Finally in 2005, at the Leyendecker Plant Science Research Center (1.5 miles south of Las Cruces) seeds were started in a plant medium under strict control and guidelines utilizing man-made chemical fertilizers. Professor Paul Bosland of NMSU was in charge and finally in the Fall of 2006, success was achieved. The Bhut Jolokia was confirmed as the world record holder by Guinness, and in February, 2007 it was official. Rated at 1,001,304 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), it bested by almost 2 times the old record holder the Red Savina Habanero.
At The Waimea Bay Chili Pepper Company, all of our plants are grown organically. The heat content of the Bhut Jolokia is increased by humidity and rainfall, something that we have plenty of here on the North Shore of Oahu. Our plants are 2 to 3 times larger than the typical Bhut Jolokia and produce 5 times as many fruit (300-400) per plant. It is our intent to break Professor Bosland's record this year. Stay tuned...
Changes in Color With GrowthAs the fruit ripens,
it changes color,
slightly changes shape
Guinness Book of World RecordsIn 2006, The Bhut
Jolokia was declared
"The Hottest Pepper"
in the world by the
of World Records.
It's the Heat Gland that Houses the HeatThe heat gland
of the pepper is
the source of the heat!