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Carolina Reaper peppers, the world's hottest pepper

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Are you interested in growing the world's hottest pepper? Last month, The Guinness Book of World Records decided Ed Currie's Carolina Reaper peppers were the hottest on Earth.

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The heat of a pepper is measured in Scoville Heat Units, and Ed Currie's world record batch of Carolina Reapers comes in at 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units, with an individual pepper measured at 2.2 million.

Carolina Reaper peppers look like they have a tail, and when they are bright red, they are fully ripe. Mature plants can get to be 5 feet tall and about 4 feet wide. The actual pepper is about 3 inches along including the tail. They take about 90 days to maturity, so it is recommended to start seeds early.

Some tips on starting pepper seeds:

  • Refrigerate seeds for a couple days.
  • Plant at 1/8 inch below soil surface.
  • Seeds can take between 4 and 6 weeks to germinate, so be patient.
  • Soil should be moist but not swamp like.
  • Germinate at about 75 - 80 degrees.

Ed's company, PuckerButt Pepper Company has seeds available for Carolina Reaper and other hot, hot, hot varieties. They offer 10 seeds for $6.00, with a limit of 5 packages per person. Here is the website for ordering information :

Additional safety tips to remember :

  • After touching or handling hot peppers always remember to wash your hands with lime or lemon juice.
  • If you are offering a taste of these peppers, be sure to let the taster know these are extraordinarily hot and to use caution.
  • Be sure to not touch anywhere near your eyes.


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