Growing habanero doesn’t pose too many difficulties. It is a determined type of pepper, therefore it grows at it is designed to: you don’t need to do any pruning, it grows bushy by itself from the beginning and with a thick stalk to sustain the fruits. It is not liked by most pests and it requires only regular fertilization.
The only drawback (besides being crazy spicy that you can’t even dare to eat it by itself) is that it takes pretty long to harvest: it took me 7 months to harvest the first fruit from the moment of planting the seed. Though I started it it in a pretty cold season and with a poor soil, so it can be faster if quality soil is used and it grows in a warmer weather (nights with more than 15 C).
It was so rewarding growing habanero that I started another bush. It is a beautiful looking plant, but you also need to like spicy food, otherwise you won’t have much use for it. By itself it is painful to eat, but if you make a hot sauce out of it, it is very flavorful and more tamed.
Here is a time lapse of the 7 months:
1. From seed to plant – first 4 months
2. From better soil to buds in just 30 days after replanting
3. From buds to flower in 17 days, from flower to fruits in 22 days
First set of flowers bloomed 17 days after the first buds, the first fruits grew 4 days after the blooming (21 days after the first buds). The mature green fruits were completely grown 22 days after the blooming of the flower:
4. From green to ripe habanero in just 7 days
And now what to do with them? As promised, I will share my habanero hot sauce recipe. It is hot, but not unbearably and veeery flavorful and tasty. The ingredients you will need for it are:
- 2-3 habaneros (depending how hot you want it)
- 1 shallot
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/2 finger of fresh ginger
- 1 tbs sugar
- 40 g apple vinegar
- 50 g tomato puree
- 10 tbs water
- pinch of salt
Blend the habaneros, shallot, ginger and garlic and simmer them in an empty pan on low fire. Add the sugar, vinegar, water, puree and salt and simmer for 5 more min. Take it out and blend it until it becomes very smooth and put it back on low fire for another 5 min. It is an amazingly good sauce, tastes slightly like apple, it is fruity and sweet and the balance in spiciness is just perfect due to the sugar.
In conclusion, growing habanero was truly rewarding and having your own spicy sauce is really nice!
If you would like to see other step-by-step growth of plants in a pot, you can check my gardening category here.