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How to Grow Carolina Reaper

How to Grow Carolina Reaper

Growing the Carolina Reaper is almost as easy as most other peppers and vegetables, although they do like a warm germination period, and need a long growing season and lots of sun to grow the hottest pods in the world. 

The Carolina Reaper is a Capsicum chinense strain, and these strains do require a great deal of attention during the germination process. Moisture and a constant and consistent heat range must be maintained for best germination – and even with perfect conditions, every seed may not sprout. We like to place the Carolina Reaper seeds in sterile media and cover 1/4” deep. Then, we provide 85°F bottom heat using a seedling heat mat, and bright light, keeping the seeds moist at all times. Seeds will typically germinate in 7-21 days, but be patient, sometimes it takes longer!

Once they sprout, we like to give the little Carolina Reaper seedlings a brush with our hands daily, or put a fan on them. This helps strengthen the stems and keeps the seedlings from 
“damping-off,” which is a devastating fungal disease which affects the new plant stem just at soil level.

Transplant the Carolina Reaper seedlings into pots once they're a few inches tall with a couple sets of leaves, and grow until there are 6 true leaves on the plant.  When it's starting to get warm enough outside both day and night  (peppers don't like temperatures below 60˚), you can bring them outdoors. M
ake sure to harden them off by bringing them outside for a couple hours of sun a day, working up to leaving them outside for a couple full days before planting. This will ensure they won't be shocked when first outdoors, and it also strengthens their stems with the natural breezes. 

Plant them directly into rich soil, 30” apart or into containers, and grow in full sun. Pretty soon, you'll have the Hottest Pepper in the World growing in your garden! It's a great conversation starter with friends, and, while we don't recommend eating Carolina Reapers whole*, they actually are delicious in hot sauce and salsas. 


Carolina Reaper Growing Tips

Here's a recent customer question and our quick top tips: 

I want to start my own Reaper plants, any tips?

Here are our top quick tips for Growing Carolina Reaper:

1. Start your seeds early since they take a long time to grow!

2. Use a heat mat to germinate seeds (80-90˚ F is best)

3. Don't Overwater your seedlings, they hate wet feet!

4. Use pots and soil with good drainage to avoid drowning them

5. Transplant them into bigger containers if they are getting rootbound

6. Don't over fertilize with nitrogen,
which can result in bushy plants but no pods

7. Harden Seedlings off before transplanting into the garden

8. Only transplant them into the garden after nightly temperatures are above 50˚F consistently


2022 Hottest Pepper in the World: Carolina Reaper
The hottest pepper in 2022 is, you guessed it, the Carolina Reaper!



Yellow Carolina Reaper Seeds
Did you know that there are color variations of the Carolina Reaper?

We carry both the classic Red Carolina Reaper as well as the Yellow Carolina Reaper seeds. Both are super wicked hot, and are perfect for adding to salsas, or making hot sauce. Here is a great Carolina Reaper Salsa Recipe as well as a Fermented Hot Sauce Recipe. You can also make our Carolina Reaper Powder Recipe which is great for sprinkling into any recipe!

How to grow Carolina Reaper Seeds

How to grow Carolina Reaper Seeds


Will eating a Carolina Reaper Kill you?


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