Habanero peppers have become one of the most important seasonings in Senegal, the home country of our habanero seed grower, Abdoulaye Niane of Khelcom Farm in Berlin, Vermont. Often, one single habanero pepper is slowly simmered in a sauce or stew to impart its floral aroma, and then placed like a crowning jewel on top of the dish. Abdoulaye grows these peppers for a local hot sauce company, preserving the flavors of home for year-round enjoyment. These peppers are truly hot! 2”x1.25” wrinkled and pointed fruits start green and ripen to a vibrant orange, with aromatic, citrusy heat.
Habaneros originate in the Amazon region of South America, but were named for La Habana in Cuba at a time when they were traded there often (though they are not widely eaten in Cuba). This species, Capsicum chinense, was named in the 18th century when botanists found them in China and mistakenly assumed that origin. Clearly, this pepper is widely popular throughout the world due to its flavor and beauty.
Days to maturity: 80 green, 100 orange
Seeds per pack: 25
Germination rate: 86% on 02/10/2022
Planting / harvesting notes
Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost and transplant into garden well after the danger of frost. Keep seedlings moist but do not overwater. Transplants should be initially watered in well, and plants will be most productive with regular irrigation and full sun.
Seed keeping notes
Peppers are generally self-pollinating, though we isolate different varieties of the same species by at least 50 feet, in hopes that flying insects will not cross pollinate them unexpectedly. There are several important species of peppers, so check your scientific names! Pepper seeds are ripe when the fruits have turned their final fiery color - in this case, red. Cut the fruit (consider wearing gloves), scrape out seeds, and lay them out to dry on a labeled screen or paper product in a ventilated place away from direct sunlight for a week or two. Drying the peppers before seed extraction can slightly lower your germination rates, but works fine for home seed saving as long as the peppers do not rot.