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Bhut Jolokia chilli pepper, also known to the world as Ghost Pepper, in 2006 was awarded with the Guinness World Record as the most spicy chilli pepper in the world, surpassing the Habanero. However, in 2010 it was surpassed itself by another variery, but the Ghost Pepper is still an incredibly spicy pepper, with its 1.537.000 SHU, twice the SHU of the Habanero. The company Leena Saikia, belonging to the group Frontal Agritech has presented it for the first time on the market.
Its original habitat is the Assam region in India, although it is farmed all over the world.
The name Bhut Jolokia means "poisonous snake" and it is also known as Ghost Pepper, due to the difficulties one can face farming it. The plant scarcely bears fruit, it needs a ground temperature of 27° and 120 days of time. However, the owner of the Frontal Agritech, Mrs Borland, affirms the name "Ghost" reminds its ability, once swallen, to take one's soul out.
Over the last few years, it has been used to make pepper spray employed by the Police.
The plant needs a soil rich in nutrients and soft; it can grow up to 1 m and, if properly farmed, it could even reach 1,30 m. In order to grow, it needs a lot of sunlight; leaves are green. During the growing period, be careful with deseases and parasites that could hit this kind of plant.
Flowers are white; the fruit is green when it is not yet ripened, but then it turns into orange and eventually fiery red, giving the feeling of spiciness immediately.
Farming this plant is not very easy. First of all, you will need to prepare the seeds for germination during the first warm days in March. We suggest tu use the paper towel germination method, paying attention to temperatures which should do no go below 20°. It is perfectly normal if some seeds do not reach full germination.
Once the seeds are germinated, you can remove them from the soil. We suggest to store them in a place with stable temperatures and a lot of sunlight, either under a lamp or on the windowsill. See the following guide on how to create the perfect environment to farm chilli peppers indoor with reduced costs: how to grow chilli peppers indoors.
See also this generale guide: how to grow chilli peppers.
Once the plant has reached 20 cm of height, leaves are green and healthy, you can move the plant to a bigger vase outdoor. If it is still cold outside, we suggest to put the plant inside at nighttime or you can put it in a greenhouse. If you love DIY, see the following article on how to build a greenhouse.
Once you have completed the first stage, which is the most delicate one, you will only need to water it regularly when the soild gets dried on the surface. In fact, all varieties of chilli peppers do not like stagnations. For example, during very hot days, do water it every night; whereas in September you can water it once every three days. All depends on temperatures and the level of humidity of the soil.
The shape reminds the one of a horn, it reaches 10 cm of height and 3 cm of width. Before ripening, the colour is green, then some purple stripes appear and eventually it becomes fiery red. The colour is a clear sign for its spiciness.
The Ghost Pepper is widely use in cooking, especially in sauces, chilli pepper oil and fresh fruit, as well as in dark chocolate. However, due to its great and formidable spiciness, it is employed to create anti-aggressions pepper spray and Indians use it as insects and animals repellent. They believe that by putting it on the house walls, even the wildest elephants stay away. It represents a sustainable insecticide, because it does not contaminate unlike those people buy in Western markets.
Moreover, in 2010 the Department of Defence of India conducted some experiments to use it for the hand granades. If it explodes in an indoor space, it is able to make the air unbreathable so that enemies are forced to leave their hiding places. Its effects vanish within few time and it does not contaminate the air. Its effect are even more reduced if it explodes outside.
It is highly probable that the Ghost Pepper will suggest the Western scientists some not-contaminant innovations, especially in agricolture and in other fields.