The Worlds Hottest Super Hot Chillies
Super Hot Chillies have recently become the in thing. Re-discovered as it were with so many unusual shapes and sizes with such differing heat values. They look beautiful, interesting and some look actually quite scary! Having somewhat of a growing background regarding all things botanical I was infused to have a go at growing these mean looking fiery fruits out of a love for spices and plants and with the recommendation of a good friend of mine.
When I was at University I was educated in Biological Sciences (plant and animal) and have plenty of experience growing a wide variety of edible plants along with ornamental’s but growing the Hottest Chillies in the World and in the tropics was to be no leisurely walk in the park but that is what myself and a good old friend decided to do, bring on the Super Hot Chillies!
What I got out of the venture was a tremendous amount of experience growing in the tropics and good Super Hot Chillies Stock Images to boot!
Well it was a mixture of both actually, there were numerous obstacles to overcome even though a lot of the Super Hot Chillies originate in places like Trinidad and Tobago where I imagine the climate is similar to that of Kuching in Malaysian Borneo.
My take on it from personal experience is like this.
On paper listing the advantages of growing in a tropical climate we have few but their impact is greater than their number.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Growing in a Tropical Climate
- Growing Period : Year round
- Sunshine : Plenty of it
- Water : Plentiful supply
- Heat : At least 30 degrees by day
- Daylight Growing Hours : 12 hours results in early flowering
- Sunshine : Intense (requires serious shading)
- Water : Torrential rains, plants prone to root rot if not protected
- Heat : Can be too hot, need cool evening temperatures
- Aphids : Plant pests love heat and multiple quickly
- Ants : Ants farm aphids which slowly destroy the plant
Amount of daylight hours are very limited in the tropics near the equator. As one gets closer to the equator the length of daylight and darkness get closer and closer eg. on the equator we generally have 12 hours daylight and 12 hours darkness compared with the northern hemisphere where day and night hours depending on the time of year differ tremendously. In summer say in northern Europe we have (at the peak) 18 hours daylight and 6 hours darkness which becomes the opposite during the peak of winter 18 hours darkness and a mere 6 hours of daylight. So this factor affects a plants growth, more daylight hours is equivalent to more growth when the plants can happily photosynthesize.
Normally plants are triggered into flowering in the northern hemisphere with a drop in daylight hours caused by hormone fluctuations within the plant. (it’s like the plants are being told autumn and winter is approaching and they should make haste, flower and produce seeds for the continuation of species survival).
Nearer to the equator where we have roughly a 12/12 hour growing cycle plants can flower year round and fortunately for agriculturalists this means more crops, more veggies, more fruits, although tropical fruits are still somewhat seasonal. Generally speaking there is no break from growing unlike in the northern hemisphere during autumn/winter whereby plants either die or become dormant like perennials or trees after losing their leaves. We must wait until temperatures and daylight hours increase in spring to start growing again.
7 Pot Yellow Chili – Related to the 7 Pot Infinity Chili, World Record (2011)
Water and Humidity
In a place like Borneo where torrential downpours can be frequent, come unexpectedly, incredibly powerful and deposit in a short time huge amounts of water therefore we have to be careful that the plants don’t get flooded. This is very trying at times with such deluges that can occur and if the plants do survive a good flooding, (now and then is OK but regularly water logging will ultimately destroy the plant) adverse effects on growth can be noted such as yellowing of leaves and leaf fall.
It is generally considered good practice to keep the plants neither too wet or too dry, give them a good watering and leave them to drink it and allow them dry out, at which point they will be thirsty for more which in turn will boost growth. It can be a fine line with these Super Hot Chillies.
Ants and Aphids
Ants were a constant problem as plants are an excellent medium for their farming activities and boy can they farm!
Ants will look for any substrate with which they can farm Aphids (common plant pests which multiple with considerable ease in a hot climate which is of great benefit for the ants as they will take nectar, a source of food from the aphids.
How does it work?
The ants drive the aphids up the plant stem to the growing tips, the fresh young growth where new leaves and flowers sprout from. This is a supply of food for the aphids, their waste or secretions are a nectar which is a source of food for the ants. The disadvantages to the plant are many, the over abundance of aphids which feed on the plant juices by eating away at the leaves stunt plant growth in a big way, new leaves if they can sprout will be mutated and as a result fruits from the flowers will also be mutated, small and oddly shaped being unable to fulfill their potential.
This is a classic example of an infestation of mealy bug annihilating one of the Super Hot Chillies, if left unchecked, a Chocolate Habanero pepper plant.
Daylight Growing Hours
Strong Winds and Thunderstorms
Scoville Scale – Heat rating of moderate to Super Hot Chillies