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PlantFiles: Habanero Pepper
Capsicum chinense 'Caribbean Red'

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Capsicum (KAP-sih-kum) (Info)
Species: chinense (chi-NEN-see) (Info)
Cultivar: Caribbean Red

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One vendor has this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Heat (Pungency):
Extremely Hot (above 30,000 Scoville Units)

Fruit Shape:

Fruit Size:
Small (under 2" in length)

Fruit Color:
Green changing to red

Disease Resistance:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Type:

Fresh (salsa, salads)

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Propagation Methods:
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Days to Maturity:
Mid (69-80 days)
Late (more than 80 days)

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There are a total of 9 photos.
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11 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive thesergey On Feb 9, 2013, thesergey from Escondido, CA wrote:

This seedling was purchased at El Plantio Nursery, it was grown in a container in the back yard. Of the three varieties that I grew, this was the slowest to get started and the last to flower/fruit. Once it got going all my doubts vanished. This plant delivered two large harvests, the last of which was for new years!

From my experience, the plant did best on the southern side of the patio in full sun during the spring and winter but had to be moved to a partial shade spot during the summer. This pepper was an attractive plan that produced great tasting fruit.

It dropped most of the leaves once a few nights got down to freezing but the plant itself seems to still be alive. Even if it doesn't make it through the southern California winter, I will be planting it again.

Positive annie57 On Oct 16, 2012, annie57 from Drexel, NC wrote:

Carib Reds are in habanero family. I've grown them for several years and they really love rain or irrigation, respond well to AACTeas designed for varying stages of growth. I don't grow these and other superhots in containers but in large, no till garden. I would suggest that under ideal circumstances, that these be caged, because they get heavy with peppers, soon. Of course I suggest that for all peppers aside from regular orange habs (which I no longer grow), jalapeno and Tabasco. They have a sweeter taste, imo, that orange habs. As someone mentioned they do taste a bit like a strawberry. And they are hot, of course. I've made Yucatan Hell Jam with them--mango/key lime juice--this year and a hot sauce with rum, papaya, mango, and some strawberries for giggles: good stuff. I smoke and dehydrate these as well, freeze some. Great plant but when it gets loaded down, it does need support.

Positive dda1974 On Jun 2, 2010, dda1974 from Bonaire, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Very easy to grow and very hot. I direct-seeded this last year in June crowded in a 20 qt pot with a chocolate habenero and a fatali. I froze a lot of peppers and had spice for my soups, stews, and chilies all winter.

Positive Derek_1 On May 11, 2010, Derek_1 from Honolulu, HI wrote:

Bought one plant already growing. Moved to a bigger pot. Used the first couple of peppers for their seeds and put them in more pots (live in Hawaii so it never gets cold). Within 3 weeks i had several more plants. Seems very easy to grow. I am now getting around 10 peppers on my original plant and the seedlings continue to get larger! My next batch i am going to try making hot "dip" using the peppers and maybe some mango!

Neutral protospheric On May 7, 2010, protospheric from Houston, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

I grew this pepper from seed last summer, and transplanted it to a container. I never got any fruit from it though. I think I transplanted too late, and the container I used was too small. I fertilized and watered like you should a pepper, but still nothing. I think I'll try again this summer, even though I'm a little behind on starting seed. I should still be able to get a decent sized plant by the end of summer, and maybe this time I'll be home to over-winter it properly so it will live to produce the following summer.

Positive AZBill On Dec 18, 2009, AZBill from Tempe, AZ wrote:

I bought a Caribbean Red in a pot from Home Depot 3 or 4 years ago just to see if it would survive in Phoenix. It is a great pepper to grow! I put it on my front porch under the eave and hose it down once a day. (South facing exposure.) Other than the watering, it is almost totally neglected. Perfect for the lazy gardener or someone who travels.

The first year I didn't get much fruit and thought it was a big waste of time. I like to see plants, but I would much rather eat them. Every year since then, though, I've gotten quite a bit of fruit. It's more like a fruit tree than a pepper, since it gives more and more fruit every year.

Last summer, it lost most of it's leaves due to a very long heat spell (many days over 110 F) and I thought it was a gonner. But now, almost Christmas-time, it has 40-60 peppers on it. And it's only 2 feet tall. I did move it from the original pot to a large keg bucket last summer, though. I think giving it a little more root space has improved it's yield.

I like very spicy food, but these peppers are difficult to eat just straight from the bush. I found two ways to eat the peppers without draining my sinuses.

One way is to dry it and grind it into a powder. I just string it with a needle and thread and hang it outside until it is crispy (a few weeks or less depending on the time of year). Throw it into a COVERED blender for a few seconds and, presto, instant super pepper powder. This is great to add to spaghetti sauce, chili or, my preference, sprinkled on popcorn. And since it has been dried, there is less of a lingering burn, and more of the flavor is noticed.

Another way is to mix the fresh peppers in a blender with grapefruit juice and a little bit of salt. The sweetness of the pepper works well with the acidic bitterness of the grapefruit juice to make a tasty hot sauce. It sounds weird, but it tastes really good.

Positive _RichardK_ On Nov 21, 2008, _RichardK_ from Glens Falls, NY wrote:

These plants are great, they grow like a bush, about 4-5 feet high and can get loaded with 100s of "Strawberry sized" pods per plant.

The Caribbean Red has a very unique flavor, much more potent than a typical Orange Habanero with a very pungent fruity aroma that, in my opinion is "Strawberry like".

Pods turn from light green, to light orange to light red then to dark red. Pods may also be in many of these stages at the same time (sometimes with patches of chocolate brown color) or skip right to light red. All on the same plant.

Pods may be smooth or wrinkled "pumpkin like" in appearence, roundish at the top and quickly tapering off to a blunt point at the blossom end.

Pods take a very long time to ripen, they will get to full size rather quickly but sit around in the light green stage for anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks.

Very attractive plants, and they absolutly LOVE 1 Tbsp epsom salt + 1 gallon water sprayed on the top and bottom of the leaves every 2 weeks in the morning. Also sprinkle a few grains above the soil when plant is flowering/fruiting.

Positive tmccullo On Aug 2, 2006, tmccullo from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Great plant and easy to grow in Houston, Texas. But watch out when you eat one. I love hot peppers but these are HOT. WOW! Quite a bit hotter than the typical habanero.

Positive EAPierce On Dec 11, 2005, EAPierce from Idaho Falls, ID (Zone 5a) wrote:

I rate this as a positive experience pretty much due to how well it grew- not for flavor, persay. I have a pretty high tolerance and appreciation for hot peppers, but the Caribbean Red Habanero was a bit much for me, and I didn't even try a fully ripe fruit. I grew it on a lark, having gotten over a dozen sickly (aphid-infested) pepper seedlings for free from a local nursery that was going to throw them out. I didn't have room for them in the vegetable garden, especially that late in the season (it was late July), but I potted them up in one-gallon containers and put them on the porch in a spot that only got a few morning and evening hours of direct sun. The aphids didn't last long after a few treatments, and the peppers took off full blast, the Caribbean RH being the most vigorous. They grew extremely well and produced about a dozen peppers per plant before frost-kill in Sept, which was outstanding considering they were only grown in containers, without much direct sun.

The peppers themselves are pretty little things when red and ripe, but they definitely don't have to be ripe to scorch your mouth. I took a tiny nibble of one that was still just a tad green, mostly orange, and it was enough to send me to the herb garden in great haste to munch on succulent Cuban Oregano (I've found that it's a much more efficient salve than water for the purpose of neutralizing the burn). Ow. If, like me, you enjoy hot peppers of the many chile varieties and even as hot as the Thai, and common Habanero, you should still approach the Caribbean RH with caution.

Positive admodeva On Nov 21, 2005, admodeva from Dutton, AL (Zone 7a) wrote:

Grew very well in full sun, yes VERY HOT!!

Positive MITHRANDIER2K4 On Jul 5, 2004, MITHRANDIER2K4 from Creswell, OR wrote:


Positive twobells On Apr 23, 2004, twobells from Rocklin, CA wrote:

The Caribbean Red is rated at 350,000 Scoville Heat Units and the Habanero at 300,000 SHU. I have grown both along with many other hot peppers here in the hot Sacramento Valley for many years.I also grow the Red Savina, not to be confused with the Carribbean Red.The Red Savina is recognized in the Guiness Book of Records as the world's hottest pepper at 577,000 Scoville Heat Units.It was developed in the Los Angles area. Only the Naga Jolokia from the Tezpur area of India may be hotter at 850,00 SHU but this is subject to much discussion. Naga Jolokia in the Assam language is "Chili from Nagaland."

Neutral Terry On Jan 12, 2004, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Billed as hotter than a hab, I can't wait to try this one in salsa next summer!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Dutton, Alabama
Tuskegee, Alabama
Tempe, Arizona
Springdale, Arkansas
Escondido, California
Los Angeles, California
Mountain View, California
Rocklin, California
Ventura, California
Casselberry, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Bonaire, Georgia
Honolulu, Hawaii
Honomu, Hawaii
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Romeoville, Illinois
Kansas City, Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas
Benton, Kentucky
Frankfort, Kentucky
Faribault, Minnesota
Howard Lake, Minnesota
Mathiston, Mississippi
Nevada, Missouri
Palmyra, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Glens Falls, New York
Yonkers, New York
Drexel, North Carolina
Austin, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Liberty Hill, Texas
Jonesville, Virginia

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