HABANERO PEPPERS (Capsicum chinense) (also known as "Chinese Lanterns") are FIREY HOT and not for the faint of heart! They do look like a string of colorful chinese lanterns on the bush in their various green-yellow-brilliant orange. Originating in the Amazon, with a complex flavor that will enhance any dish. In the "Great Bake" drought here in North Carolina 2007, this pepper was a star performer! Don't abandon this one at the end of the season. Bring it indoors! Most peppers are perennials and this one is a good choice for multiple season growing. 90-100 days from transplant. 10 seeds.
ABOUT GROWING PEPPERS: Whether Sweet or Heat, peppers must be started indoors and really appreciate bottom warmth (80 degrees) and grow lights for vigorous starts. Be sure to pick varieties that will have sufficient time to complete their growth in your area. Also, hot peppers will be hotter as the temperature rises, so if you want heat and live in the north, buy the hottest varieties available so you won't be disappointed. Vice versa for the south. Use gloves when handling hot pepper seeds and some of the hot peppers themselves. Start peppers indoors 8 weeks before transplanting. Sow seeds 1/4" deep. Keep soil moist. Peppers may take up to two weeks to pop up. When weather warms (daytime soil near 80 degrees and nighttime temps above 50 degrees) you can transplant into rich prepared soil in a sunny position, about 18'' apart and, if in rows, about 24'' apart. I like to give my peppers some support, usually a stake or cage, as productive plants can keel over from the weight of their fruit. Consider spacing your peppers around your vegetable garden, as they can be helpful in warding off furry invaders of your greens and such. Use organic mulch to fend off weeds and keep soil moist in hot dry summers. Peppers need regular moderate watering, but water from below. Peppers are so versatile. You can use fresh, cook them in a variety of ways, dry many varieties easily, and freeze many varieties for later cooking.