The chili plant (Capsicum annuum) is one of the most commonly grown plants throughout the world. This plant originates from Central America and South America but has spread widely to various parts of the world because of its popularity as a food ingredient and spice.
Chili plants grow as upright bushes with green leaves arranged in tiers. The fruit varies in shape and color, depending on the variety.
Chili fruit can be harvested when it reaches the desired size and color. Fruit harvested regularly will stimulate further growth. Fresh chilies can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. Chilies can also be preserved by drying them, processing them into chili sauce, or making chili powder.
Chili plants have high economic value and are important in various dishes. In addition to providing a delicious harvest, they also make attractive ornamental plants with colorful fruit.
The following are several types of chilies that are known for their high level of spiciness:
1. Pepper X
Pepper X is a cultivar of Capsicum peppers raised by Ed Currie, creator of the Carolina Reaper. In 2023, Guinness World Records recognized it as the hottest chili in the world.
On August 23, 2023, Guinness World Records officially recognized Pepper X as the world’s hottest chili, with a content of 2.69 million SHU, beating the previous world record of 1.64 million SHU held by the Carolina Reaper.
2. Carolina Reaper Chili
In 2013, the Carolina Reaper was recognized by Guinness World Records as the hottest chili in the world, before being crushed by Pepper X. This chili has a very high level of spiciness, averaging 1.6 million Scoville Heat (SHU), but can reach more than 2.2 million SHU.
3. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Chili Peppers
Before the Carolina Reaper, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion was considered the hottest chili pepper in the world. This chili pepper originates from Trinidad and Tobago, and has a very high level of spiciness, with an average of 1.2 million to 2 million SHU.
4. Ghost Pepper Chili (Bhut Jolokia)
Bhut Jolokia, better known as Ghost Pepper, is a chili pepper originating from India. At one time, the Ghost Pepper was also considered the hottest chili pepper in the world before being replaced by the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and then the Carolina Reaper. However, Ghost Pepper still has a very high level of spiciness, with an average of around 1 million to 1.5 million SHU.
5. Viper Dragon Chili
This is a hybrid chili pepper that was developed in England in 2011. Naga Viper chili peppers are the result of a cross between three super hot chili peppers: Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, Bhut Jolokia, and Naga Jolokia. The spiciness level is very high, with an average of 1.3 million to 1.4 million SHU.
The five types of chilies above are some examples of the hottest chilies in the world. However, keep in mind that the level of spiciness of chilies can vary depending on factors such as variety, growing conditions, and processing.
For optimal growth, chili plants need full sun and fertile soil with good drainage. They can also grow well in pots or containers as long as they get enough sunlight. Warm temperatures are ideal conditions for chili plants to grow.
Caring for chili plants requires regular but not excessive watering. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Chili plants require regular fertilizer to ensure healthy growth and maximum fruit production. Replanting and pruning can also help produce more productive plants.
Please note, that chili plants are susceptible to various diseases and pest attacks, including bacterial wilt, root rot, leaf-sucking insects, and mites. It is important to monitor plants regularly and take preventative measures such as applying organic insecticides or using natural pest control methods.