Sunday, 9 June 2013

Scotch Bonnet

Regular readers will know that I am very fond of growing chillis. As it happens, Jane and I don't eat vast quantities of chillis, and we don't particularly like the "Scorch the tips off your taste-buds" type of chilli. We prefer tasty chillis with a medium amout of heat. So why then, you may ask, am I growing a Scotch Bonnet chilli? Scotch Bonnet is VERY hot, verging on the volcanic.

Well the answer is - I felt sorry for it! Last Autumn I saw this rather gangly little plant being sold off in an End-of-Season sale at my local Garden Centre for a mere 50p, and bought it.

At the time when I bought it, it had precious few leaves, but it did have three green fruits, which subsequently ripened to a beautiful bright red colour. The fruits were used in a batch of chilli oil I made as a gift for my brother-in-law, and Wow, were they hot! I would have considered my 50p well spent if that had been the end of the tale, but since then I have nurtured the plant, feeding it every so often with Baby Bio plant food, and it has grown to be enormous. A couple of days ago I took it outside in the garden for some fresh air and sunshine. Just look how big it is now!

This plant has produced a VAST number of flowers - literally thousands, I would think. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you view this), most of the flowers have fallen without setting fruit, but even so several fruits have set:

Curiously, the fruits seem to be in little clusters rather than evenly distributed around the plant:

These fruits are a long way from being ripe, but just think how many Scoville Heat Units they are eventually going to clock up between them!

Jane said to me "Why are you growing chillis that are going to be far too hot for us to eat?", and my reply was that it's because I like the look of Scotch Bonnets, even if I don't like the taste/feel. They are very handsome and photogenic. Here is a photo of the first one to ripen this year. In a few weeks time my plant will hopefully be covered in these:

In order to photograph that little red one, I had to push past this much bigger green one:

What's not to like??


  1. Wow, that really is huge! You have such a big green thumb, lol. Now you'll have to think up something to do with them.

  2. I love 50p finds and the challenges they bring, as for growing what you don't eat, I have an aubergine which I will pass on the fruits.

  3. And yet another plant that you grow and not to eat - an ornamental convert I wager!

  4. These are indeed pretty! I'm growing the Bhut Jolokia for the same reason. Your photos inspire me to work on my potted veggies.

  5. Nice blog here ;) I have been introduced to this blog by my friend, during breakfast table conversation.

    I planted chilies also in my garden (variety that similar to the header of this blog), and my prob is, it would no grow longer. Sad :(

    Do you have any idea how to grow potatoes in Tropical country like Malaysia?

    1. Hi; thanks for dropping by and taking the time to leave me a comment! I'm afraid I have no experience with growing potatoes in a tropical climate - but you could try this blog: Diana, who writes that blog is very knowledgeable about such things.

    2. Thank you for your suggestion!

  6. I am just the same! A bit of a wimp when it comes to eating hot chillis, but I love growing them. They make wonderful photos on a blog when they turn to red in the Autumn, good Christmas decorations when dried and strung up. If you want to grow a milder chilli I found one last year called 'Apricot'. It is about the shape and size of a Scotch Bonnet, but you can eat it like a sweet pepper. Beautiful flavour.

  7. Great looking plant. Perhaps you could use one or two in combination with milder chillies to make sambal etc? Hope you get more than one or two though - the plant will look beautiful.

  8. What a tale of success, the plant looks so healthy. I don't eat chillis, yet I've grown them in the past just for their ornamental qualities.

  9. It looks very healthy, well done Dr Mark. They freeze whole very well, keeping for a long time. Dehydrated and ground up, they make a excellent chili powder that a little goes a long, long way.

  10. I like hot peppers too, but i also like to eat them, no metter how hot they are :)


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