Growing any of the world's hottest chilli peppers
You need to take care when growing any chilli peppers because they can take a considerable amount of time to germinate, but when you are growing the world's hottest chilli peppers it becomes a whole new ball game because they are so much more expensive at between 10 or 12 for £1.50 for the lower heat levels to £2.95 for 10 of the very hottest seeds such as the Carolina Reaper.
We now have seeds for all the top 12 hottest!
Obviously no one can afford to lose many seeds to rot at these prices. Seeds for these exceptionally hot fruits are not usually available from large seed companies such as Marshalls, Suttons, Unwins, Mr-Fothergills, Thompson-Morgan and others. Some of the above may sell you seeds or plug plants for Norfolk Naga chillies but that's about as hot as they usually go.
So you need to take particular care when sowing - sometime between mid January to Mid March, and you should expect to have fruit on by August/September but that depends on how you have grown them which I will explain below.
Growing the world's hottest chilli peppers
First of all I recommend you buy a decent electric propagator to start them off as that gives your seeds a flying start. Before you start, place your seeds in lukewarm Calamine tea for 24 hours.
1) Dampen some decent compost and place it in the propagator. Insert the seeds to a depth of half a cm, and cover with more compost to a depth of 5 mm. Make sure the seeds are kept damp but not soaked or they will just rot. Place the propagator in a sunny spot inside for extra warmth.
2) If you don't have an electric propagator then get an ordinary one - just the base with a clear plastic top. Place it in your airing cupboard until the seeds germinate - all they need at that stage is warmth but after germination they will also need light.
3) Remove your tray from the airing cupboard and place it in a sunny windowsill, preferably wrapped in some clear bubble wrap as well. Remember to continually check they are still damp.
4) The difficult time for most amateur growers is when to remove them from the propagator but I leave them until they reach 6 mm or 2.5 inches high.
5) At approx 3 inches high you can carefully re-pot them into individual 6mm x 6 mm pots but ensure you don't disturb the roots, and leave them with as much of their original compost as possible. Please remember that your little plants are still very vulnerable at this stage, and they still need protection from the cold and draughts even if they are still inside.
6) Gradually put them into larger pots, finishing with 6 or 7" pots for the mature plants. I find that the bigger the pot (up to 10 inches) the bigger and more fruitful the plants.
Growing hot chilli peppers outside
Here in Derbyshire it is possible to grow hot chilli peppers outside, but the fruit will be small and sparse compared to those grown indoors or in a greenhouse, though you should get better outside results in the south of the country but nothing like those grown in a greenhouse.
Hopefully, if you follow the simple steps outlined above you should still be picking some of the world's hottest chilli peppers for Christmas.