How to Grow Scotch Bonnet Peppers Outside


There is a good probability that you already like Scotch bonnet peppers (Capsicum chinense ‘Scotch Bonnet’), especially if you are a lover of spicy foods. The yellow-orange peppers are among the spiciest of all types of hot peppers, but they also provide an unique smokey flavour to the food that you prepare with them. Growing Scotch bonnet peppers needs a spot in the garden that gets plenty of sunlight and, ideally, a raised bed or planter that has good drainage. You may either grow seedlings inside yourself or purchase them from a nursery that has a good supply.

  1. 1. Get a Test

    The pH level of your soil may be determined with the use of a soil test kit, which can be found in garden centres.

  2. 2. Amend Your Soil

    If required, bring the pH level of the soil in your pepper patch back into equilibrium. According to research conducted by the University of Minnesota, peppers are most successful when grown on soil with a pH ranging from 6.5 to 7. Add ground limestone to the mixture if the pH level is on the acidic side. If the pH level is greater than desired (alkaline), add sulphur or peat moss. Follow the instructions on the box for your preferred modification, taking into account the number of pH values that need to be adjusted as well as the total square footage of your Scotch bonnet plot. Before planting peppers, work the amendment into the soil as thoroughly as possible. This process should be completed many weeks before planting Scotch bonnet seedlings.

  3. 3. Add Compost

    Spread a layer of compost that is three to four inches thick over the garden plot, then work the compost into the top six to eight inches of the soil. This stage, which enhances the soil’s texture and fertility, may be performed at the same time as the step that adjusts the pH level of the soil by working limestone, sulphur, or peat moss into the ground. It is recommended to get started on it a few weeks in advance of planting Scotch bonnet seedlings.

  4. 4. Water the Bed

    Before starting to plant the seedlings, make sure the garden bed is well moistened. On his website, Harvest to Table, master gardener Steve Albert offers the piece of advice that Scotch bonnet or other pepper seedlings should not be planted in the ground until the nighttime air temperature is consistently above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and the soil temperature has reached 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

  5. 5. Prepare the Holes

    Dig holes in the ground that are around the same depth as the pots that the Scotch bonnet seedlings are growing in, but are somewhat broader in diameter. Make the holes so that they are spaced 4 to 5 feet apart in their rows, and make the rows themselves 4 to 5 feet apart.

  6. 6. Extract the Seedlings

    To remove the seedlings from their containers for growth, carefully slide them out while taking care not to pull the plants by their leaves. If the roots have grown into a tangle at the bottom of the container, you will need to loosen them.

  7. 7. Prepare Fertilizer

    One of the buckets should be filled with colloidal phosphate, and the other should contain compost. While the phosphate contributes to the prevention of blossom end rot in peppers, the compost contributes additional fertility and helps to keep the phosphate in the planting hole in a balanced state. After you have added one handful of compost and one handful of colloidal phosphate to the first planting hole, water the soil well.

  8. 8. Plant the Seedlings

    Place a Scotch bonnet seedling into the first hole, and then tamp down the dirt around it to eliminate any air pockets that may have formed. To plant the remaining Scotch bonnet seedlings, just repeat the steps in this method.

  9. 9. Final Steps

    If the soil in the garden area became dry while you were planting, be sure to give it a good soaking with water. Place mulch over the seedlings in your garden if you live in a region that has erratic rainfall or has a high incidence of drought. This will prevent weed growth while also helping to save water.

    Things You Will Need

    • Soil test kit or professional test results

    • pH correcting amendments, as needed (e.g. limestone or peat moss)

    • Compost

    • Spade

    • Garden hose or drip irrigation system

    • Buckets (2)

    • Colloidal phosphate

    • Trowel


    During the time when the Scotch bonnet plant is blooming and setting fruit, the soil has to be kept at an equal moisture level. However, after the peppers have completely emerged, you will have the ability to control how spicy they are by changing the amount of water they get. When they are harvested, they will have a spicier flavour if they took in less water while they were ripening. This is more doable when the Scotch bonnet plant is being grown inside, although it may still be done outside. Never subject the plants to such a high level of stress that the leaves and fruit begin to wilt.

    Put a floating row cover over the Scotch bonnet seedlings as soon as possible after planting them if the growing location in which you do your planting is prone to insect infestations. These lightweight cloth coverings allow air and water to pass through yet prevent insects from entering. Once the plants begin to develop blooms, remove them so that pollinating insects may access the flowers and do their job. Pollination results in a rise in pepper production.


    Wear gloves while working with pepper plants and peppers after they have been picked. Never wipe your eyes after touching the peppers, and always wash your hands as well as any other areas of your body that come in contact with them.