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Habanero Scotch Bonnet Chili Variety

Scotch Bonnet

Typical is an intense fruitiness with which recipes can be spiced up nicely. An extremely hot Chili con Carne or a Hot Sauce receives with the Chilis from the Caribbean this special flair.

This tropical plant likes it warm, sunny and loves a high humidity. In summer its bushy species is a pleasant sight. The fruits ripen from green to yellow to an intense red colour. There are varieties of this Habanero whose fruits are ripe yellow or orange. Hardly a more beautiful sight when the fruits are harvested in late summer to a colorful mixture in the basket.

Scotch Bonnet (Capsicum chinense)

A large group within the Capsicum chinense represent the wonderful Habaneros. They come from the Amazon basin and the Caribbean islands around Cuba. Botanists mistakenly believed that this variety originated in China. There it was very common, but only after Christophorus Columbus brought the chilli from America.

Before 1492 paprika and chilli plants grew exclusively on the American continent.

Habanero pods easily reach 300,000 SHU on the Scoville scale. Scotch Bonnet Chilis quickly exceed this figure with 350,000 - 450,000 Scoville Heat Units. Although it is not one of the hottest chillies, the pods are still extremely hot for Habaneros.



Scotch Bonnet chilli peppers reach 150,000-300,000 SHU on the chili spiciness scale. The abbreviation SHU stands for Scoville Heat Units. Around 1912, the pharmacist Wilbur Scoville had studied a measurement method to measure the sharpness of chillies. The measuring method is as simple as it is brilliant. Water is added to the chilli until the concentration of capsaicin has dropped to such an extent that its burning is no longer noticed.

Sharpness degrees, as number from 1 to 10, Schottenmützen Chili has a clear nine. Sharpness level 9 corresponds to 100,000 to 350,000 SHU. Here the Scotch Bonnet lies with some air up and down in the middle.

Today HPLC measuring instruments are used which are faster and more accurate, but not affordable for everyone. Such a measuring device for chili sharpness costs a flaccid 7.500 € upwards.


Scotch Bonnet have a round, fruity aroma. In addition there is a fine apricot aroma. This makes you a chili that literally screams for other tropical fruits to unite with in a hot sauce.


A mango chilli sauce is made quickly. It can be prepared as early as midday to enjoy while barbecuing in the evening. Fantastic with meat, fish and grilled vegetables.

For the preparation take 3 mangos, two Habanero pods, a clove of garlic, salt and coriander. Coriander likes fresh, ground tastes just as good.

Clean, core and chop the ingredients. For the Habaneros you should wear gloves. Puree with a stick or blender and your hot sauce is ready. If you like, you can add a little more acid in the form of lemon juice. The colour of the mango will stay pretty longer. Taste if salt, pepper or herbs are still missing.

With this simple recipe you can easily replace mango with papayas, pineapple or peach.

Scotch Bonnet chili plant

Capsicum chinense varieties, including the tartan caps Chili, like it warm in high humidity. This chili from its Caribbean homeland is accustomed to a lot of sunshine. It is suitable as a room and balcony plant. Will feel particularly at home in a greenhouse and in the garden.

The height of growth depends on the place you give the Habanero. Some plants grow to a height of only 60 cm, some to an average height of 1.2 metres for Habaneros. It grows bushy and will give them countless spicy, fruity pods. At least if you have properly grown and cared for the plant.


In the summer months, outdoor cultivation is best. This is how chili plants get their beloved light, of which you as tropical plants cannot get enough. From mid-May to early October, a balcony or garden is the perfect location. In the greenhouse you have the chance to extend the chili season by a few weeks.


We plant hot Capsicum chinense varieties between the holidays in December. After Christmas we start harvesting in August. After the chillies have started to germinate, it takes about five months for the flowers to form. Until the fruits have formed and start to ripen, they go to Chililand for another three months. If you do not start growing until March, you will hardly harvest any ripe fruit from the field.

Scotch Bonnet chili seeds germinate quite well if you take a few small things into account.

Buy seeds fresh from a chili dealer you trust. If the seeds are older than three years, the germination rate drops significantly.


Soak your dried chili seeds first. In the chili scene the medium for soaking is a much discussed topic. With chamomile tea you do nothing wrong. If you add a little more boiling water to the tea than usual, it will not become so strong. Wait until the chamomile tea has cooled down to room temperature. Add a number of chili seeds that you want to sow the next day.

At the beginning some seeds will float on top, but over time they will be fully sucked and sink to the ground. You can recognize pigeon seeds by a dark spot in the middle. These also float up after one night. A chance that they will ever germinate is not very high.

Soaked seeds put them half a centimeter deep into a growing substrate. Such substrates do not contain any nutrient salts that would prevent the germination process. Coconut source tabs have proved their worth. Alternatively, a herbal and cultivating soil is recommended, especially if it has been made germ-free and has a loose structure.

Germination temperature

Two things are particularly important for the germination of chilli seeds. The seeds must never dry out during the two weeks of germination. High soil and air humidity is good, as long as it is not soaking wet. A temperature above 21 °C is essential. The ideal environment is between 25 °C and 28 °C. For this purpose we use a heated propagator with thermostat.

We set it to 27°C and do not let the humidity fall below 60%.


The Scotch Bonnet young plants soon develop into bushy plants. Some plants grow larger, others remain small. For this reason, we expect to repot Scotch Bonnet every few weeks from the very beginning. We usually start with a 16 cm rose pot and then place the larger chili plants in pots with more volume.

Remember that this plant originated in the Amazon basin. It then spread over the Caribbean islands. It likes sun, warmth, high humidity and a loose, moist soil. There must always be enough oxygen at the roots, and in stagnant water all peppers and chili plants shrink after a short time.

You can read more about the correct dosage when watering in this article.


Scotch Bonnet’s Habanero plants need a fertilizer with a high content of potassium and phosphate. The breeder recognizes this by the NPK value. Depending on the variety, we use different fertilizers ourselves. With Habaneros we use organic fertilizers, i.e. compost or a liquid fertilizer with an NPK value of about NPK 6 - 7 - 10. Rainwater or osmosis water with a cap full of fertilizer is applied about once a week. In the evening, the fertilizer mixture is poured into an already moist soil. This ensures a later, first-class harvest.


Depending on the variety, the Habanero pods ripen to yellow, orange or red. About 90 days after pollination, a slight colour change can be noticed at the top of the crown. Then it goes fast. Let the completely discoloured fruits hang for a few more days. This has an effect on the degree of sharpness and their fantetic aroma.

If you want to harvest like a professional, cut off the style in the first third of the plant with a pair of scissors.


Capsicum chinense plants easily grow five years old. Here in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, of course, only if we let chillies spend the winter indoors. At temperatures below 15 °C, chili plants slowly stop growing. Below 8 °C it slowly dies and at 4 °C the safe spoil lurks.

Until a few years ago, the energy costs for overwintering all our chili plants would have been too expensive for us. Today there are effective energy-saving lamps for plants. Right at the front are LED plant lamps. The nice thing is that with their help we can harvest fresh chillies even in winter.

In this article you will read how best to let chillies spend the winter. One thing in advance: give the chillies a neem cure before they go in. Neem is a plant pesticide, which works from the plant itself. Too often we have already had a whole population of chili plants, because spider mites have multiplied strongly in the dry indoor air.

Variety name Scotch Bonnet
Species Capsicum chinense
Origin Caribbean
plant size 80 - 120 cm
Maturing time 90 days
Scoville 800,000 SHU
Germination period 8 - 14 days
Germination temperature 25 - 28 °C
planting distance about 80 cm