It will take around 10-12 weeks for a small habanero seedling to grow too full size and produce peppers. Plant the seedlings in spring and by summer you will have small habanero peppers. They will grow to full size in a few weeks ready to pick.
This article will explore all you need to know about how long it takes to grow habanero peppers, how you can grow them quicker and how many peppers you can expect each year.
How to grow habanero peppers quicker
Here are my top tips to grow habanero peppers quicker at home.
Habanero peppers can be bought as a seedling from your local nursery to give yourself the quickest result. I recently bought 6 small plants which quickly doubled in size in only 2 weeks.
While you certainly can grow your own seeds, you can add an extra 4-6 weeks of growing time before you will get habanero peppers.
I find planting seedlings to be a more reliable way to get peppers quickly. I have extra plants this year to account for any plants that might be lost to bug attack in spring. So far some leaves have been nibbled but most plants are grow well and are unaffected.
Add compost to the soil first
Each time I replant peppers into my soil in spring it is a good time to add extra nutrients to the soil. Mix through compost, aged cow manure and worm castings if you have them. This will add a range of nutrients and replace any that were taken up by the last crop in your vegetable garden.
Habanero peppers are a summer plant so can share the garden space with other summer growers like tomatoes, strawberries, basil, lettuce or beans.
Add a handful of pelleted chicken manure
Chicken manure that is composted or in pellet form can be added to the base of your plant around 4 weeks after you plant them. You can also add these at the time of planting if you like for an extra nutrient boost.
Chicken manure is a mild fertilizer but is generally higher in nitrogen than other manures. This will help the plants to add leaf growth quickly to grow a large plant ready to grow flowers and peppers in summer.
Mulch is the final step after planting to help your habanero peppers to survive the hot summers. Adding around 2 inches of straw or sugar cane mulch around the root base will help to keep water in and stop the peppers from drying out when the weather warms.
Keep the mulch around 2 inches away from the base of the plant to allow water to drain away from the main stem.
How many peppers does a habanero plant produce?
A habanero plant can produce 20 or more peppers over a growing season if it is watered and fertilized well. A new plant that is growing for the first year will produce lots of peppers in its first season.
Plant it into soil with added aged cow or chicken manure and water it well over the warm months. Add a handful of pelleted chicken manure after around 4 weeks to keep the plant fed.
Stop adding chicken manure or nitrogen fertilizer to the plant after spring so the plant is triggered to grow flowers and set peppers instead of growing leaves.
Are habaneros easy to grow?
Habanero peppers are very easy to grow from seedling. Plant them in spring after the risk of frost has passed and you will have large plants up to 20 inches tall by summer. Allow them space to grow and water them well when it gets warm.
Peppers are an easy and rewarding plant to grow. Remember that if you want more peppers, plant them in a sunny position.
How long does it take for habanero peppers to bloom?
Habanero peppers should start to bloom in late spring to summer. When the weather heats up and the plant is established it will switch its energy from growing leaves to growing to growing flowers and peppers.
For plants that are not growing flowers by summer, you can add a flower promoting fertilizer to tip the balance of nutrients to increase the potassium to nitrogen ratio. This will switch the plants focus from leaves to flowers encouraging more peppers to grow.
How often to water habanero peppers
Water habanero peppers 1-2 times per week in spring if you have planted them in a raised garden bed or pot. These planting spaces will dry out quicker than those planted in the ground so will need to be checked and watered more regularly if there is low rainfall.
For peppers planted in the ground they can often survive longer without water but still check them every 2-3 days. In summer it is important to water peppers in the ground, pots or raised beds when the top soil dries out.
Adding water to your peppers every 1-2 days could be necessary if the weather is very warm. Check the soil first and if it is dry 2 inches down water the pepper well.
How long does it take for a habanero plant to produce peppers? | Summary
It can take up to 12 weeks before you see your first pepper so this will be a few weeks into summer if you have planted in mid spring. In sub-tropical regions you can plant peppers earlier in spring or even late winter if the weather is mild.
I have planted my peppers half way through spring and they are growing rapidly. I am expecting to get flowers at the start of summer and then peppers that are ready to pick a few weeks after that. Peppers will reward you with fruit all summer if they are picked regularly making room for more flowers.