Introduction: How to Grow Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Peppers

Picture of How to Grow Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Peppers

Are you ready to grow some seriously hot peppers? How about a batch of Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers? In 2012, the Guinness book of World Records officially named the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper as the world’s hottest pepper!

Exactly how hot is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper? To put the pepper’s extreme hotness into perspective, its rating on the Scoville Heat Scale can be compared with other common peppers. A Jalapeno pepper, which many of us have sampled, rates between 3,500-8,000 Scoville heat units. Habanero chilies, which are significantly hotter than Jalapenos, have a ranking between 100,000-350,000 Scoville heat units. The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper, however, has a Scoville heat ranking of between 1,500,000-2,000,000 plus units! 2,000,000 Scoville units is the equivalent of military-grade pepper spray! Damn that’s one hot pepper!

This is a fun and exciting project that practically anyone can do! It's as simple as planting, watering, and harvesting! Additionally, this is an inexpensive project to undertake. The required seeds are available online for approximately $5 and the remaining equipment can be easily obtained from local stores.

The following steps will guide you in an intuitive fashion through the four phases of this project: germinating the seeds, planting the seeds, plant growth, and harvesting.


WARNING!!! I am not kidding when I say that these peppers and their seeds are hot! It is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO WEAR LATEX GLOVES WHEN HANDELING THE SEEDS OR THE PEPPERS. If your skin comes into contact with any part of the plant or its fruit, WASH AREA EXCESSIVELY WITH SOAP!

Step 1: Supplies Needed

Picture of Supplies Needed

1. Small (approximately 12Oz) Styrofoam cup.
2. Potting soil.
3. Paper towel.
4. Plastic container.
5. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper seeds.
6. Latex gloves

Step 2: Germinating the Seeds

Picture of Germinating the Seeds

WARNING! WEAR LATEX GLOVES WHEN HANDELING THE SEEDS!

1. Cut or fold a paper towel so that it fits in the bottom of the plastic container.

2. Place the seed(s) on the surface of the paper towel that lines the bottom of the plastic container.

3. Place a second paper towel cutout over the seed(s) so that the seed(s) are in between the two paper towels.

4. Add just enough water to the paper towels in the plastic container so that the towels are thoroughly damp. Do not add enough water to allow for standing water (not absorbed by the paper towels) in the bottom of the plastic container.

5. Place the plastic dish on a window seal or similar location. You want the container to receive ample sunlight to allow for successful seed germination. Additionally, ensure that the container remains in an environment with temperatures between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. It is important to check on the seed(s) throughout the day to ensure that the paper towels are saturated with water. If the seed(s) are not between wet paper towels, they will dry out and germination will not occur. Thus, check the plastic container a few times a day, ensuring that the towels are damp.

7. The seeds will start to sprout after approximately 1-3 weeks of being soaked between the paper towels.

8. Once the seeds have sprouted, you are ready for the next step: planting!

Step 3: Planting the Seeds

Picture of Planting the Seeds

WARNING! WEAR LATEX GLOVES WHEN HANDELING THE SEEDS!

1. Prepare the growing containers by filling the Styrofoam cups with potting soil. The cups should be filled so that there is about a half inch of remaining space at the top of the cup.

2. Using a pencil or similar object, poke a hole in the dirt in the center of the cup that extends down about a half inch.

3. Gently place the sprouting seed in the hole, making sure that the direction of the sprout (the root) is facing downward.

4. Cover the sprout lightly with dirt, and add enough water to dampen the soil.

Step 4: Plant Growth

Picture of Plant Growth

1. You should expect to see the seed sprout from the soil within one to two weeks’ time. Be sure to check the plant regularly and keep the soil moist (but not flooded).

2. Keep the plant inside, because the minimum growing temperature is 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion grows best at temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Place the plant on a window seal. The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper plant requires at least six hours of direct sunlight per day (more is ideal – up to 12 hours of sunlight per day).

4. The plant will reach maturity and begin producing fruit in approximately two to three months.

Step 5: Harvesting the Peppers

Picture of Harvesting the Peppers

WARNING! This is a reminder to ALWAYS WEAR LATEX GLOVES WHEN HANDELING THE SEEDS OR PEPPERS!

1. Once the plant is fully grown, it will produce Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Peppers. These peppers are ready to be harvested when they turn completely red.

2. Once the peppers are ready to harvest, use a pair of scissors to cut the stem of the pepper.

3. Enjoy!


Comments

jwarner75 (author)2017-06-05

Scorpion, Carolina Reaper and Ghost peppers are Perennials. If you prune them back when it's getting cold, Add some mulch and add a Foam dome over it during the winter, uncover after last frost, leaves will start to grow back. or you can Dig up, put in a 5 Gallon pot and grow in the house, keep a Radius of around 3 Feet, Keeping it Pruned all the time, you'll end up with Fruit all year around and LOTS of it.

SeanD15 (author)2015-08-14

I am growing Trinidad scorpions, but I have a question. The plant has started producing peppers some are of a decent size. However some are dark green, others are a light green/yellow. How long til they are ripe?

jwarner75 (author)SeanD152017-06-05

They don't have to be Red before you can pick them. You can eat them while they are green also, They will have a little less heat to them then when they are fully ripe but not by much.

Jalapeno's are generally Red, but mostly picked when they are green. Can do the same with pretty much any veggie, but will have a little different flavor.

GlennS83 (author)SeanD152017-02-28

When they get a solid red color they are ready for harvest

CharlieT45 made it! (author)2017-03-02

I wrote a nice, long story, but it was wiped when I forgot to logon. Sorry for the brief review...

I tried to grow TMS's from a kit on Amazon 3 years ago. Went nowhere. Ordered some seeds, and totally forgot. A month ago, found them, read this, and gave it a go. Here is my progress...

I improvised the germination process a little. I placed 6 seeds on a moist paper towel, folded it over twice, and placed the "package" into a plastic sandwich bag. One month later, 5 have popped and 1 is, well, just sitting there. To compare, I placed 1 seed in a pot on the window sill of my office. This seed has also sprouted.

I kept the plastic bag in a cup in front of an office heater, set at 75 degrees. I also placed a plastic cup over the seed in the pot.

I will leave the potted plant, as is, until I need to transplant to newer pot. This one I plan to leave/grow in my office. The other 5 will come home with me this weekend and I will place in Solo Cups under the Gro-Lite.

Will post updates, if the continue to succeed!

sherry j (author)2015-10-20

I planted my peppers from seed in February. Transplanted them to the garden. I have 5 nice full plants about 2 1/2 feet tall. It has been blooming for almost 2 months but I am yet to have any fruit. Summers here at high 90's, they have been kept moist and are very healthy. What am I doing wrong and how can I fix it?

Ty Yocum (author)sherry j2016-09-01

You aren't doing anything wrong. Harvest is late it the year, starting in August or later. It all has to do with the hours of the sun.dont worry your plants will flower by September or October for sure! Harvest is usually October. That's when all your fruits should finish. It's a pepper though, cut off your fruits, new ones will come back. This happens until the sun light changes. Then no more fruits til next year. Enjoy!

GlennS83 (author)Ty Yocum 2017-02-28

Actually once your trindad plant goes to blooms its generally 1-4 more weeks to start actually producing the pepper sometimes up to 2months from time of bloom.

GlennS83 (author)sherry j2017-02-28

Oh also make sure you fertilize once a month RoseGlo fertilizer is AWESOME for most plants n veggies n citrus trees.i swear by it. It is also organic

GlennS83 (author)sherry j2017-02-28

I work in a nursery/garden center and am an avid grower of many vegetables herbs n peppers including trinidads myself. One thing that may be your problem if your plant is producing good healthy foliage but not bearing peppers is "Pollination" Pollination is very key to growing peppers along with any other vegetable that has blooms on the plan. if your area attracts bees....natural pollination is the BEST method for this n bees are great pollinators. if you do not attract bees simply look up manual hand pollination of plants. hope this helps.

JonathanM95 (author)sherry j2015-10-28

I have not grown the TS, but have cultivated the hybrid of the Caribbean Red Habanero and, the Ghost Pepper, also called the Naga Viper. It's offspring is the Carolina Reaper, currently the hottest pepper in the world. My plants started off very slowly, and they were like 2 inches high when purchased. It took over 90 days to produce from flower to harvest in a 2 gallon pot, for bringing inside when the freeze occurs. I was not a faithful waterer, nor did I feed the plants with soluble fertilizers. This failure to feed led to a high yield of very small peppers that were still phenomenally hot, and firm. Others that set them out in the ground used cow manure to line the hole and they got 5' plants and so many peppers that they had to dry them and store them as powder which works fantastically. If your plants are slow to produce that is to be expected, as it's yield cycle is long. Some up to a solid 4 months. Just keep the plants fed and watered, use a rich manure mix in at least a 50 mix of well draining sandy soil and humus, keep in full sun, and water 3 times a week.

PlantDoc67 made it! (author)2017-02-05

Spider mites, aphids and fungus flies may be hiding in your soil. If you do not sterilize your growing medium you may get some of these unwanted pests. There are ways to deal with these pests but if you do not have the time just get rid of the plant and be certain to keep an eye on your others. An infestation like this can occur in 48 hrs. These are cherry pepper plants but the first mites appeared in my super hots via MG organic choice potting soil. I bought mine in October the last bag on the shelf from the previous growing year.. After pouring 2 tea pots of boiling water onto about a half gallon of seed starting mixture and letting it drain slowly I seem to have no further issues. I actually found a lil respect for these tiny invaders. Gardening sure is an odd hobby. I have never felt so good while feeling so physically bad. gardening really can remove one from self. Many lessons to be learned... PEACE

PlantDoc67 (author)2017-02-04

My UPDATE. So far so good. It was not as hard as I thought but certainly requires attention. Albeit, I have a tendency to over-DO. I have one that sprouted to about 12", a tomato a lil bigger, and a helichrysum flower of some sort. My wife is going crazy. As far as germination goes you can use a paper towel or MG organic choice soil. The most important thing is to keep that soil warm. Use the heating pad until they pop up nice for you. After that my fluorescent light has provided enough warmth. If the sun is out I try to pull a few out to catch as many rays as they can.. I alternate. Again, I am in north east Pa. My germination using the soil and heating pad was never longer than 11 days with most popping through in 9. My seeds were hand selected from last years grow via my neighbor and all around great guy, Eddie pepper. That group in the plastic container were some of the lesser of the seeds and they are now some of the strongest plants I have. I iwll take and post more pics asap. Pease.

PlantDoc67 made it! (author)2017-02-04

So far so good. It was not as hard as I thought but certainly requires attention. Albeit, I have a tendency to over-DO. I have one that sprouted to about 12", a tomato a lil bigger, and a helichrysum flower of some sort. My wife is going crazy. As far as germination goes you can use a paper towel or MG organic choice soil. The most important thing is to keep that soil warm. Use the heating pad until they pop up nice for you. After that my fluorescent light has provided enough warmth. If the sun is out I try to pull a few out to catch as many rays as they can.. I alternate. Again, I am in north east Pa. My germination using the soil and heating pad was never longer than 11 days with most popping through in 9. My seeds were hand selected from last years grow via my neighbor and all around great guy, Eddie pepper. That group in the plastic container were some of the lesser of the seeds and they are now some of the strongest plants I have. I iwll take and post more pics asap. Pease.

jmiers1 (author)2013-12-01

DO NOT EAT THIS PEPPER. IT CAN KILL YOU.

JesusM128 (author)jmiers12017-01-08

lol i have this pepper i have many

they are brutally great

Ty Yocum (author)jmiers12016-09-01

That is a lie!!!! I eat them daily! The violent burn last about 20 min.

PlantDoc67 (author)2016-11-04

There is much more to it especially if you live north of the M//D line. Germinating in paper towels while excellent for some plants it is NOT the BEST medium for the TSP's. This is not a plant for first time gardeners to grow from seeds unless you put in some hard work. Temperature of the germinating seeds is of the utmost importance and they are very picky about EVERYTHING. 7 days is very early for a TSP to germ under ideal conditions nevermind a window sill. How do I know? I'm in the process of growing some indoor TSP's this winter. MericleGrow Organic Choice mixed 40/60 with sterilized play sand has FINALLY resulted in the germination of 3 seeds. Using the soil alone I have yet to germinate ANY but I hold hope because they can take up to 100 days to germ. Or so I have read. Look at where the plant thrives in the wild and try to recreate the environment... I will update with pics after I get singed up here...

Amonynos. (author)2014-08-04

ALWAYS wear gloves, but you're holding three of them in this picture in your bare hand.... :)

JonathanM95 (author)Amonynos.2015-10-28

You can hold the peppers without risk. To your hands that is. If you break the skin of this pepper and touch your eyes, nasal membranes, or soft skin around your junk, YOU WILL REGRET IT. There is nothing that wilI stop the burn except times passing and enjoying a wonderful warmth. I have thrown contact lenses away for causing excruciating eye burns, even days later after 15 cycles of handwashing for handling the peppers with bare hands. Plan on using disposable chopping maps and washing your knives in something that absolutely dissolves oil. Never cook this pepper without a strong outside venting of the steam. DON"T SMELL THE STEAM WHEN THEY COOK! It literally will blister your face!

MoomanII (author)Amonynos.2015-04-02

I thought the same

burnspogi (author)2015-08-25

Hi. I bought my Trinidad Moruga Scorpion seeds from eBay.The seller is from Sweden. I planted the seeds and now 3 months have passed and they're just about a foot tall. They don't even have branches. One plant is already flowering.My question is could I have bought something else other than a TMS? Aren't there some kind of sub species for this pepper? Some sellers of TMS on eBay seeds call their seeds "pure strain" but I don't know exactly what that means. Could my plants be an unpure strain?

SeanD15 (author)2015-08-14

A.J.D (author)2015-03-03

Have been growing the triidad moruga scorpion as part of our farm's business efforts for some time. Wanted to add to this tutorial that heat will greatly improve the speed and rate of germination. They live it up around 80 deg. f, but simple things like putting them on top of a refrigerator or hot water heater can also help.

Much information on the pepper here;

http://peppersbymail.com/the_hottest_pepper_in_the_world/trinidad-moruga-scorpion/

DaveM3 (author)2014-10-07

I used a Jiffy Greenhouse tray that can hold up to 72 peat pucks. I only used 30 puck 15 Moruga & 15 Butch T I only lost a couple it work great just hydrate the puck & place one seed in the center & place the clear cover on until it germinates then prop open 1/2" until they no longer fit under the cover. I started them in March but it was a cold spring so they grow slowly I did not even transfer them into a plastic pot, at 6" I gave most to friends & put the rest into the ground it continued into a cold summer we only had 2 90°F days. I started getting blooms in late Aug. When it got cold in Sept. I put them in pots & place in a large window in the basement I now have about 30+ fruit & just pick my first one. We like make hot pickles by take a jar of plank style dill pickle & chopping up one pepper into it then reseal it & shake it up. In a couple of hour it is already hot & gets better day by day. We use it burgers, brats &roast beef sandwiches (yum) When finished with the jar don't throw away the juice use it to cook your meat (burgers & more) in it. Next year I'm starting in Feb.

Altidarum (author)2014-08-29

hi, i have a dude.. if my seeds are on 80 F° and suddenly down at 53 F°, it will die? thats cause i put a plastic container on a light and the heat dry the water, then i putted some cold water on it... have i hope? :C

danny.newlon (author)2014-08-24

They are initially green. Then they turn orange. Next they turn red when they are ready. Sometimes a pepper will be part green and part red, but usually it eventually turns entirely red.

mtx1000d (author)2014-08-15

Are they green when they first bloom and turn to red? I have at least 20 peppers sprouted right now.
Any tips on fertilization during this period? Thanks.

Camkurst (author)2014-04-28

Currently working on this. How big should the sprouts be before putting the peppers in styrofoam cups? Sorry for the idiot question. Thanks.

deadzygote6 (author)Camkurst2014-06-03

as soon as you see the tap root emerging from the seed in the paper towel they're ready for soil make sure the soil is moist while planting the newly germinated seeds dry soil seems to shock them more and as a result growth will slow for a week or two. I grew some of these last year and they are something else different from any other pepper plant I've ever grown and man they are hot. good luck and happy growing

Barb37 (author)2014-04-23

I have a black thumb, so am at a disadvantage right off the start! I can sure use steering in the right direction for buying authentic, non-hybrid seeds. Might you please post [or PM me] your seed-source? Your pepper pictures look cook-book-ready!

sujistar (author)2013-12-22

For making its pickle please check:
https://www.instructables.com/id/Grow-Plants-In-Your-Balcony-or-Indoors-and-make-Yo/

clubber (author)2013-11-22

i just remembered a video about this pepper. two guys were wearing gas masks to prepare a sauce for a contest.
so i can't imagine eating this:)

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