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Chocolate Habanero Pepper – GIY Plants

Small wicker basket full of freshly harvested chocolate habanero peppers with white background.

The Chocolate Habanero, a variety of Capsicum chinense, is one of the hottest peppers. Native to the Caribbean, it is renowned for its rich flavor. This pod packs heat and a smoky, earthy essence unique to its kind.

Chocolate Habanero Pepper Seeds

Chocolate habanero pepper seeds are sourced from reputable seed companies. They adhere to a pledge of offering organic seeds. These seeds bring exotic plants, which we value for their spicy fruit as gardeners.

Characteristics of the Chocolate Habanero

Ripening from green to a deep, dark brown, the pepper resembles chocolate. Hence, it earns its name. Its size typically measures about 2 inches. Despite its sweet-sounding name, the pepper boasts a heat rating of around 450,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). This rating marks it as significantly hotter than the regular Habanero.

Growing the Chocolate Habanero

Close up of a chocolate habanero pepper growing on plant.

Chocolate habanero peppers can grow indoors or outdoors. We recommend starting the seeds indoors approximately eight weeks before the last frost. Maintaining a temperature range of 70 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit ensures ideal germination conditions. The pH of the soil should ideally be between 6 to 6.8 for the seedlings to thrive.

Once the seedlings reach a height of about 2 inches, they are ready for transplant. Whether in a container or a garden row, ensure a spacing of about 18 inches apart between each plant. They require rich, well-drained soil and a sunny location for best growth.


As the plants mature and the fruit develops, you will notice the pods ripening. They will transform from a lush green to a beautiful chocolate brown. This transition signals that the pepper is ready for harvest.

Culinary Uses of the Chocolate Habanero

Culinary Uses of the Chocolate Habanero in white bowl on a cutting board.

The chocolate habanero is a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. Its smoky flavor makes it an excellent addition to a variety of dishes. It is commonly used in hot sauces and salsas. Its unique, rich flavor brings an extra kick to traditional mole sauce. Though it’s high on the Scoville scale, the pepper’s heat balances with a surprising sweetness.

Precautions with the Chocolate Habanero

The chocolate habanero is among the hottest peppers. We urge caution when handling these peppers. Wearing gloves during harvest can protect your skin from the pepper’s capsaicin. Ensure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling these hot peppers.

Chocolate Habanero vs. Habanero

Two peppers sitting on a wood table, chocolate habanero vs habanero.

While related, the Chocolate Habanero and regular Habanero differ in color and heat. The regular Habanero displays vibrant red or orange hues, while the Chocolate Habanero matures into a rich, dark brown shade.

On the Scoville scale, measuring the spice of peppers, the Chocolate Habanero surpasses its regular counterpart, boasting a heat level between 425,000 to 577,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) compared to the regular Habanero’s 100,000 to 350,000 SHU.

This variance in heat and color contributes to the distinct identity of each pepper within the Habanero family.


Growing the chocolate habanero is a rewarding endeavor for any spicy food lover. With its high heat rating and unique smoky flavor, this pepper is a star in many culinary creations. With our detailed guide and growing instructions, you will find growing these peppers rewarding.

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