This pepper's distinctive flavor makes it the most popular Serrano along the Mexican border where it is a favorite for salsas, sauces, stews, and soups. Serranos are definitely hot peppers with a good kick and are not for the faint of palate (but, they are not as hot as Thai, Santaka, or Habanero peppers). Some say they are around 5 times hotter than a Jalapeno. The small peppers turn red when they are fully ripe, but can be harvested at any stage. The plants are large, and can reach 2-3 feet wide and tall. Serranos do not dry well and are best used fresh. Removing the veins and seeds will reduce some of the ëheatí if desired. A recipe is included inside the seed packet for a Serrano Dressing. This packet plants: 100 plants started indoors.
When to plant outside: Spring, 3-4 weeks after the average last frost date and when soil temperatures are at least 65 degrees or outside temperatures are at least 70 degrees. In USDA zones 9 & 10, they may also be planted in summer for a winter crop.
When to start inside: RECOMMENDED. 8-10 weeks before the average last frost.
Scoville Pepper Heat Ratings
Wilbur Scoville developed a heat rating chart for peppers in 1912. It is still the standard used today. Below is a list of approximate ratings for peppers offered by Botanical Interests. Different sources may list varied ranges. Pepper heat can be affected by growing conditions. Plants grown in dry, hot conditions will produce spicier peppers.
0 Bell Pepper, Sweet Italian (no heat)
2,500 Pasilla Bajio
4,000 Hungarian Yellow Wax
4,500-5,000 New Mexico Joe E Parker
30,000-50,000 Cayenne, Tabasco
50,000-100,000 Thai, Santaka
1,040,000 Bhut Jolokia (The hottest pepper according to Guinness Book of World Records. Not offered by Botanical Interests.)