Complete Dragon’s Breath Fiery Pepper Guide


Dragon’s Breath peppers have officially hit the market. While this pepper is extremely hot unofficially, there are still many uses for it.

Read on to learn more about the Dragon’s Breath pepper to learn about where it came from, different uses for it, and what it looks like. Also, find out if this pepper is hot enough to kill you and how to grow it if you dare!

What is Dragon’s Breath Pepper and How was it Developed?

Dragon’s Breath pepper may be one of the hottest chili peppers created. However, this pepper was not created for human consumption; rather, it was invented using nano feed technology. Nanotechnology is being used in fertilizers to help plants grow quicker and healthier without contaminating the soil or surrounding water supply.

Nanotechnology for plants can:

  • Absorb more nutrients
  • Provide balanced nutrition
  • Increase crop yields

Nanotechnology in plant growth is still new, and more studies need to be done. Due to this still being researched, nanotechnology should be used in smaller concentrations.

Dragon’s Breath pepper was developed by Neal Price, a chili farmer, and Mike Smith. The pepper itself was created by accident in an attempt to win Plant of the Year. Mike Smith has continued to grow the Dragon’s Breath pepper to try and win the Chelsea Flower Show for Plant of the Year, to which the pepper did make the Shortlist in 2017.

Neal Price originally developed the pepper to be used as an alternative anesthetic for countries that cannot afford normal anesthetics or for people who may be allergic to those used today. Due to the high potency of the oils produced in the pepper, the oils can be placed on the skin or around an area instead of being inhaled or used through an IV.

Close of photo of red Dragon's Breath peppers on white backdrop
Photo by Charlotte Lake

What Peppers Were Cross Bred When Making Dragon’s Breath

Peppers?

Due to the Dragon’s Breath peppers being created by accident, finding what peppers are involved in the crossbreed is difficult. The Dragon’s Breath pepper was created in a lab by:

  • Neal Price
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • NPK Technology-A hydroponic store in the U.K.

The capsaicin levels of the Dragon’s Breath pepper are high, as in most of all the extremely hot chili peppers available today.

Due to the high potency of these peppers, any peppers being crossbred are not going to be readily available to find. While pepper eating competitions are a sport in a sense, these peppers should not be added to the list. Keeping the information more secret will help keep these peppers from being able to be massed produced.

Why were Dragon’s Breath Peppers Created?

While Dragon’s Breath peppers were created by accident, they were initially grown for medicinal purposes. Lidocaine is an example of an over-the-counter topical anesthetic. Lidocaine comes in a variety of creams, sprays, and patches. The point is to alleviate pain around a particular area or areas of the body.

Dragon’s Breath peppers were created to do the same. However, being readily available in stores is nowhere on the radar, though doctors and hospitals can use it. The extreme heat of the capsaicin available in these small peppers will numb the skin and the person this topical anesthesia will be applied to will not feel a thing afterward.

Having the oils from a pepper being used as anesthesia can become extremely helpful for countries that cannot afford standard anesthetics. In turn, other countries can grow fields of the Dragon’s Breath peppers if needed and use that instead. If the local anesthetic can come from a plant that can be grown nearby, having local access can aid in more treatments of individuals on a need-by-need basis.

Jalape_o_Pepper_Lines (4)
Jalape_o_Pepper_Lines (4)

Capsaicin has other medicinal benefits as well, including:

  • Pain relief
  • Skin conditions
  • Weight loss

What Does Dragon’s Breath Pepper Look Like?

This pepper is on the smaller side, so small that a few can fit in the palm of your hand at one time. It is reddish-orange, similar to the color of the Ghost pepper. However, the Dragon’s Breath pepper is shorter and more round in shape. It still has a wrinkled, curled look to it and sometimes can come to a point on the bottom. The pointed bottom will have a similar look to the stem it grows on.

Dragon’s Breath peppers are about two inches long and similar in width. Depending on how long the peppers are left on the plant, it can turn a fire engine red color. Looking at this pepper, it just looks scorching.

Is the Dragon’s Breath Pepper the Hottest in the World?

No, Dragon’s Breath pepper is not the hottest in the world. While there is information available regarding the Scoville heat units of Dragon’s Breath pepper, the pepper itself has only been measured, not eaten, due to safety concerns.

How Hot is Dragon’s Breath Pepper?

Dragon’s Breath pepper comes in at 2.48 million heat units on the Scoville scale, but finding this rank can be difficult because the pepper was not grown to be eaten. Dragon’s Breath heat levels were most likely tested in the lab the pepper was originally grown in. Finding information on the Scoville units of Dragon’s Breath leads to somewhat mixed information.

As of May 2017, a confirmation of an application to the Guinness World Records was being waited on. As of August 2017, the Carolina Reaper still holds the Guinness World Record for the hottest pepper in the world. Pepper X was also created in 2017 with a Scoville ranking of 3.18 million Scoville units, making Pepper X the hottest in the world.

A lot of information on what the hottest pepper in the world seems to depend on what the Guinness Book of World Records states. Since Dragon’s Breath was not created for human consumption, while yes, the Scoville levels can be tested, it might not be seen as a priority since no one has eaten an entire pepper.

Can Eating Dragon’s Breath Pepper Kill You?

No, eating a Dragon’s Breath pepper will not kill you, even though you may feel like your body is on fire while eating one. If you choose to eat one, your body will eventually pass the pepper, but your body will go through a series of symptoms in the process. Some of these symptoms can include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Stomach pain
  • Cramping
  • Headaches

There may be other symptoms, but different people can experience different symptoms based on how each person’s body processes the pain from the pepper’s heat.

Based on a study from 1980, Life Noggin estimated one person would have to eat 25-30 Dragon’s Breath peppers to reach a lethal dose of capsaicin. The concentrated amounts of capsaicin in the peppers are what will make your mouth feel like it is on fire, cause watering eyes, and any other symptoms you may experience.

Mike Smith has not eaten the pepper itself but did touch his tongue to one before taking a pepper to the Chelsea Flower Show. He stated he was trying to spit the taste out only after ten seconds! Paul Bosland, director of the Chile Pepper Institute in New Mexico State University, has stated once your mouth feels the heat from the pepper, it sends receptors to your brain that there is pain.

The symptoms from your body dealing with the heat are your brain’s way of trying to get rid of the pain. An example of this would be during a pepper-eating competition. Once competitors in the competition reach their pain threshold sometimes, they will start throwing up or holding their stomachs in pain.

How to Grow Dragon’s Breath Peppers: Step-by-Step Guide

Growing Dragon’s Breath peppers from seeds is the same as growing other types of hot peppers. The main difference is the hotter the pepper is, the longer the seed sprouting times.

Gather Supplies for Growing Dragon’s Breath Peppers

Your seeds should be started indoors to give them a chance to sprout and grow outside easier. Starting the seeds inside will also help you get past the last frost of the year. You will need the following supplies:

  • Dragon’s Breath seeds
  • Potting or gardening soil
  • Starter plant containers
  • Fertilizer
  • Seedling heat mat
  • Spray bottle
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection

Whenever hot peppers are being grown, transplanted, or handled (even if it is just to see how well they are growing), skin and eye protection should be worn. If any of the capsaicin from the peppers gets onto your hands or into your eyes, your eyes might start to water or your skin might start to burn.

Set Up to Grow Your Seeds Indoors

It’s best to start your seeds indoors before transplanting them outside. While the seeds are starting, you want to give the plants a similar growing environment as they would have outdoors. This is where the heating mat, potting/gardening soil, and starter containers come into play. The heating mat can help keep the seedlings warm while inside your house and help germinate the seeds. You can use the potting or gardening soil in starter containers for your seeds.

A spray bottle will help keep the soil moist Also, make sure the container you choose to use will allow excess water to drain out of it as well.

Transplant Your Dragon’s Breath Plants Outside

After your seedlings have been growing for eight weeks and the last frost in your area is over, your plants can be moved outside. You can continue to grow your peppers in containers, or you can move them to your garden. If choosing to plant in your garden, make sure the plants are at least 18 inches apart, giving them extra room to grow.

Once your plants are outside, you can continue to take care of them as you would any of your other plants. The first week or two, keep more of an eye on your pepper plants to make sure they are acclimating to the outdoors the way they should. The temperature outside needs to be 70–80 degrees Fahrenheit (21–27 degrees Celsius) during the day for the peppers to grow and mature the way they should.

Grow Dragon’s Breath Plants to Their Full Term             

Soon your pepper plants will grow more and more. The branches of the pepper plants can become heavier as the peppers begin to grow and ripen. Adding a stake or a taller object that you can attach to the main stalk of your pepper plants will be helpful and can stop the plants from drooping due to the added weight of the fruits.

Harvest Your Dragon’s Breath Peppers

Your Dragon’s Breath peppers can be harvested once they get the orange-reddish coloring or turn red all the way. The peppers will be firm to the touch or when given a light squeeze. Be sure to wear gloves when harvesting Dragon’s Breath peppers due to the capsaicin. Picking these peppers while not wearing any kind of hand protection would not be a good idea, especially if you forget and rub your eyes at some point in the process.

Use an AeroGarden to Grow Dragon’s Breath Peppers

Another way to get your Dragon’s Breath pepper seeds started is by using an AeroGarden. An AeroGarden is a hydroponic system that helps get the seeds started and growing without using any soil. The seeds are fed with a liquid solution to give them all the added nutrients they need.

Welsh Chilli uses an AeroGarden to grow Dragon’s Breath Peppers. Once the seeds are germinated in about a month or two and start to grow leaves, the plants can be transplanted into pots with a soil mixture to continue to be grown inside. Once the pepper plants are large enough, they can then be moved outside into either your garden or a larger container.

Close up photo of Dragon's breath and Naga peppers
Photo by Charlotte Lake

How Long Does It Take to Grow Dragon’s Breath Peppers from Seeds?

Dragon’s Breath peppers will need around 90 days to grow from seeds to a fully harvested pepper plant. There are a few factors to consider when arriving at this number, so this number is more of an estimate. These factors include:

  • The correct temperature
  • The right amount of watering
  • Taking care of the soil
  • No diseases
  • Adequate pest control

The hotter the pepper plant that is being grown, the longer it can take to reach its full potential. There can be some slip-ups along the way that may not even be human error; just the weather in your area alone can cause the pepper plants to either not make it or take longer to grow. Any pests or diseases can kill your plants as well. Giving your pepper plants a daily check, or checking on them every couple of days, can help spot issues that could arise with your plants before it becomes a worse situation.

Can You Buy Dragon’s Breath Peppers? Where?

Dragon’s Breath peppers can be purchased online. There is a chance the pepper can be found at a specialty store if there is one in your area. However, finding these peppers at a local supermarket will not be happening any time soon, if at all.

Dragon’s Breath pepper plants can be purchased online from Intermountain Seed Source for $13.99 as of May 2021. The plants will ship when they are five to seven inches tall, and three plants will be included. Growing instructions will be included as well, so your plants can grow to their full potential.

Pepperheads sells fresh Dragon’s Breath peppers in groups of four peppers for $19.95 as of May 2021. The peppers will not be dried when you receive them and are sent using priority mail so they can be kept as fresh as possible upon their arrival at your doorstep.

Being able to buy already-grown or still growing Dragon’s Breath peppers can lead to you being able to harvest these peppers again and again as the years go by if you choose to.

Can You Buy Dragon’s Breath Pepper Seeds? Where?

Dragon’s Breath pepper seeds can also be purchased online. Finding and buying the seeds online is a lot easier than finding the fresh peppers themselves.

Urban Farmer sells Dragon’s Breath pepper seeds in four different sizes for four different amounts:

A packet of Seeds (10 seeds)$4.00
100 Seeds$25.00
500 Seeds$85.00
1,000 Seeds$150.00

The product details for the peppers are full of helpful information, and there is even a section with growing instructions on the site

Bohica Pepper Hut also sells Dragon’s Breath pepper seeds. Their seeds come in two price ranges:

  • $7.00 for 10 seeds
  • $12.00 for 20 seeds

An FAQ page on their website can be used as a guide when growing your pepper plants and help with any problems you might encounter when growing your pepper plants.

Closing Thoughts

All in all, the Dragon’s Breath pepper, while being unofficially extremely hot, will not kill you if you decide to eat it. If you decided to grow it, this pepper plant could be used in foods or for medicinal purposes at your home as well. Growing this pepper will need a lot of patience and experimenting, but it can be accomplished. If you enjoy the scorching feeling of a pepper the second it touches your tongue, the Dragon’s Breath pepper is absolutely the pepper for you!

Supriya

Hi! I'm Supriya. I'm a home cook, bulldog mom, spicy food lover, and founder of The Spicy Trio. I have been a home cook for about 15 years and have been growing plants for the past six years.

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