WHEN her son decided to buy a chilli plant, Mala Lingaloo had no idea how big it would grow.
But, four months later, the Trinidad Scorpion chilli plant has reached an extreme height of six foot.
The plant, which contains one of the hottest chillis in the world, lives in Mala’s conservatory where she carefully looks after it.
The chillis are still growing and are currently the colour green. They will turn a vibrant red when they are ready for eating.
Mala, 57, from St Edward’s Road, Southsea, said: ‘My son, Nathan, decided to buy a chilli plant because he loves the hot taste and wanted to try growing his own.
‘We have never attempted to grow a chilli plant before so we didn’t really know what we were doing.
‘But I never thought it would grow to be six foot.
‘I just kept growing and growing and I’m excited to see what happens next.
‘I just decided to stick it in my conservatory and I have been looking after it for the last few months.
‘Obviously it likes the hot temperature and all the light because the plant has really grown quite big.’
Although the plant has reached six foot, the chillis are still quite small but are growing steadily.
But Mala is just eagerly awaiting to see just how tall the plant gets.
She added: ‘I am no expert in chilli plants – I don’t know if it will continue to grow till the chillis are ripe, or if it will stop once it’s reached a certain height or if once the chillis are picked it will just die.
‘None of us really knows.
‘When it comes to normal plants for the garden, I know a fair bit because we have them too but this plant is a mystery to me.’
The Trinidad Scorpion plant has a Scoville heat unit rating of around 1.4m. A jalapeño chilli has an average Scoville rating of 2,500 to 8,000.
Brian Kidd, gardening expert, said: ‘The plant that Mala has grown is a very impressive size.
‘Normally, chilli plants grow between 15 inches and two and a half foot so to reach six foot is excellent.
‘Placing in the conservatory was the right thing to do and I would like to congratulate her.’