Sweet bell peppers, habanero peppers, and cayenne peppers are all members of the Capsicum annuum species, which also includes jalapeno peppers.
In terms of spiciness, the jalapeño pepper sits in the center of the pack and comes with a medium-hot kick. Like others, these peppers have the same gardening requirements as other types of the genus; however, they’re usually harvested just as the pod-shaped fruits start to change color.
While they may appear challenging to grow, jalapenos are easy to grow from seed or from transplants.
Using our gardening guide, you can learn more than just how to grow jalapeno peppers; you can find how best to care for them indoors, outside, or growing in pots. Best of all, you’ll see when to pick a jalapeno to get the best taste for dinner. (Learn How to Grow Potatoes Indoors)
How Do Jalapenos Grow Best?
Jalapeno Plant Stages are good to know so you can see how growing peppers have different needs. A good example, you may think green peppers are nowhere near ready, yet a jalapeno could be ripe for picking. Here’s more about what you need to know.
Growing jalapenos from seed have an indoor and outdoor step. Here, you can see how to grow jalapenos indoors, how to get them ready to grow outdoors, and how you would care for them growing in pots.
Growing Jalapenos from Seeds
- Jalapeno seeds will be sown indoors for around three months before any last frost is to be expected frost. Seeds should be planted in germination trays or containers with good drainage holes.
- It is possible to use another method, such as the baggie method. You can also use this to test seed viability as you see exactly what is going on.
- Moisten your seed-starting mix, then fill containers to 3/4 full. Add one to three seeds for each container and cover with a slight layer of mix.
- For seeds sprouted using the bag method, cut the paper towel that holds the pepper seedling and add the seedling under a light layer of mix.
- Place your containers on a heat mat as this can help maintain the temperature hot peppers like.
- Keep the mix moistened through bottom watering and keep an eye out for full germination that should be around 2 weeks for them to sprout.
- Start fertilizing when you see the first set of true leaves.
Hardening Off a Jalapeno Pepper Plant
You will begin this phase when your jalapeno peppers are around 8 weeks old or about 4 inches high, and there are several sets of true leaves.
It is an important phase, so make sure not to skip this for the sake of your jalapeno plant’s outdoor survival. (Learn How to Harvest Kale)
Jalapeno Plant Indoor Process
- Position a small fan blowing gently in the direction of your plant’s seedlings and let it run for 15 minutes on the first day.
- On the next day, run the fan again but for 30 minutes rather than the 15 minutes on day one.
- Run the fan each day for a week and increase the time by 15 minutes each day. You should have 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 45 minutes and so on.
- Repeat this procedure for one week to get your pepper plants used to the wind.
Jalapeno Plant Outdoor Process
- Place seedlings around two inches tall in a shaded area outside to protect them from the harsh sun. Do this for around 15 minutes the first day and then bring them back inside.
- Repeat the first step on the second day yet leave them in this area for 30 minutes.
- Take your plants outdoors each day, and as with the fan, increase the amount of direct sun they face and the duration. Just follow the same schedule for indoors, such as 15 minutes the first day, 30 minutes the second, etc.
- Repeat this outdoor process for one week.
- On the final day, you can leave your growing jalapenos out for an entire day and night.
- Note: If there is any sign of bad weather, don’t carry out the outdoor process. High wind and heavy rain can quickly stress your pepper plants. Should they show signs of stress, you can move them indoors or shaded area.
- Fill your pot with a high-quality potting mix and leave a couple of inches empty on top. Ensure the soil pH is slightly acidic, and the mix is labeled for containers as others won’t provide airflow and moisture retention that potted plants need.
- Water the mix while filling the container, so it is moist rather than soaked. You can make a soil ball that holds its shape when it has sufficient water.
- Make a hole in the middle of the buckets soil deep enough to support your jalapeno plant to the lowest leaves.
- Insert your jalapeno, and level the soil, then lightly water the root zone.
- Apply fertilizer following instructions from the bottle. When feeding potted pepper plants, fish, and seaweed, fertilizer offers significant results.
- Position the pot in an area so your jalapeno plants can get at least 8 hours of direct sun each day.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Jalapenos?
Jalapeño peppers are grown from nursery seedlings or seeds you can start indoors and then planted in the spring. Since they need a warm temperature to germinate, they need planting once the soil temperature reaches at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. A Jalapeno pepper plant takes three to four months to mature into harvestable fruit after germination. (Read Grow Cucumbers Vertically)
Do Jalapenos Grow Well in Pots?
Jalapeno pepper plants are versatile for growing around the home, and pots are just one area they can thrive. Here are all the ways you could start growing jalapeno peppers. (Read Growing Onions in Containers)
Outside in the Garden
Start 2 – 3 weeks from the last spring frost; you can grow jalapenos outside. Sow jalapeno seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep, 18 to 24 inches apart, with two to three feet between rows, and place seeds or transplants 18–24 inches off from one another.
Jalapenos need full sun, or at least six hours of direct sun per day, as well as well-drained soil that has been enriched with organic matter. The pH level for jalapenos should be between 6.0 and 6.8, so if it’s too low, add limestone, and if it’s too high, add peat moss. Water peppers daily to keep the soil moist but not over-wet. (Read What Is Eating My Pepper Plants At Night)
If you don’t have space, Jalapenos develop well in large containers. A wide container with a capacity of 2 to 3 gallons is needed to grow pepper plants successfully. Like in the garden, the container must receive sufficient sunlight and be cared for. Place your jalapenos container where it can receive at least six hours of sun per day.
While an all-purpose potting mix can be used, container pepper plants also need additional fertilizer and diligent irrigation during the growing season. Once a week, apply liquid fertilizer and water the container to preserve moistness in the soil.
Single Pot Vegetable Garden
Container Vegetables that grow well together save space and offer a variety of nutrients. Vegetables like jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, and herbs can be grown in one container, making it easy to grow all you need for your favorite dishes.
Give each pepper plant plenty of room and leave space to support plant growth while growing vegetables in a single container. Fill your container halfway with fresh potting mix, plant your vegetables, and water. Keep the pot in a sunny area and make sure the container has lots of drainage holes.
How Do You Grow Jalapenos at Home?
Here you can find an excellent overview of how to grow jalapeno peppers at home without too much effort. You can see how to sow seeds indoors before you transplant your jalapeno pepper plant into a container or your garden.
Sowing Seeds Tips
If you want to know when to plant jalapenos, you can plant jalapenos any time of year using a seedling tray with medium-sized cells and good drainage holes at the bottom. (Learn How to Grow a Lemon Tree From Seed)
- If you’re growing jalapeno peppers indoors, fill the cells/cups with moist coco – peat. Use fine soil for your growing medium if you’re growing hot peppers outside.
- Sow a couple of seeds per cell or cup.
- The seeds of the hot pepper plant are very thin, and make sure not to plant too deeply.
- Place your seeds on the medium’s surface and push them gently with the tip of a pencil. Cover the seeds with your chosen growing medium.
- Keep your seedling tray indoors until your seeds germinate.
- Keep the seedling tray in a box or cover it with paper for the first 4-5 days as it offers faster germination.
- Every day, add 2 tablespoons of water to your seeds. Another method is to submerge the seed tray into another tray filled with water for 30 minutes so the water can be absorbed by the seed cells via the drainage holes.
- If seeds are planted in seedbeds outside, keep them out of direct sunlight and heavy rain.
- Make a temporary roof from a plastic sheet and cover your seedbed.
- Water it with a watering can in a light shower.
Caring for Jalapeño Plants Tips
- Within 6 to 8 days, jalapeno seeds germinate. You can now expose your seedling tray to more sunlight to help promote leaf growth.
- Cut off smaller seedlings with sharp scissors and keep one seedling per hole or cup.
- 4 weeks after sowing, transplant your seedlings to container pots or raised beds. Use a planting mix of 2 parts garden soil and 1-part organic manure; alternatively, use 1 part garden soil, 1 part coco-peat, and 1-part Vermicompost.
- Plant your seedlings in 8–12-inch containers along with the entire root ball. Keep at least 2 feet between your hot pepper plants and only add one to each 8–12-inch container.
- If growing in the winter, make sure the plant has maximum sunlight, and during the summer, the hot peppers have partial sunlight.
- Water using a watering can.
- To hold jalapeños upright, stake them and spray with horticultural spray to prevent infection.
- Remove diseased leaves when you spot them.
- Pinch the axial tip 35 days after sowing to facilitate branching and more growth.
- After sowing the seeds, your Jalapenos peppers growing can be harvested 80-90 days later when your jalapeños are 4 to 6 inches long. When cared for correctly, the harvesting season can last for 4-5 months.
- Jalapenos can be picked when firm and bright green, though you can leave them on the plant until they turn red before harvesting.