Before we dive into how to grow jalapenos, let’s learn a little about them. The jalapeno pepper plant is one of the most famous members of Capsicum annuum. This fiery one belongs to the same species as habaneros, bell, and cayenne peppers, but did you know that it also belongs to the nightshade family of vegetables, which includes eggplants and tomatoes? They aren’t super-hot but still measure 2,500–8,000 on the Scoville scale. If you’re a fan of Mexican food and hot appetizers like us, keep reading to learn how to grow jalapenos.
4 Types of Jalapeno Peppers
These peppers, just like most others, vary in size, color, and the amount of heat they provide, and these are the most popular species of jalapenos adored all over the world:
- ‘Senorita’ this beauty changes color as it ripens, varying from dark green, purple, and finally red at different stages of maturity. It yields 3-inch long peppers that are quite hot.
- ‘Fresno Chile’ produces 2-inch peppers with mild heat, so much milder than its cousin.
- ‘Sierra Fuego’ this hybrid variety produces medium hot peppers that are about 3.5 inches long.
- ‘Mucho Nacho’ this pepper, like the two predecessors, produces a relatively medium-hot fruit about 4 inches long.
Now let’s move on to the main part of this article where you will have the opportunity to learn how to grow jalapenos.
How to grow jalapenos: Tips & Tricks
Growing jalapeno peppers isn’t as difficult as some might think, as long as you provide them with good soil, a sufficient dose of sunlight, and plenty of water. Find out more details below.
#1: The best soil
Just like all other peppers, this variety also thrives on loamy, well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter. Experts recommend using slightly acidic to neutral soil pH. Keep in mind that it is not desirable to grow it in dense, soggy soil.
If you are thinking about growing jalapenos in pots, consider using a rich, well-draining general-purpose potting mix. That should be quite enough for this plant.
#2: How much sunlight?
Full sun and warm temperatures are among the most important factors these plants need if you want them to reach their full potential and produce fruit. Accordingly, try to plant or place them in a location that gets at least 6 hours of sun each day.
You’ve probably heard that this pepper can tolerate a little shade, but keep in mind that any prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the plant to spindly and greatly reduce fruit production.
#3: How much water?
We mentioned at the beginning that the jalapeno belongs to the nightshade family of vegetables, but unlike them, this pepper needs a lot of water. It needs to be watered thoroughly, even to the point where the soil is dry about an inch down, however, refrain from overdoing it. You can even apply a thick layer of mulch, this should greatly prevent moisture loss.
#4: The right temperature & humidity
Similar to serrano peppers, jalapenos thrive in warm conditions, and accordingly, the daytime temperature should be between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and on the other hand, the night temperature should be slightly lower, that is, between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything lower than that can cause the flowers to drop, resulting in minimal fruiting.
Experts advise growing it at a moderate level of humidity.
#5: The best fertilizer
This one is really important in learning how to grow jalapenos because these peppers are heavy feeders. We recommend supplementing the soil with good, rich compost as well as a balanced fertilizer during the growing season for maximum productivity.
#6: Watch for pests & diseases
Unfortunately, these peppers are also susceptible to diseases and various pests. Aphids, cucumber beetles, and pepper hornworms are its worst enemies.
It would be preferable to keep an eye on the plant at all times, but we know that this isn’t always possible, especially in this hectic time. Therefore, in case of infestation, be sure to remove the pests either with a garden hose or by using one of the natural insecticides such as neem oil.
Now you know how to grow jalapenos… but
Now you know how to grow jalapenos. We believe that you have managed to conclude that it is not as complicated as it may have seemed at the beginning. However, if you’re don’t have the time or resources fo grow them for yourself, no worries, you just try some delicious Small Axe jalapeno based hot sauces:
Tony Manhart is the founder and editor in chief at Grower Today. Tony’s enthusiasm and rich experience in all things related to growing plants have led him to share his knowledge with gardening aficionados all over the world.