Serrano Peppers: You’ve heard of them, you’ve tried them but how much do you really know about them? Well, if we are going to master the art of growing them, we should probably learn a little about them first.
Originating in the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo, serrano peppers are the second most used chili pepper in Mexican cuisine. With a Scoville rating between 10,000 and 25,000 they are slightly spicier than a mild jalapeño (not sure what the a Scoville rating is? click here). That’s hot but it isn’t going to kill you.
Typically eaten fresh, serrano peppers are commonly used in making pico de gallo and salsa, as the chili is particularly fleshy compared to others, making it ideal for such dishes.
Mature serrano pepper plants will generally reach a max height of between 1.5 to 5.0 ft tall, with plant can holding up to 50 pepper pods.
Ok, so now that we’ve done our homework. Let’s learn: The Art of Growing Serrano Peppers
1) Prepare the growing conditions for your Serrano Peppers
Like most vegetables, serrano peppers prefer plenty of sunlight and rich soil with easy drainage. If your garden’s soil isn’t so rich, you can add about an inch of compost to the top six inches of soil. If you aren’t planting in a garden, we recommend a 16 inch container, with 5 gallons of soil — 50% compost, 50% potting. Serrano peppers do better in soils with a pH between 7.0 and 8.5 in warm temperatures above 75°F.
2) Planting your Serrano Peppers
If planting in your garden pace out the serrano pepper seedlings 14 – 18 inches apart. This will give each plant enough room to grow. Plant one serrrano pepper per container if you don’t have your own garden. Remember to water the seedlings thoroughly immediately after planting.
3) Show them some love
You are going to want to fertilize the soil at least once a month as serrano peppers are heavy feeders. However, it’s important to avoid fertilizers that contain too much nitrogen. The ideal fertilizer will be rich in calcium, phosphorous, and potassium.
A deep watering of the peppers, once every four to fives days, is preferable to light watering daily. Make sure you regularly check the soil to make sure it is is moist about an inch and a half down. If not, it’s time for another watering.
4) Harvest your Serrano Peppers
Make sure to pluck off any early, smaller fruits so that the plants can allocate its energy on growing larger fruits later in the season. The perfect time for harvesting is when the serrano peppers are still green in color but full-sized. If the peppers are red, yellow, or orange, then it is definitely time for harvesting. Be gentle when you are removing them as yanking them can do severe damage to the plant; potentially preventing it from producing the next round of peppers!
Plant your own
Ready to make the world a bit greener, a bit cleaner, and a bit spicier by planting some more delicious serrano peppers? Of course you are!
But.. wait. What’s that, you say? You don’t have any seedlings? Not to worry, Small Axe Peppers has got you covered. Buy our Serrano Pepper seedlings here! Now hurry up and get to planting!