How To Grow Jalapeños In Your Garden

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By Alex Harris

The jalapeño is the only fruit that’s fully ripened before it’s picked. If you love a good hot pepper, this is the place to be. Here’s how to grow jalapeño peppers in your garden.

Important to know: A healthy product can be as big as two to three feet in height. One pepper plant can grow up to 30 pods. Pods captured at maturity will be dark green. If they’ve fallen off the vine, they will go through a purple stage before going as red as cherry tomatoes.

How To Grow jalapeños The Right Way

Jalapeno peppers are tropical natives. Here’s a look at the steps for producing a nice crop.

1. Planting your Seeds

Here are your steps for planting the pepper seeds.

planting your jalapeno seeds


Find a place in your vegetable garden eight to 10 weeks before the last spring frost date. Keep your seed pot or tray in a warm area until you’re ready.

Get a soil kit and test the temp. It should be no less than 70° Fahrenheit. Do not plant until all final signs of frost are evident and nighttime temperatures are higher than 60° F. In colder or cooler climates, use black plastic mulch to warm the soil before planting.


At least seven days before the growing season, prepare the area, putting aged compost into the soil. Plant in the sunniest location. You can also grow in containers under the full sun. The soil must be rich in organic matter and well-draining. Stay away from areas where you recently grew members of the nightshade family.


Harden seedlings for at least 10 days if you transplant seedlings. Once night temps are in the desired range (at least 60° F), take jalapeno seedlings outdoors. Set them with a spacing of 14 to 24 inches apart. Now, deeply water the foundation.

Hot Fact: Jalapenos are one of the top resources of vitamin C.

2. Caring for Your Peppers

Some botanists advise starting growth indoors up to three or months before transferring them outside. Without overwatering, keep the area and budding jalapeno plants moist at all times.

caring for your jalapeno peppers

Sun and Temperature

You get the best growth when day temps stay around 65°-85° F. During blossoming, spread a little composting fertilizer around. Use, if you’d like, fish fertilizer at the base.

Water and Humidity

When it’s particularly hot, make sure pepper plants get at least one inch of water per seven days. Keep soil moist and even. Take a soaker hose to the base.


Jalapenos grow best in well-drained, loamy soil that contains a good amount of organic matter. Loam material consists of equal amounts of silt and sand. There’s less clay than comparable compounds.


A quality fertilizer fuels growth. Spread around an all-purpose garden solution with a 5-10-10 potting mix. Use approximately 1½ pounds of mulch for every 50 square feet of the gardening bed.


Pruning encourages solid branching, sturdy stems, and reduced disease and pest pressure, and promotes a good harvest.


Propagation is the production of young plants. Remove node leaves above the cut. If another node sits on the first, remove the leaves from that one too. You then put the stem bottom into the hormone.

Hot Tip: Plant your growth at the far end of the vegetable garden away from any potatoes. Potato bugs love the peppers for a change of taste.

3. Potential Problems you Might Face

Here are a few issues that can hinder good growth in a jalapeno plant.

potential jalapeno problems


Common pests are aphids, cutworms, and flea beetles. Use an organic insecticide to get rid of them. Check your chile peppers daily for pests.

Hot Tip: Other major pests are the weevil, frog-eye leaf spot, and caterpillars.


Southern blight, bacterial leaf spot, mosaic virus, and a powdery mildew are common. Here are some things you can do.

Growing Hot Peppers Issues

You should be mindful of over-watering and sun scalding. There’s also the possibility of calcium deficiency.

Harvest and Storage

You can harvest jalapenos when they’re bright green and firm or leave them until they’re red. Store them in clear bags in the crisper. They’re good for two weeks, but pickled jalapeno will last longer.

Hot Fact: History records the Ancient Aztecs were the first civilization to use jalapenos. Only they didn’t eat them. They dried and smoked the pepper plants!

How Hot is the Pepper?

The Scoville heat rating is the gold standard for gauging the impact of hot fruits on your taste buds. According to their scale, these hot pepper plants are at 2,500-8,000 units.

That rating is similar to Fresno peppers (2,500-10,000). Compared to bell pepper like serrano (10,000-23,000), habanero (100,000-350,000), or ghost (855,000-1,041,427), our favored taste may appear mild. But it’s spicy enough to give a food or meal a nice charge of hot sauce.

Hot Fact: Health benefits of eating jalapenos are combating migraines, lowering blood pressure, and loss of weight.

If you love jalapeno’s you might also want to know how to grow wasabi.

Every Pepper Variety You Should Know About

There are many types of jalapeno peppers you can grow. Here are a few.

Mucho Nacho

Maturing red, the mucho nacho is fatter, heavier, thicker, and mildly hotter than its spicy cousin.


The Senorita measures only 400 on Scoville, making it an extremely mild chili pepper.

Sierra Fuego

This is a hybrid that produces a greater number of growing peppers. The Fuego typically takes about 80 days to mature.

Hot Tip: Looking to avoid the heat of a stuffed jalapeno dish? Go with chiles that have no striations. If you want to feel the burn, get a red or green produce with a lot of white stretch marks.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you can’t find an answer to your question below, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

How Long Does Growing Jalapeno Pepper Take?

The early jalapeno plants start as seeds indoors or get planted in the spring from nursery starts. As long as temperatures and other conditions are properly managed, expect your growth to go from germination to tasteful fruit for harvesting anywhere between three and four months.

Do Jalapeno Peppers Grow Well In Pots?

Jalapenos do well in containers and you can look forward to a fast harvest. You’ll need to keep the soil warm. If your environments are cold, get a seed heating mat.

Seed trays have a humidity dome. It prevents soil from drying out too soon. Make sure your potted babies get plenty of light. A sunny window won’t grow the results. A grow light will be helpful.

What Month Do You Plant Peppers?

We suggest you start growing jalapenos indoors. Now, the frost end period happens between January and March and it’s advised you get started six weeks before that. When it’s time to transfer, you want to get out there in April or as close to the start of Spring that allows soil temperatures to reach 65° F.

What Can You Not Plant Next To Jalapenos?

Peas and beans are good companions for our spicy growth. In fact, you should place nothing in the brassica family near your spicy plants. They can detract from the flavor or feed on minerals and create unnecessary competition for natural growth.

How Many Jalapenos Do You Get From One Plant?

You can get around 30 to 40 catches from a single seed germination. The results are dependent on the variety and the size of the fruits. Under the right conditions, the jalapeno plants bear catches from summer through the fall. There’s also the possibility of overwintering your growth to get in a second year of spicy produce.

How Often Do You Water A Jalapeno Plant?

After the transplant seedlings, you want to deeply soak produce after putting them in soil. After, your jalapenos garden should receive a weekly dose of one inch of water. Go up to two inches when the days are hotter. You want to do everything possible to ensure the soil stays moist without getting oversaturated.

How Long Do Jalapeno Pepper Plants Take To Grow After Flowering?

If you have successful fertilization, there will be the development of full-grown peppers within 55 days. Some will see this stage as unripe, but you can safely cut most of these peppers from the plant while others continue to grow. Harvesting in this way, there’s the chance you’ll stimulate growing jalapeno.

Can You Grow Jalapenos From Store Bought Habanero Peppers?

You can pick out the best store product and they may not grow to harvest. If you want good growth in the garden, keep napkins moist when you perform a seed viability test. Use your heat map to germinate at the right temps.

Hot Fact: Every August 19th is officially National Hot & Spicy Food Day.

Conclusion: Other Important Things to Know

growing jalapenos

Besides a great taste, our favorite pepper is potassium-rich. They contain vitamins, A, C, K, and B. Capsaicin is a health booster that also gives the pepper its spiciness.

There’s a lot to gain from indulging your love of jalapeno peppers beside the taste, including overall long-term health benefits.

Last year, the American Heart Association dared to pose the question, “do people who eat chili pepper live longer?” Dr. Bo Xu, a researcher on the impact of chili in-take and cardiovascular mortality, was “surprised to find that in these previously published studies, regular consumption of chili pepper was associated with an overall risk-reduction of all-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality.”

If you love jalapeno pepper, tomato, or sweet peppers and love to garden, we hope this guide inspires you to try growing your own.