How to Grow Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeño peppers are easy to grow in many climates. You can grow them from seed by planting them in potting soil and nurturing the sprouts that emerge. If you live in the correct growing zone, you can transplant the peppers to your outdoor garden. When your peppers are ready to harvest, you'll probably have too many to eat yourself!


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    Place 2-3 seeds in your pot and cover with a small amount of soil. Water the soil. Follow the seed packet for optimal planting depth. Keeping the soil moist is crucial until the seeds germinate.
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    Seed trays work well for this because the lids hold in the moisture and watering is typically not needed. Keep the seeds in a dark place with a small amount of filtered light until sprouts appear. Then remove the lid and place them on a south-facing windowsill. Regular watering will be necessary now. Occasionally turn the tray so that the plants grow upright. They will lean toward the sun. After 2-4 leaves form, it will be necessary to separate and repot into a larger pot.
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    Now that your plants are getting bigger, remember to keep replanting them in bigger pots, want them to be big and fruitful.
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    When there is no frost on the ground (preferably 2-3 weeks after last frost due to the soil being about 60 degrees F) you can move your plants to your garden.
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    Find a spot that will get lots of sun for at least 6 hours a day. Dig your hole twice as wide as your pot and deep enough that the dirt is right at the leaves level.
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    Place your plants 12–16 inches (30.5–40.6 cm) apart with at least 2 foot (0.6 m) in between rows.
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    Never forget, water is as important to a pepper as sun, water once a day or once every 3 days, as long as they are getting at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water a week.
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    Keep your garden weeded, weeds take water your peppers need. At three weeks of having them in your garden place some mulch or mushroom compost on them for extra nutrients.
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    After 3-4 months it's time to harvest. They should be bright green when they are ripe, this is when they are at their hottest, you can leave them on if you want them to be more sweet they will be black then red. Red peppers are best for drying too.


  • If you're not sure if your peppers are ripe, give them a slight tug. They should fall off very easily.
  • Don't touch your eyes after harvesting. Wash your hands immediately.
  • If you are afraid they have been on the plant too long, look for brown lines. These are like stretch marks; they are done growing and you need to pick them regardless of how big they are.
  • Fertilizer is not necessary nor is compost or mulch but depending on how good your soil is it could be needed for bigger healthy plants.
  • If your plants are getting very large, cage them to help them from toppling over.
  • Use high nitrogen, low phosphorous fertilizer when the plant is in its vegetative stage. Use low nitrogen, high phosphorous when the plant is blooming. Flush the fertilizer out of the soil two weeks before harvest by watering with at least 10 gallons (37.9 L) of water and FloraKleen (mixed at 1tsp per gallon). This works wonderfully getting all those nasty tasting fertilizer salts out of the soil.


  • Remember these are HOT peppers, nowhere near the hottest but remember to wear gloves when handling them, or at least wash your hands after handling, you don't want that lovely spice in your eyes!

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Categories: Growing Vegetables