How to Grow Jalapeños

How to Grow Jalapeños

How to Grow Jalapeños

In this article, we share a comprehensive guide to growing jalapenos at home.

Quick Guide Information

Common Name: Jalapeño Pepper

Scientific Name: Capsicum annuum

Family: Solanaceae

Plant Type: Small Bush

Life Span: Annual to Short Lived Perennial

Time Till Harvest: 80-100 Days

Light Requirement: Full Sun

Optimum pH: 6.0 - 6.8

Jalapenos are spicy and flavorful morsels that can add a fabulous kick to any dish. While there are many different types of spicy peppers out there, Jalapenos have a unique flavor that is cherished by many. They are easy to grow and thrive with hot weather. Other spicy peppers are generally grown using very similar techniques.

In temperate climates, jalapenos are grown as annuals sowed in mid-late spring. They can be started indoors to give you a head start on the season. In more tropical climates with mild winters, they can be grown as short-lived perennials.

Propagation

Jalapenos should be started by seed in seed trays or small pots as young plants can be particularly sensitive. They like nutrient rich soil that is well draining. Plant seeds well after the threat of last frost once the weather has started to warm up.

To plant, simply place seeds about 1 cm deep into soil and keep moist. They should germinate within 5-10 days. In small seed trays they should be transplanted 2-3 weeks after germination into a larger pot. After about 4-5 weeks they can then be transplanted into the garden. Make sure they are well established as young plants can be sensitive.

Planting and Maintenance

+ Plant Jalapenos in rich soil that is well amended with compost. They like fertile soils and may be stunted in growth if the soil is too poor. Like other peppers, Jalapenos thrive best in full sun. They can do fine in partial shade, but they may grow a bit slower. For them to be best acclimated you can place the plants in pots in full sun before transplanting.
+ Avoid planting in areas where you have previously planted other peppers or tomatoes to reduce the risk of soil borne illnesses.
When transplanting, make sure to not bury them too deep. The stems can be sensitive to rot if planted too low. Also, be careful to move mulch away from the stem to avoid rot.
+ Keep plants well-watered after transplanting. If your plants seem stressed due to the transplant you can give them additional shade with a shade structure for a week or so until they are established again.
+ Jalapeno peppers are relatively low maintenance. They do not require pruning or trellising of any sort. Keep the soil around them well mulched and top-dress with compost if they have slow growth or yellow coloration on their leaves.
+ After about 3 months they will begin producing their first fruits. Once they are about finger length, they are ready to harvest. They go from green to red and can be harvested at both stages. Green peppers tend to have a “fresher” and more aromatic flavor while red peppers are slightly sweeter.

Common Problems

Foliar Diseases - These can occur when there is too much humidity and not enough sunlight. Consider pruning the inside of this plant to allow for more airflow and sunlight.

Blossom End Rot - The symptoms of this are dark spots and lesions on the fruits. This often is caused by lack of calcium in the soil so consider adding an organic calcium organic.

Tobacco Mosaic Virus - Yellow mosaicing on leaf surface can be Tobacco Mosaic Virus. This is a virus that can easily spread between members of the same family. It is untreatable and most gardeners remove infected plants and dispose of them to reduce risk of spreading this virus.


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