Growing Jalapenos (Step by Step for Beginners)

Green ripe jalapeno chili hot pepper on a plant.
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Hot peppers like Jalapenos have the virtue of turning your salad into a mouthwatering blazing hot.  They are known as the special ingredient in cuisines for their spicy and super hot. How hot is Jalapeno?

To grow Jalapeno Peppers, there are eight essential steps. You must: Plant the seeds, Transfer the Seedlings, Water correctly, Ensure the right amount of Sunlight and Humidity, Fertilizing, Flowering care, Fruiting care, and Harvest ready. Below are all the details you will need.

Growing Jalapenos (Step by Step for Beginners)

If you’ve ever considered growing these hot peppers, this article gives you a step-by-step guide.  When you learn the fundamentals of planting and growing the Jalapenos and how to do it correctly, you’ll be well rewarded – and surprised at how easy it is.

Below are detailed instructions on the fundamentals of growing Jalapenos.   

Here Are The Steps: 

Step 1. Planting the seeds. 

You need to have these:

  • Quality Jalapeno seeds. Purchase your Jalapeno seeds from a reliable source to guarantee good quality.
  • A planting container or a seed tray with several drainage holes is ideal for the seeds.
  • Pre-moisten potting soil mix. A good starter potting soil mixed with water. A premium potting soil does make a difference to your Jalapenos.
  • Obtain a plant dome or shower cap to cover the container after planting. This is to maintain a warm temperature for a higher seed germination rate.

Start Planting With The Quality Jalapeno Seeds.

  • First, fill your container or seed tray with pre-moistened potting soil.
  • Mix approximately one (1) inch below the edge of the container.
  • Then, if the container is full with pre-moistened soil mix, water it.
  • Make sure that the excess water goes directly to the drainage holes.
  • Before planting, watering the soil mix is necessary to ensure that the Jalapeno seeds stick into the soil.
  • Remove the Jalapeno seeds from the pack and wear gloves If necessary.
  • Spread the seeds upon the surface, leaving enough space between them.
  • Plant the Jalapeno seeds about a 1/4″ – 1/2″ deep.
  • Place two or three Jalapeno seeds into the compartments of the seed tray.
  • Plant the seeds, but not too deep.
  • Afterwards,  water them until the soil is just moist enough.
  • Cover the container with a dome or shower cup until it starts sprouting. It helps if the seeds are kept moist before they germinate.
  • It is essential to place the seed tray or container in a warm place which will help speed up seed germination.
  • If it is too cold, the germination slows down, and the seeds may not grow at all.

Essential Needs For Your Jalapeno Seeds Germination:

Watering 

Water the seed with a sprayer or water them lightly and safely to avoid seeds or seedlings sitting in water.  A gentle watering with low pressure at the soil level is the best.

Ensure that the excess water comes out directly through the drainage holes because the little roots are just developing.

It needs them hydrated all day long. As much as possible, keep the soil moist and be watered every day.

Overwatering will cause the seeds to die or be washed away from where they’re planted.

An important thing to remember is that too much water will drown them but, too little water will cause them not to germinate.

There is a quick way to check if your seeds are getting the right amount of water.

Put two fingers in the soil. It should not feel like dry sand or wet clay; it should instead be like a moist sponge.

Light

Place your seed tray or container in a bright place away from sunlight with a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Always check and keep them consistently warm and moist; 75-90˚ F is ideal for them to germinate.

Soil

Keep the soil at the right moisture for the seeds to germinate. The warmth is the soil temperature.

The warmer temperatures speed up chemical reactions. These reactions help break down the protective seed coat and tell the seed that it is now the time to wake up and start growing.

Add compost in a smaller dose to your soil.  It plays a major role in the development and life of your seeds. The healthier the earth, the more nutrients your growing Jalapenos will get.

Step 2.  Transfer The Jalapeno Seedlings To A Bigger Pot And The Garden. 

Jalapeno (Capsicum annum) chili pepper plant in the hands of a woman. Young plant with dark soil. Side view.

Transfer The Jalapeno Seedlings To A Bigger Pot.

As soon as your Jalapeno seedlings have at least four leaves and are around 2 inches tall, it’s time to transfer them to larger pots.

Make sure the soil is prepared for the Jalapenos.  Carefully dig up each seedling together with some of their soil, and replant them into a bigger pot, along with more rich soil.

Allow the plant to get bigger, and with each growth, it helps to place them in bigger pots to accommodate each larger size.

Just keep doing this until you have a substantially-sized plant.

Soil 

Soil plays a major role in the success of your growing Jalapenos. They need to grow and be healthy.

Therefore, rich soil, loamy, and well-drained with beneficial bacterias are ideal for effective use in pots or containers.

The soil also needs its pH level to be within the appropriate range of 5.9 – 6.5, although you may not be able to test for this.

It is good to know that peppers love slightly acidic soil. Having the most suitable soil is the foundation for growing healthy Jalapenos.

Transfer The Jalapeno Seedlings To The Garden.

Take them to the garden for the final planting whenever your Jalapenos plants reach a large enough size.

Dig up the area around which the plant is centered, and transfer it to the soil in your backyard garden.

Make sure you plant your Jalapenos in the garden with rich loamy soil, which includes microbes and other beneficial bacterias or organic matter present in that soil.

Pull the Jalapenos plants out of the container leaving the roots and soil intact.

Observe distancing for every jalapeno plant. Place them into the soil, and make sure you keep at least twelve to sixteen inches of space between them.

In this manner, they don’t grow into each other and can’t affect how they mature.

Step 3. Watering Your Growing Jalapenos.

Watering is the most essential care for your Jalapenos, and you can use a hose with low pressure to water them.

Use a pot with adequate drainage holes for the excess water to drain easily, and the water can drain out at the bottom of the container.

Avoid overwatering your Jalapenos because that may cause root rot.

To be able to ensure that your Jalapenos plant survives, keep the soil moist as always, but don’t drown them.

Water them two or three times a week early in the morning before the sun evaporates the moisture.

Early morning and late afternoon are always the best times to water plants.

To water, a Jalapeno plant can be confusing for beginners, but it will be pretty straightforward once you get into it as part of your daily routine.

Here Are Simple Steps And Guides In Watering Your Grown Jalapenos:

Start in the early morning. Watering in the early morning will allow the water to seep towards the soil before the sun shines directly on your Jalapeno plant.

Make it a daily routine to water your plant at the same time every day.

Water your Jalapeno plant only when the soil is dry. Jalapenos need less water and still thrive but avoid drying them out and allow the soil to dry between waterings.  The right consistency is beneficial to them.

Let’s just allow the soil to dry thoroughly between waterings and then water deeply. Thoroughly wet the soil, and your Jalapeno plants will be watered.

Put a couple of your fingers into the soil to check the moisture.  When the soil is completely dry, you should water them.

Use a hose with a low-pressure or watering can. Water your Jalapenos with a hose and use the low-pressure option. This will not displace the soil around the pepper plants while you water them.

An important thing to remember is, don’t let water get onto the leaves of the Jalapeno plant.

The water droplets will act as a magnifying glass, and the sun could burn your plant – especially the leaves.

Appropriately watering your Jalapenos will ensure a healthy and higher yield for every harvest season. Just follow the simple steps.

Step 4. Proper Sunlight and Humidity. 

Jalapenos love a lot of sunlight. So, find the sunniest part of your garden. Having a good amount of exposure to the sun is necessary for growing Jalapenos.

They can withstand the bright light and high temperatures throughout the year.

They are also tough plants that can thrive or grow in high humidity levels and tolerate bright or indirect light.

Generally, they love full sun and need at least 8 hours a day. Place them in direct sunlight and if ever they are grown in a shaded place, try to give them some shade in the hottest part of the day.

Jalapenos are sun lovers and do well in humid environments with 50% to 75% humidity levels. Always keeping the soil moist is sufficient to keep the Jalapenos hydrated.   

Step 5. Fertilizing.

Hence, for a Jalapeno to be healthy, the main influencers are water and sunlight. However, that’s not always the case. Your Jalapeno needs nutrients and supplements to reach its full potential.

Seeds are started off in potting mix soil, and it doesn’t contain many nutrients.  It’s vital to start fertilizing as soon as the plant needs it.

When the true leaves begin to form, it’s time to start fertilizing.

Hence, don’t give them a full-strength dose. Instead, Increase the strength slowly as they get larger. It is also highly recommended to use a rich compost soil with lots of organic matter.

Consider the critical growth of your Jalapenos when it comes to fertilizer; moderation is the key to its development.

Don’t fertilize the pepper plants immediately or during the first week of transplanting, especially when you’re using a high nitrogen fertilizer.

Follow the instructions on your chosen fertilizer. The three nutrients,  N, P, and K, Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus, are present and play a vital role in your Jalapenos growth.

Knowing seemingly the nutrients a Jalapeno needs, it is now much easier to look for the best fertilizers but add a couple of inches of organic matter. They are considered the primary nutrients for your pepper plants.

Step 6. Flowering Care For Jalapenos.

Jalapenos begin to produce flowers after 2-4 weeks. They don’t need nearly as much Nitrogen. We suggest that you change the fertilizer type to a more phosphorus-rich blend.

The part at this stage of growth of Jalapenos are the flowers falling off. It is typically natural but not should be all of them.

When all of its flowers drop off, there might be environmental issues. Jalapeno flowers fall due to high temperatures, poor pollination, or overwatering.

Jalapeno flowering care.

Water. Water evenly the pots or containers having good drainage. Hot weather means more water usage. Frequent watering is required.

Fertilizer. Reduce Nitrogen fertilizer.

Light.  Place them into full sunlight.

Step. 7. Fruiting Care For Jalapenos.  

It’s well known that Jalapeno flowers turn into peppers. Once a flower is successfully fertilized, most likely, the flower will drop its petals and begin to form fruit and seeds.

During this stage, it’s important not to provide too much Nitrogen. At this stage, more Phosphorous is required for healthy blooms and fruits. Jalapenos will ripen from light green to deep green, to almost black, and finally to red.

To get the best results, keep the soil evenly moist. Avoid overwatering and underwatering. Underwatered Jalapenos will typically start to wilt.

Jalapeno Fruiting Care:

Water. Water evenly the pots or container having good drainage.

Fertilizer. In full-strength, low-nitrogen fertilizer and more Phosphorus.

Light: In full sunlight, that will also ripen to other colors.

Step 8. When to Tell They’re Ready for Harvest. 

It’s an exciting experience assessing when to pick Jalapenos. Typically, these Jalapeno peppers are harvested when dark green and about 3 inches long.

If you want a sweeter flavor, you can collect the red Jalapenos.

They are now ready for harvesting when three to four months have passed. Most likely, the color of the Jalapenos will depend on their age.

Some gardeners prefer to pick these peppers before they turn red. 

Here Are Some Tips On Knowing When Your Jalapeno Peppers Are Ready.

  • The clearest signal that a Jalapeno pepper is ripe is the color. You have to start by looking at the dark green color.
  • The pepper’s size is the other clear sign that a Jalapeno is ready for harvest. These Jalapenos should be  3-5 inches long, firm to the touch, and have a deep green or red color.
  • If a Jalapeno has not had full-sun exposure, the pepper may be smaller and take longer to mature.
  • Most gardeners wanted to pick Jalapenos early because  Jalapenos with a green color are crisp and crunchy. Very tempting and great for pickling.
  • In comparison, the red Jalapenos have a sweeter flavor.
  • Another good sign is called corking. These are tiny white lines that develop on the Jalapeno’s skin. It’s a desirable characteristic for most peppers to have this, and it is naturally safe to eat.
  • To simplify, once Jalapenos have reached their full size with a mature coloration (deep green or red), you can pick the pepper for harvest.

How To Pick Jalapenos  

Your Jalapenos are now ready to be picked, and it’s time to harvest. Although the process is simple, it is essential not to damage the plant when plucking the peppers.

Here Are Some Tips For Safely Picking Jalapenos Peppers Off The Plant: 

Check and Identify ripe peppers. We’ve mentioned the signs of a ripe pepper; however,  leave it alone if you’re unsure if the pepper is ready or not for picking! If it is, continue to step two. 

Hold the plant using one hand and gently hold the branch below the pepper. This is to avoid jostling the entire plant when picking the pepper.

Gently pull the pepper upwards and push it vertically upwards to pick. Jalapenos naturally hang downwards with their bottoms pointed directly at the ground. Stems are curved to the pepper’s top.

Get a break. Jalapenos will easily ‘pop’ off of the plant, breaking cleanly at the end of the stem.  Just try to avoid any twisting or tearing. Once a Jalapeno is properly ripe, it naturally comes off without a fuss.

More Care Tips for Growing Jalapenos

Pests and Diseases Control

Jalapeno pepper plants are vulnerable to aphids, spider mites, and beetles, among other pests.

Common Jalapeno Plant Pests

  • Aphids
  • Spider Mites
  • Beetles
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Pepper Maggots
  • Thrips

The most effective way to treat an infected Jalapeno plant is by washing it with insecticidal soap.

Another alternative is to use horticultural oil to remove the bugs.

A highly recommended organic pesticide is Neem Oil. Make sure to spray the tops and bottoms of all leaves. Once sprayed, quickly move away from other pepper plants.

To prevent their spread, use a water jet spray on high pressure to dislodge the pests as quickly as possible.

Common Jalapeno Plant Diseases

  • Phytophthora root rot
  • Verticillium Wilt
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Bacterial Spot

These are pathogenic diseases caused by external infectious agents that damage Jalapeno plants. Try to consult your local nursery people for better options of treating them.

Droopy Leaves

Once the leaves of your Jalapenos plants look droopy, you might be under or overwatering them.

Droopy green leaves are a sign your Jalapeno plant needs more water.

Jalapenos love full sun, and they can get large and need a lot of water.

Droopy yellow leaves indicate that your Jalapeno plant receives more moisture than it requires. It’s a classic sign of over-watering. Correct this by adjusting the frequency of your watering.

As mentioned, do a test to determine if the top inch of soil is completely dry or wet.

When the potting medium is a little soggy, discontinue watering. Check again after a couple of days. Meanwhile, if the soil is dry, water your Jalapeno plant thoroughly.

Jalapenos Flowers Dropping

Close up photo of jalapeno pepper blooming and unopened flower.

Here Are Some Of The Causes Why a Pepper Plant Drops Its Flowers:

  • Exposure to high daytime temperatures which are over 100° F
  • High temperatures in the root zone. To keep roots cool by mulching
  • High Nitrogen in the soil or an added fertilizer
  • Over Watering
  • Under Watering
  • Macro or Micronutrients Deficiencies
  • Pest infestation
  • Lack of Pollinating Insects  

Following the steps in this guide, you can enjoy fantastic hot peppers straight from your garden or container without making all of the common mistakes beginners usually make.

Take time and start growing your Jalapenos correctly and enjoy the fruits of your labors for months to come.

Pruning Jalapenos   

Although Jalapeno plants don’t need frequent pruning, trim off any additional growth that sprouts out around the base of the plant to ensure the foliage and the fruits receive proper nourishment and energy.

From 3 to 4 weeks prior to the arrival of the first expected frost, some gardeners prune off all of the growing points. This will help all remaining peppers mature and develop to their full color.

Proper pruning encourages strong, sturdy stems. It also means good branching, and it reduces diseases. Fruits may ripen quickly and evenly, resulting in improved yields.

Jalapeno Plants Not Growing? 

Some of us might also experience no growth after transplanting a plant.  

Here are a few reasons:

  • Low Temperatures: can cause slow growth. Jalapenos will grow at their full potential when kept above 75 %.
  • Lack of Nutrition: starts in the potting soil that doesn’t contain many of the required nutrients. Transplanting too early is another cause.
  • Jalapeno plants will be stunted if they are kept too wet or too cold. Just allow the soil surface to dry before moisture is added.
  • The roots grow looking for moisture, and if they are soaking in it, they don’t grow.

Some General Facts about Jalapenos  

Capsaicin is the chemical that gives Jalapenos their heat. It is concentrated around the seeds and in the ‘ribs’ of the peppers.

They are tropical plants and, as stated earlier, a crop well suited to hot weather.

The medium-sized hot pepper pod-type cultivar with a length of 5–10 cm (2–4 inches) hangs down with a round, firm, smooth flesh of 25–38 mm.

This hot pepper is commonly consumed while still green; it turns red, orange, or yellow when ripe.

Growing Jalapenos is undoubtedly well worth the challenge for beginners. It is an opportunity and a rewarding experiment to try your hand at growing them on your own!

Final Thoughts on Jalapenos   

Jalapeno peppers are easy to grow and look after.

As a tropical plant, it must receive direct sunlight, adequate water, and occasional fertilizer. It naturally grows and produces tasty peppers to spice up your every meal.

Jalapeno plants just need more heat and, when big enough, some food.

Always remember that well-fed Jalapeno plants will soon grow big and need support to handle all the vibrant and mouthwatering hot peppers growing.

We hope this guide for Growing Jalapenos helps you maximize your pepper harvests.

You’ll find it helpful when growing your hot peppers. For yourself, by yourself!

At Green Garden Tribe, we wish you a bountiful season and  Happy Growing!

Jenny Marie

Tribal Writer 

Edited By

Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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