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How to Grow Jalapeno Peppers

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Jalapeno peppers are perhaps the most popular hot pepper plant in the home garden. With just a little 'heat", and a great flavor, Jalapenos plants offer home gardeners a profusion of fruit, from mid summer, up until the first frost.

Jalapenos score a rating of 4,000 on the scoville scale. While many people consider the Jalapeno to be quite "hot", its "heat" is actually on the milder end of the scale, compared to some of the really hot peppers. For example, Habaneros have a Scoville score of 200,000, and the hottest hot pepper.... Jolokia Ghost pepper has a Scoville score of 855,000 - 1,041,427!

Easy to grow, lush and attractive Jalapeno plants, produce thick, dark green fruit, that grow about 3 inches long.

Use Jalapenos to spice up your favorite recipes. They are a "must have" in salsas and on nacho platters. You will find them in a wide range of Mexican and Tex-Mex recipes. They are great pickled and even in jellies.

Sowing Sweet Jalapeno Pepper Seeds:

Like other pepper varieties, it is best to start Jalapeno pepper plants indoors. Sow seeds indoors six to eight weeks or more before the last frost date for your area. Seed germination can take 2 - 3 three weeks.

Sow seeds 1/4" deep, and cover with light, seed starting soil.

Tip: We strongly recommend use of a heated germination mat, to reduce germination time, and increase germination rate.

Days to Maturity: 75 days .

Transplant seedlings after the last frost date in your area. If the weather is still cold, delay transplanting a few days. Keep the plants in a cold frame, indoors or next to the house.

How to Grow Jalapenos Peppers:

Grow Jalapeno pepper plants in full sun. Plants grow best in a rich, well draining garden soil. Prior to transplanting outdoors, adding plenty of compost and rotted manure at the planting site. Mix it well into the soil.

The plants like the weather hot.

Space 20-24 inches apart, in rows 24 to 36 inches apart.

Jalapeno Pepper plants prefer moist soil. Add plenty of water during hot, dry summer months.

Mulch around the pepper plants to keep down weeds, and to retain soil moisture.

As the peppers develop, switch over to a fertilizer higher in Phosphorous and Potassium. A high nitrogen fertilizer can result in a great looking bushy, green plant, with few fruit.

Peppers are self pollinating. They can cross pollinate with pollen carried by bees or other insects. If you are going to save the seeds for next year, do not plant different varieties near each other.

Also See:

Plant Problems

Soil Temperatures

Ideal Soil pH


Pick peppers as soon as they reach near 3 inches long. Young, immature peppers will not have as much heat.

Continuous harvesting promotes new fruit set, and you will be harvesting Jalapenos all the way to the first frost.

Insects and Pests:

Many insects are harmful to pepper plants. Spider mites and aphids are the most common, with an occasional borer. Pest problems are usually infrequent. For the infrequent problem, try an organic insecticide or dust.

Deer will eat the plant leaves.

Plant Problems - Diagnosis, causes and cures for many common plant problems.


Disease problems are infrequent, most often occurring in hot, humid weather.

Fungal infections can be treated with fungicides. Apply treatment as needed.


Jalapeno peppers are a warm weather crop. Spring and  fall frosts will kill the plant. Cold weather in the 30s can stunt their growth. Cover the plants, if frost or cold weather is expected..

Pepper Links:

How to Grow Peppers

Do you know your Peppers? Check out the common varieties of peppers.

Hot Pepper Trivia

Pepper Recipes:

Homemade Salsa

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