Updated at: 08-11-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

A jalapeño pepper produced at home adds a spicy kick to your chili, beans, or dips. After harvesting, jalapenos can be roasted, skinned and seeded, then frozen for up to six months. Originally from South America, the jalapeño pepper (Capsicum annuum “Jalapeo”), a delicate perennial, is now planted as an annual in the United States. When grown in a warm, wind-protected garden with temperatures ranging from 70 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer, jalapenos, like tomatoes, do best in rich, well-drained soil. Your gardening style dictates how far apart your jalapeño plants should be placed in the garden.

What Are Jalapeño Pepper Plants?

Chili pepper cultivars of the Capsicum annuum family include jalapeo pepper plants. As like habaneros, bell peppers and cayenne peppers, jalapeos are a member of the same family. Tomatoes and eggplant are also members of the nightshade family (Solanaceae). In Central and South America, Jalapeo peppers can be found. Many Mexican recipes and fiery appetizers, such as jalapeno poppers, utilize jalapenos as a key ingredient.

How Hot Are Jalapeños?

There is a wide range of heat in jalapeo peppers from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU, which is similar to the range of heat in Fresno peppers (2,500–10,000 SHU) and much more than poblano and bell peppers (0 SHU).

Hotter peppers such as serrano (SHU 10,000–23,000), cayenne (SHU 30–50,000), habanero (SHU 100,000–1,000,000) and ghost chili (SHU 1,041,427–1,855,000) are more potent than jalapeos.

Pepper Plant Spacing: How Far Apart to Plant Peppers in the Garden

How to Plant a Jalapeño Plant

These plant care instructions can help you keep your jalapenos growing strong and healthy.

  1. Use well-drained soil that is well-balanced. A well-balanced, loamy potting soil with an acidic or neutral pH level is ideal for Jalapenos.
  2. In the spring, plant outdoor jalapenos. Jalapeo seeds and young plants should be planted in your garden as soon as possible once the soil temperature reaches at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The germination process cannot proceed unless this temperature is met. You must plant your jalapeo pepper seeds after the last frost date in order to ensure that they will sprout if there is any sign of frost.
  3. A seed tray can be used to start jalapenos indoors. Jalapeo seeds can also be germinated by cultivating them in a seed tray in a warm, sunny area of your home. Make use of a heated tray if you want to get your seedlings off to a good start before the spring growing season begins.
  4. Jalapenos should be grown in full sunlight. Seedlings of jalapenos require a lot of direct sunshine to grow well. If you plan to grow your jalapenos indoors, use grow lights to supplement the natural light.
  5. Consider the spacing of your jalapeo plants. When planting jalapeo pepper seeds, space them between fourteen and sixteen inches apart. A quarter-inch of potting mix should be used to cover the seeds.
  6. Maintain the soil’s moisture. Make sure the soil is well-watered so that it doesn’t dry out.

How to Grow and Care for Jalapeño Plants

If you want to produce jalapenos, here are some general guidelines..

  1. Adding mulch to your plants will help them develop more quickly. mulch and other organic debris can provide additional nutrients and help keep crucial soil moisture around the base of the plants.
  2. Make sure your plants aren’t getting too much water. Overwatering can cause root rot in jalapeno plants, despite the fact that they thrive in damp soil. Avoid overwatering your plants by keeping an eye on the soil’s top one-inch layer.
  3. Look out for vermin. Pepper plants are commonly plagued by aphids, cucumber beetles, and pepper hornworms. Ladybugs and weed-pulling can keep these pests at bay. To deal with an infestation, use a powerful spray from your hose or an organic insecticide like neem oil to kill the pests.

How to Harvest Jalapeño Peppers

Within four to six months of planting, your jalapeo peppers should be ready for harvest.

  1. Keep an eye on the color of your peppers. To successfully harvest jalapeos, one must have a keen sense of observation. When your jalapeo pepper plants are glossy and around four to six inches long, keep an eye out for signs of ripening. Harvestable jalapeos can be picked when they are still dark green, but they can also be picked when they become red. In addition, your jalapenos should be firm to the touch.
  2. Pruning shears should be free of debris. Clean, sharp pruners should be used to cut off the jalapeo peppers, leaving only a small stem.
  3. Room temperature is ideal for storing jalapenos. Store jalapenos at room temperature and consume them within three days for best freshness. Alternatively, you can keep them in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze or pickle them for months at a time.

Learn More

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How to Grow Jalapeño Peppers

In the Garden

After the soil temperature reaches 65 degrees Fahrenheit and the risk of frost has passed, you can transplant your seedlings into the garden, whether you started them from seed indoors or bought them. Jalapeno seedlings are typically planted 18 inches apart in rows 24 to 36 inches apart. The jalapeño plant needs to be staked when it reaches a height of twelve to twenty-four inches. Once the peppers begin to form, the plant and stem may become damaged due to the weight of the peppers.

Sun and Soil for Peppers

Jalapeno peppers need at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day. When planting jalapeno peppers in your garden, be sure to locate them in a spot that receives adequate sunlight. A well-drained, fine sandy loam soil is ideal for pepper plants. Mulching between rows with a 4-inch layer suppresses weeds and helps to keep the soil moist.

Container Gardening is an Option

Consider the size of the plant in relation to the root ball while establishing a container garden. The roots of Jalapeno plants demand an 8- to 10-inch pot. Seedlings should be spaced 12 inches apart and 6 inches inside the container’s outside edges when using bigger containers, such as half barrels or beverage tubs. Make sure that the soil in your container garden is kept moist, but not soggy, at all times. A finger-sized hole should be left in the soil before transplanting, so that water may be held in place and guided towards the roots.

Hydroponic Technique for Jalapeno Peppers

The jalapeno pepper, like its hydroponic cousin the tomato, needs room for its roots and staking to keep it upright. Peppers and tomatoes are planted four to a storage bin hydroponic system, with a spacing of 6 to 8 inches. In order to hold the plants erect, a wire, stake or trellis tied to an overhead support and plant ties are used. Hydroponic peppers can grow to enormous heights if given enough light, thus pruning may be necessary to keep them in check.

About Jalapeño Peppers

Most people in North America prefer jalapenos. This pepper has 3-inch deep-green fruit that turns bright red as it matures.

The jalapeo has a Scoville heat rating of 2,500 to 5,000 units, making it a “medium-hot” pepper.


Grow jalapenos in full sun, either in a pot or in a sunny spot in your garden. They thrive in the sun and the heat!

Well-draining soil with enough of organic matter is ideal. Your garden soil should be enriched with aged compost a few weeks prior to transplanting jalapenos. Educate yourself on the topic of soil preparation for planting.

The nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants, can infect peppers if they’ve recently been produced in the same area.

When to Plant Jalapeño Peppers

  • Eight to ten weeks before your last spring frost date, start seeds indoors in a flat.
  • Plant your jalapenos in the ground only after all threat of frost has passed and the soil temperature and nighttime temperature are both at least 60°F.

How to Plant Jalapeño Peppers

  • In seed trays or individual containers filled with seed-starting mix, plant seeds 1/4 inch deep. We prefer to plant at least two seeds in each pot in order to ensure that at least one seedling will grow.
  • Temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) are ideal for germination, so maintain the seed tray or pots in a warm environment.
  • About ten days before they are to be planted outside, start hardening off the jalapeo seedlings.
  • At least 60°F (15°C) overnight temperatures in the soil and 14 to 24 inches between seedlings can be transplanted outside.
  • Black plastic mulch can be used to warm the soil before planting in chilly climates.
  • Freshly planted seeds should be thoroughly watered.


  • Take care not to overdo it with the watering. Allow the top few inches of soil to dry out before re-watering.
  • Daytime temperatures of 65-85°F (18-29°C) and nocturnal temperatures of 60-70°F (15-21°C) are ideal for the growth of jalapeos.
  • When the plants begin to bloom, apply compost, well-rotted manure, or fish fertilizer to the base of the plant.
  • Support is required for tall types, as well as those that produce a large number of peppers. Small tomato cages or bamboo sticks work wonderfully.
  • Avoid damaging the roots of young plants by weeding carefully around them.
  • If you live in a hot climate, mulch with shredded leaves, straw, or grass clippings to keep the soil cool and moist.

Overwintering Plants

  • During the winter months, bring container-grown jalapenos indoors to protect them from the cold. As long as you keep it in an area that gets plenty of sunlight, you’ll receive more peppers.


  • ‘Seorita’ can reach heights of about 2 feet. This is a really hot pepper.
  • Per plant, ‘Sierra Fuego’ yields a huge number of peppers. The 3.5-inch-long peppers have a gentle heat.
  • Fast-maturing and big, ‘Mucho Nacho’ is an excellent choice. A little over two months later, it reaches full maturity. Even though the peppers are huge, they don’t pack a lot of heat.


  • The spiciest red peppers are those that are fully mature; avoid picking them before they are ready. Harvest when peppers are green if you desire that characteristic jalapeo snap, as the skin of the pepper may become leathery over time.
  • To cut peppers, use a sharp knife or pruning tool, and leave the pepper’s short stem attached. To avoid damaging the plant, do not remove them.

How to Store Jalapeño Peppers

  • It is better to buy peppers with a short stem because they will last longer in the refrigerator.
  • Refrigerate unwashed jalapeos in a plastic bag that can be left open.

Keeping peppers in a dehydrated state is an option as well. Keep the jalapenos in a cold, dark location after drying them. For the most part, air or an oven is used for drying:

Air-Drying Peppers

  • Rinse and dry the peppers. Place on a tray or wire rack in a well ventilated room or put outdoors on dry sunny days.

Oven-Drying Peppers

  • The jalapenos should be washed and dried before being used in this recipe. Place the halves on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Peppers should be baked at a low temperature (100° to 130°F) for about an hour and a half. The jalapenos may take several hours to dry out.


  • Sulfur is said to be added to plants by inserting match heads into the planting hole.
  • This pepper is named after the Mexican city of Jalapa.
  • When mature jalapenos are smoked to remove much of their moisture, they are known as Chipotles.
  • The seeds of jalapenos, referred to as “picante,” are used as a seasoning.

Jalapeno Plant Care: How to Grow and Care for Jalapenos - Hort Zone


Jalapeño Pepper Pests and Diseases


Spotting on leaves and stems can range from yellow to brown, purple to black, and may turn into a salmon-pink, gelatinous mess. Eventually, the plants decompose.
Dispose of sick plants, select resistant kinds, provide proper drainage, prevent overhead watering, apply compost as a nutrient, mulch, and rotate crops.

Aphids Insects create a sticky “honeydew” (the faeces of aphids) that causes deformed blooms and fruit. Honeydew mold that is sooty and dark; abundant ant activity on plants
Aphids can be deterred by using companion plants that either attract or repel them (such as nasturtiums or strong-scented plants). Water spray, insecticide soap, banana or orange peels, and a 1-2 percent solution of liquid dishwashing detergent and water should be used to remove aphids from plants, and native plants should be added to attract aphid predators.

Infectious leaf spot
A wide variety of bacteria can cause water-soaked rust/black leaf patches between veins to dry out and fall out, leaving holes in the leaves; leaves turn yellow, wilt, or die. A root canker
Do not compost diseased or seriously infected plants. Maintaining a clean, well-ventilated environment is essential to the health and well-being of your plants.

End-of-bloom rot
Insufficient calcium uptake is to blame for this condition.

Dark, wet areas on the fruit’s blossom end (the side opposite the stem) may enlarge and become sunken, leathery, or rotting.
Use mulch, water thoroughly and evenly, and prevent excessive nitrogen; keep the soil pH (6.5) and nutrient levels in check; avoid harming the root system; and remove any afflicted fruit from the plant.

Potato beetles in Colorado
Larvae and adults chew holes in leaves, laying yellow-orange eggs in clusters on leaf undersides.
Dispose of plant detritus at the end of the season and practice crop rotation after removing eggs/larvae/beetles by hand and applying straw mulch.

The Cucumber Mosaic Virus
Stooding; mottled green/yellow/white blotches on leaves/fruit; deformed leaf development; warts on fruits are all possible symptoms.
It is commonly spread by aphids. Choose resistant kinds and virus-free seed and destroy diseased plants. Use row coverings. Clean tools after each use. Avoid weeds. Use mulch.

Tiny holes in the leaves are caused by flea beetles (as if they had been hit by a tiny shotgun)
Row coverings, heavy mulching, and native plants are all ways to keep flea beetles at bay.

Miners in the leaves
Tunneling larvae form meandering blisters on leaves.
Early season tilling of the soil and the removal of infested leaves are necessary to prevent pests. rotating crops

Nematodes with root knots
Stunted, yellowed, or wilted plants result from insect root “knotting” or “galling.”
Damaged plant stuff (particularly roots) should be destroyed. Choosing hardy plants is a good idea. the addition of old manure/compost; the exposure of the soil to the sun till the soil in the fall; disinfect gardening tools Rotate your cropping system.