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Jalapeno Hot Peppers and Seeds
The most popular chile pepper in the United States, jalapeno peppers are easy to grow--and so versatile to use in cooking. You can grill them, stuff them, or chop them up for salsas and dips. Considered a medium-hot pepper, jalapeno peppers have a Scoville heat rating of 2,500-5,000 units. At Gurney's, we grow a lot of jalapeno peppers and offer the best varieties of jalapeno hot pepper plants for sale.
What Is a Jalapeno Plant?
Jalapeno pepper plants are compact, growing 24-48 inches tall, making growing jalapenos suitable for containers, Grow Tubs, raised beds and the garden. The plants produce deep green, cylindrical-shaped fruits with medium heat. If left on the plants, the fruits ripen to red and their heat intensifies. Jalapeno peppers grow about 3 inches long with medium-thick walls.
Picking and Preparing a Spot to Plant Your Jalapeno Pepper Seeds
Jalapeno plants are easy to grow, as long as some key conditions are met.
- The soil should be well-drained and rich in organic matter. Avoid growing jalapeno plants where other members of the nightshade family--tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant--were grown the previous year.
- Jalapeno peppers are sun lovers and should be grown where they receive full sun, or at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
- Jalapeno pepper plants are tender plants and don't like the cold. Wait and plant jalapeno pepper plants until after all danger of spring frost has passed.
How to Plant Jalapenos
Because jalapeno pepper plants are cold sensitive, most gardeners start jalapeno pepper seeds indoors about 8-10 weeks before the last spring frost date in your area. Jalapeno pepper seeds germinate best when the soil temperature is at least 70 degrees F. When the danger of spring frost has passed and soil temperatures are above 60 degrees F., transplant jalapeno pepper seedlings to the outdoor garden. In northern regions, some gardeners use black plastic mulch to warm the soil before planting. When growing jalapeno peppers, keep in mind the pepper plants should be spaced 18-24 inches apart with rows spaced 24-36 inches apart.
How to Grow Jalapeno Peppers
Here are a few tips for how to grow jalapenos. To keep your jalapeno pepper plants healthy and productive, try these tips.
- Avoid overwatering the plants. Pepper plants need about 1 inch of rainfall weekly. If you must give them supplemental water, use a drip irrigation system or water the base of the plant so the leaves don't get wet.
- Mulch suppresses weeds and helps the soil retain water.
- While most jalapeno plants don't require staking, some taller varieties may.
- Adding a slow-release fertilizer, aged manure or compost to the soil when the plants start to blossom gives the jalapeno plants a boost.
Common Jalapeno Hot Pepper Issues
Jalapeno plant care is fairly easy. Few insects or pests bother jalapeno hot pepper plants. Inspect your pepper plants for any insect damage. Pyola Insect Spray is the go-to spray at our research farm.
Blossom-end rot is the most common problem with hot pepper plants. Often caused by a calcium deficiency in the soil or overwatering, it can be controlled with Enz-Rot Blossom-End Rot Concentrate Spray.
While jalapeno pepper plants love the heat, they may experience flower drop and may not fully develop when temperatures are warmer than 90 degrees F.
How to Harvest and Store Jalapeno Peppers
Jalapeno peppers can be harvested at the green or red stage. To harvest, you can pinch the peppers from the stem or cut the stem. Take care not to damage the plant. Jalapeno peppers will last longer if they have a short stem. For the best flavor, here's how to care for jalapeno peppers. If planning to use them for fresh eating, salsas, grilling or stuffing they can be stored in a bag in the refrigerator. They can also be preserved by drying, pickling or freezing.