Jalapeño peppers are delicious and versatile. They can be eaten raw or cooked, added to salads, soups, stews, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, pizza toppings, and much more.
If you want to grow them at home, you’ll need to start seeds indoors.
You can choose from several varieties of jalapeño peppers, such as cayenne, habanero, serrano, poblano, and chipotle. The latter two are milder than other types.
Growing jalapeños is simple if you follow these instructions:
- Start seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last frost date.
- Plant seeds 2 inches deep and 3 inches apart.
- Water regularly until seedlings emerge.
- When plants reach 4 inches tall, thin out weaker ones.
- After transplanting outdoors, water weekly and fertilize every 2 weeks.
- Harvest your peppers when the fruits turn red.
Can I Grow Jalapeños Indoors?
Yes! You can grow jalapeño peppers indoors in a warm environment with bright light. It’s best to plant seeds about 2 months before the last frost date.
Seeds germinate best between 50 °F-60 °F (10 °C-15 °C).
How Long Do Jalapeños Take To Grow?
The time it takes for your jalapeño pepper to mature depends on the variety.
Some take less time than others. For example, the ‘Salsa Roja’ variety matures in 45 days, while the ‘Poblanos de Oaxaca’ variety takes 90 days.
What Temperature Should I Keep My Plants In?
If you’re growing jalapeño peppers indoors, keep them in an area that has temperatures above 60 °F (16 °C) during the day and below 50 °F (10° C) at night.
How Much Light Does A Jalapeño Need?
If you have a sunny window, you should get plenty of natural sunlight. But if you don’t, you may need artificial lighting.
You can use fluorescent bulbs for this as they provide good color and growth.
How Often Should I Fertilize Jalapeños?
Water and fertilize your jalapeño peppers once a week. You should apply fertilizer according to label directions.
When using liquid fertilizer, dilute it 1 part to 5 parts water. Spray the foliage evenly and be careful not to use too much fertilizer as overly fertilizing will cause the leaves to yellow.
How Many Jalapeños Can I Grow At One Time?
A single pot of jalapeño pepper seeds can produce up to 10 fruits. However, most growers harvest only one fruit per plant.
How Tall Are Jalapeños?
Jalapeño pepper plants grow anywhere from 12″ – 18″ tall.
How Long Will Jalapeños Last?
When stored properly, jalapeño peppers will last for up to 8 weeks.
You should store them in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Wrap each fruit individually in plastic wrap for protection.
You should also remove any stems and cut off the tops, so that air can circulate around the fruit.
Once you have done this, place them in a paper bag.
Refrigeration may slow ripening, but it doesn’t stop it entirely.
How To Select Jalapeño Peppers
Choose healthy looking plants with no signs of disease when selecting your peppers.
You should also select fruits that are firm and heavy for their size and avoid soft, shriveled, or bruised fruits.
How To Prepare Jalapeño Peppers For Cooking
- Wash fresh jalapeño peppers under running water.
- Cut off stems and wash again.
- Slice open lengthwise and remove seeds.
- Remove ribs and veins by cutting crosswise.
- Wash thoroughly and dry.
How To Freeze Jalapeño Peppers
To freeze jalapeño peppers whole, peel them first. Then slice them into strips and freeze in freezer bags.
To freeze jalapeño slices without peeling, rinse them well and pat them dry. Pack them into freezer bags and freeze them accordingly.
To thaw frozen jalapeño slices, unwrap them and place them in a bowl.
Cover the peppers with boiling water and let them stand until they are tender.
How To Cook Jalapeño Peppers?
Cooking methods vary depending on how hot you want your food to be. Here’s what you can do:
Roast: Put your jalapeño peppers directly on a rack set in a baking pan.
Bake in a preheated 400 °F oven for 20 minutes or until their skins start to blacken.
Turn the heat down to 350 °F and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Let your peppers cool completely before handling.
Grill: Heat the grill to medium-high. Brush both sides of your jalapeño peppers with oil.
Grill them for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until charred. Let them cool slightly before handling.
Sauté: Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat.
Add your jalapeño peppers and cook for 6 minutes or until they are softened.
Reduce the heat to medium and add 1/2 a cup of water. Cover them and simmer for 5 minutes or until tender.
Bake: Preheat the oven to 450 °F. Cut your jalapeño peppers in half lengthwise.
Rub them inside and out with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Lay the halves cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Then, roast them in a preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the skins start turning brown.
Turn the oven down to 350 °F and continue roasting until the skins turn dark brown. Cool your peppers completely before handling.
Jalapeño Pepper Facts
The name “jalapeño” comes from the Nahuatl word “xaltopilli”, meaning “little bird”.
The plant was originally called “pimento de la virgen” (Virgin Mary pepper) because its shape resembles an image of the Virgin Mary.
Jalapeño peppers originated in Mexico.
They were brought to Europe in the 1600s. In 1767, they reached North America when Spanish explorers brought them back to New Spain (Mexico).
Jalapeño is one of the most popular types of chili peppers grown today.
It has a mild flavor that makes it perfect for adding spice to dishes such as salsa, guacamole, enchiladas, and tacos.
Jalapeño peppers also make great snacks. You can eat them raw or roasted, sliced or diced, stuffed or plain.
Jalapeños have become increasingly popular in recent years. This spicy pepper is now available in many varieties.
Some are sweet, while others are very hot. There are even some that are flavored with garlic.
Today, there are more than 100 varieties of jalapeños growing all over the world. Most of these are milder than the original Mexican variety.
However, the hottest jalapeño pepper on record was grown by a man named Steve Tranum at his farm near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
He grew a pepper that measured 1.5 inches long and had a Scoville scale rating of 1 million!
That means this pepper could easily burn your tongue off if you ate just a few bites of it.
To conclude, you can grow jalapeño peppers easily in your backyard and indoors. All you need is a sunny spot and good soil.
Plant your seeds indoors during the winter months, and transplant seedlings outside after the danger of frost has passed.
Water your peppers regularly so that the plants don’t dry out.
Once they have reached maturity, harvest the ripe pods and let them ripen further on the kitchen counter prior to cooking or enjoy them raw!