Jalapeño Chili Pepper

Capsicum annuumJalapeño

Jalapeño is the most popular variety of chili pepper in the United States. It produces thick-walled, 3-inch pods that are moderately hot (rated 4,000 to 8,500 units on the Scoville heat scale) and have a deep green color that transforms into a bright red as they mature. Often, the heat level of the peppers can differ, even within the same plant. Peppers that grow quickly, receive adequate water, and are harvested early tend to be milder than those left on the plant for an extended period or that develop slowly under stressful conditions.

Growing Healthy Plants

As with all peppers, jalapeño thrives in warm weather conditions and should be planted in the ground after the threat of frost has passed. The soil temperature should remain consistently above 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 18°C) for optimal growth. If necessary, you can warm the soil using black plastic a few weeks prior to planting.

Peppers require a location that receives full sun, meaning an average of at least six hours of sunlight per day.

To ensure healthy growth, peppers require nutrient-rich soil. To prepare the soil, mix in a generous amount of compost and a light application of well-rotted manure. Be cautious not to add too much manure, as too much nitrogen can cause excessive foliage growth at the expense of fruit production.

Before transplanting, it’s best to remove any fruit or flowers that have already developed. Doing so will allow the plant to channel its energy towards root and stem growth and adapt to its new outdoor environment. With a stronger foundation and warmer weather, the plant will produce more flowers and fruit, resulting in a higher yield.

During transplanting, it’s recommended to space pepper plants 12 to 18 inches apart, as they typically perform well when grown in close proximity to each other but not touching.
Pepper plants can become overwhelmed by the weight of their fruit if they are not provided with support. To prevent this, it’s advisable to stake the plants or install tomato cages early, before the plants have grown significantly.

Although the skin may develop a netting pattern as the fruit ages, it has no impact on the flavor.

Cultural Details
Soil Typeloamy, rich, well-draining soil
Soil PHAcidic, neutral
Soil MoistureMedium
Sun ExposureFull Sun
Harvest TimeLate July through August