Containers: If you choose to grow jalapeños from seed, you’ll need a few different sizes of containers.
For the most part, these can consist of recycled plastic bottles and jars, so there’s no need to purchase a multitude of potting containers.
However, both seedling-grown and store-bought jalapeño plants will need a final container size of at least 2 gallons.
Sunlight: Like most chili plants, jalapeños need ample amounts of direct sunlight to thrive. Make sure that you can provide young seedlings with 12–16 hours of direct sunlight and maturing plants with at least 8–10 hours.
Soil and Fertiliser: Jalapeños are heavy feeders. To get off to the right start, you’ll want to select a premium potting soil and an all-purpose fertiliser. The ideal potting soil will be organic, high in initial nutrition, and have good drainage qualities.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐢s𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐞 𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐜 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐍𝐏𝐊 𝐨𝐟 𝟏𝟎-𝟏𝟎-𝟏𝟎 𝐨𝐫 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐭.
Step 1: Start From Seed
Jalapeño plants germinate and grow slowly. For this reason, it is recommended to start seedlings indoors 𝟖-𝟏𝟎 𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐤𝐬 before your average last frost.
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐆𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬
Depending on how many plants you wish to grow, locate and prepare the correct number of corresponding containers. When starting seeds, these containers can be as simple as 20-ounce coloured soda bottles cut in half with a drainage hole drilled into the bottom
Fill the containers with your potting soil and water thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain away.
𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐰𝐨 𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬 𝐩𝐞𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐭𝐚 𝐝𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐡 𝐟 𝟏/𝟒 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐡 Although you won’t be growing all the seeds, planting extra is a good a precaution in case a few don’t germinate.
Cover the seeds with soil and place in a warm location (75–80°F) with relatively low light.
Keep the soil evenly moist, and 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐞 𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝟏𝟒-𝟐𝟏 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬
Step 2: Care for and Transplant Your Seedlings
Great! Now that you’ve had a few seeds sprout, it’s time to care for the seedlings. You’ll be caring for the seedlings indoors until you can move them outside after all threats of frost have passed.
How to Keep Young Seedlings Healthy?
Once the seedlings have sprouted, move them to a warm and well-lit area. It is imperative that the seedlings are not exposed to temperatures lower than 65°F.
The seedlings will also need a great deal of light (optimally 𝟏𝟒-𝟏𝟔 𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬 𝐚 𝐝𝐚𝐲 ). South-facing windowsills are a great option if available, but if not, artificial grow lighting will also supply the right amount of heat and light.
Keep the soil moist, but be careful not to over water.
Jalapeños enjoy a thoroughly moist soil but can develop root rot if the soil becomes waterlogged.
It’s good to note that indoor plants do not need to be watered as much to maintain moisture levels. By watering your seedlings 𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐫 𝟐 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐚 𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐤, you should be just fine!
When to Transplant Your Seedlings
In addition to providing warmth, water, and light, transplanting is another key factor for seedling growth and vigour. As the seedlings grow bigger, they’re going to need more root space, so a schedule of transplanting should be followed. Here’s how I conduct my transplanting:(( 𝐀𝐥𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐰 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐛𝐨𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐛𝐚𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐨 𝐩𝐞𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐫)
- Day 14: Transplant from seedling cup to 3-inch diameter flower pot.
- Day 35: Transplant from 3-inch to 5-inch diameter flower pot.
- Day 60: Transplant from 5-inch to the final 11-inch flower pot (2-gallon).
Step 3: Care for Your Young Plants
At this point, I’m going to assume that all went well with the seedling stage or that you just went ahead and bought a young plant. Either way, it’s time to grow your plants outdoors! Before moving them, however, you must harden them off (i.e., prepare them for their time outdoors). During their outdoor stay, you’ll need to provide your plants with ample sunlight, water, and fertiliser.
If your plants were started indoors, you will have to harden them off before moving them to the outdoors. Hardening off refers to the process of gradually exposing a plant to outdoor conditions before moving it outdoors full-time. This is critical to plant health.
Situate your plants somewhere that gets a good amount of sunlight. Remember, maturing plants need at least 8–10 hours of direct sunlight daily.
As with the seedlings, maturing plants also prefer a soil that is kept thoroughly moist. Watering every other day should satisfy their moisture needs. Be careful not to over water, as this will lead to root rot.
If you choose a high-quality potting soil to grow your plants in, they shouldn’t need fertiliser until around a month after the date when they were planted in their outdoor containers. Fertilise them with half the recommended dose every third watering. It’s much easier on the plants if you feed them a diluted solution more often rather than a concentrated dose once or twice over their lifetimes. Continue fertilising up until two weeks before you plan to harvest your first pepper
Step 4: Harvest Your Peppers
Finally, you’ve arrived at the best part! it’s time to get paid off for all your hard work. From seed to usable peppers, the process has taken some 90–120 days. It’s been quite a while, but it’s about to be worth the wait.
Jalapeños can be eaten green or red. Of course, it will take the peppers extra time to ripen to a red colour (usually closer the 120-day end of the spectrum). It’s really up to you when you want to harvest your peppers. A trick to increase your plants’ productivity is to pick the peppers during their green stage. This will force more blossoms, meaning more peppers for you. Enjoy the fruits of your lobar!
I hope this post helped you with growing jalapenos in pots this year. Let me know how your jalapenos are progressing! If you have questions or suggestions, leave them in the comments below