How to Grow Jalapeno Peppers in the Garden

Jalapeo peppers require ideal environmental conditions for successful cultivation in your garden. Once frost danger has passed, plant in well-draining soil that receives full sun. Add an organic mulch layer on top to retain soil moisture and decrease risk of foliar diseases.

As soon as your plants’ soil dries to an inch depth, water them once per week with one deep watering session aimed at providing adequate hydration. When watering early in the morning to avoid leaves and fruit falling over.


Jalapeno plants require well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter for maximum success. While they will tolerate sandy or moderately fertile conditions, optimal results come from planting in rich potting mixes that contain composted pine bark, coir or rice hulls as organic matter sources. When growing them indoors in containers choose one large enough to allow their roots to flourish freely; when starting from seeds sow your seeds at least eight to ten weeks prior to outdoor planting date then transplant the young seedlings when weather temperatures allow.

Ensure the transplants used to grow peppers from starter plants are free from any fungus which could have caused stunted or wilted growth, typically damping off (pythium or rhizoctonia), fusarium wilt or fusarium verticillium wilt. To lower your risk, start pepper seeds in sterile seed-starting mix and use clean transplants as soon as they emerge in order to avoid contamination with any potentially dangerous fungi.

Once your plant has taken root, be sure to water it regularly. In hot and dry weather conditions, pepper plants can easily become dehydrated; when the top inch or two of soil feels dry it’s time for watering; we suggest using drip irrigation to maintain soil moisture while preventing overwatering which may cause foliar diseases.

As soon as peppers start blooming, they require an injection of fertilizer that will aid fruit production. We like Garden Tone’s three-part system which utilizes general plant food, tomato feed and phosphorous supplement; mix all three parts into the soil at planting time then switch between midsummer tomato feeding and harvest when watering; if your finger comes out moist then skip your scheduled watering day!


When planting pepper seeds or purchasing seedlings from a garden center, select a container with enough room for their roots to flourish. A three-gallon bucket is best; any large plastic or clay pot will work as long as there are drainage holes at the bottom side for excess water drainage. Jalapeno peppers require soil that contains lightweight loam with an acidity range between 6.0 to 7.0 pH for best growth; look for one designed specifically for containers in local garden supply stores.

Pepper plants require plenty of light in order to thrive indoors, and for best results a quality LED or fluorescent grow light should be utilized. Placed 4 inches from your plant for best results as too close can cause it to lean toward it when taller plants emerge.

Temperature must be kept warm enough in your jalapeno plant grow area to prevent them from chilling and losing flavor, between 65-85 F during the day and 60-70F overnight.

If your jalapeno plants begin to lose leaves, this could be caused by several factors, including too much light, insufficient water intake or nutritional deficiency such as lack of nitrogen or potassium. If this occurs to you, increase water and fertilizer use or move them into locations with more sunlight to address this problem; otherwise consult a horticulturist for assistance.


Jalapenos thrive in soil that’s well-drained and abundant with organic matter, while being tolerant of slightly acidic or alkaline conditions; they prefer neutral conditions; using a soil pH test kit can help determine an average level.

Peppers can be grown easily from seeds, though seedlings purchased at your local garden center or online are easier. When selecting seedlings for purchase, look for ones without signs of mold and healthy roots; when growing them in containers it should allow enough room for proper root development – 5-gallon (19 L) pots provide enough space for jalapeno plants if space constraints do not cause issues with growth.

Water your seedlings regularly but not excessively to keep the soil moist without becoming wet. Drip or soaker hose irrigation is most effective for this, as it reduces disease risks more efficiently. Irrigate in the morning if possible to lessen foliar diseases risk.

As soon as your plants have been transplanted to your garden, ensure they have enough room. Peppers require about 12 inches of space to support and produce fruit; without this amount of room available to them, their production may suffer and produce less peppers than expected.

If you’re growing peppers in containers, make sure that the soil mix contains vermiculite or perlite for airflow and light weighting. As peppers in containers tend to dry out more quickly than those planted directly into the ground, frequent watering is required – however overwatering can lead to wilting and even death; instead water when only the top 1-2 inches of soil has dried out.


Jalapeno pepper plants thrive best when planted outdoors in spring after the threat of frost has passed. If planting seedlings in their original containers, remove them carefully and transplant to 3-4-inch pots containing pre-moisturized soil to grow into full plants.

When planting seeds or seedlings, loamy soil with plenty of organic matter is ideal. A neutral pH range (6.0-6.8) should provide optimal conditions and using an inoculant may help prevent diseases such as damping off, pythium infection, rhizoctonia infection and fusarium wilt.

Water-soluble organic fertilizers such as Garden Tone are excellent options for early stage jalapeno plant development as they contain high levels of nitrogen which encourage vigorous foliage. Once blooms appear on your plant however, you should switch to an organic balanced with lower nitrogen levels like Tiger Bloom to ensure maximum bloom potential.

Water the soil around your jalapeno plants with a garden hose or sprayer to moisten it sufficiently, then make a hole large enough to accommodate their transplant, placing it there before filling in with additional soil and packing it down gently.

Once your jalapeno plants are established, they require ample sunlight and heat, with sufficient protection from wind that could potentially knock over plants. Additionally, keep an eye out for common pests like aphids, flea beetles, and hornworms; keep the soil free of weeds by tilling regularly or by pulling up weeds to minimize these threats from attacking pepper plants.

If you discover aphids on your jalapeno plants, wipe them off using paper towel before spraying with mild insecticide to stop the aphids from sucking juice from them and damaging your jalapeno crops. This will stop them sucking juice away and helping your jalapeno plants flourish once more!


No matter where you obtained your seedlings from, starting pepper plants indoors eight-10 weeks before transplanting them outdoors is key for successful results. Be sure to read your particular jalapeno variety’s packet for its unique light and water requirements as these can vary.

Choose a container large enough to support the growth of your jalapeno plants until harvest, with adequate drainage systems to avoid overwatering. When growing in containers, opt for lightweight soil mixes specifically tailored for container growing like vermiculite or perlite to help keep water levels at an optimum level.

Plant your seedlings or starter plants outside when all danger of frost has passed and temperatures have become comfortable enough. If you live in a cooler climate, hardening off is necessary so as not to stress out or show signs of cold damage like yellowed leaves that could impede their growth.

When it’s time for transplanting, look for seedlings with sturdy stems and six to nine leaves on their stems. After they’ve established themselves, prune them back by two sets of leaves to encourage more robust growth and greater yield of fruit.

Protect jalapeno plants from pests that could threaten their growth, such as flea beetles, thrips and cucumber mosaic virus (spread by aphids). To deter flea beetles, till soil in autumn and spring; mulch heavily; plant companion crops with dill, basil or marigolds to attract or repel flea beetles; spray with Bt to kill aphids; use disease resistant varieties and certified virus-free seeds as companion plants; choose sunny locations; disinfect gardening tools between crops; remove damaged foliage as soon as it appears.

Leave a Comment