How to Grow Jalapenos Inside: Tips, Tricks & Step-by-Step Guide
There are several reasons one might want to grow Jalapenos inside. Maybe you don’t have the outdoor garden space, or maybe it doesn’t stay warm enough in your climate. Whatever the case, you’re in luck. Jalapenos can grow indoors quite well given the right conditions.
Below we will go through a few simple steps to get you on your way to fresh peppers from seeds and a few tips on choosing the right seed.
Before You Grow
Jalapenos require soil temperatures around 75°–80°F (23°–26°C) to germinate and grow properly. If you plan on transplanting them outside, you must live in the appropriate climate. And if you want to keep them inside, you’ll have to provide adequate light and the correct temperature.
If this sounds like something you can do, let’s get into it and learn how to grow jalapenos inside.
Growing Jalapenos Inside
Before you start anything, make sure you have all the supplies ready to go:
- 3-inch and 2 or 5-gallon pots
- Soilless potting mix
- Indoor growing lights
- Heat pad
- Fertilizer (balanced)
The Step-By-Step Instructions for Growing Jalapenos Indoors
1. Start Seed
If you have no plans to move the jalapeno outside, you can start the seeds whenever you want. Start it in the 3-inch pot so that the seed can germinate. While germinating, the soil temperature must remain above 70°F—the heating pad can help with this.
Also, ensure that the seedling receives around 16 hours of daylight per day. It’s okay to use natural light in conjunction with the growing light.
2. Transfer Sprouts
Once your seedlings begin to grow, you can transfer them to new pots. A 5-gallon pot is ideal because a fully grown jalapeno can grow 3 feet tall. If you don’t have the bigger one, a 2-gallon pot is also acceptable.
3. Ongoing Care
As your plant grows, make sure the temperature stays between 75° and 80° during the day. 60° to 70° is a suitable nighttime temp. Also, make sure the soil stays damp, but don’t overwater to the point of soggy soil.
You’ll want to treat the soil with a balanced fertilizer every 3 weeks. This is especially important as the seedling begins to grow.
Make sure to pick the peppers when they are ready to encourage the plant to continue blooming. As long as you provide the correct temperature, light, and watering, your jalapeno plant should keep giving you fresh jalapenos year-round.
Starting Jalapenos Inside for Transplanting
You will follow similar steps in starting the plant inside if you intend on transplanting. However, it does take a little bit more planning, and you need to ensure the risk of frost is completely gone.
1. Plan Ahead
Instead of starting the seeds whenever you want, you’ll want to plant two seeds in a three-inch pot approximately 2 months from when you plan on transplanting them to your garden.
Make sure you water the seeds thoroughly when you plant them and keep the temperature high enough so that they germinate.
2. Ongoing Care
The ongoing care for a jalapeno plant that you intend on transplanting to the garden is much the same as if you’re keeping it inside. Except you won’t be putting it in a bigger pot.
Ensure that the plant is getting adequate light throughout the day and the temperature remains above 75°. Once the seeds germinate—if they both do—by removing the weakest one, you’ll be giving the plant its best shot at success.
When you’re about a week from transplanting the plant to your garden, start slowly acclimating it to the new conditions. Putting the plant outside for a few hours each day is a great way to do this.
Keep in mind that you mustn’t put the plant in the garden until the risk of frost is gone. Frost will kill the young plant.
How to Choose a Jalapeno Variety
There are quite a few pepper varieties to choose from. But four main ones are typically the most popular.
- Sierra Fuego: This delicious pepper has a mild to hot flavor. The plant produces peppers between 3 and 4 inches long and matures from a seedling in just under 3 months.
- Mucho Nacho: This variety is the quickest growing plant out of the four. Typically, it matures in under 70 days and produces big, 4-inch peppers with a mild flavor.
- Fresno Chile: These small 2-inch peppers pack a bit of punch for their size! It’s a mild heat but sometimes unexpected due to how small they are.
- Señorita: These peppers undergo a unique change. They start ripening to dark green, and then they go from purple until finally turning red. These are for the grower that wants a hot pepper.
Between the different varieties, jalapenos all have basically the same care needs. However, there are some slight variances, so adjust your care according to the particular variety you choose to grow.
Pests and Disease
There are pests and plant diseases to watch out for if you’re growing any vegetable. Jalapeno plants are no different. Growing the plant indoors, the risk may not be as high for some of these. However, it’s good to know what to watch out for.
How long will jalapeno plants last?
As long as its needs are met, and it doesn’t get hurt by frost, most jalapeno plants will last up to 5 years and continue producing peppers.
Will a 2-gallon pot be big enough for growing a jalapeno indoors?
Jalapeno plants can grow up to 3 feet tall. However, this is determined by their environment—a smaller pot will produce a smaller plant. But keep in mind that a smaller plant will produce fewer peppers.
Can I move the plant back and forth between inside and outside?
Yes, as long as you’re careful, you can switch back and forth. Jalapeno plants are hardy when it comes to transplanting. If you’re growing the plant in your garden but inside over the winter because it gets too cold, that’s fine. Just remember to bring it inside before the first frost or else it will likely die.
Not only is it possible to grow jalapenos inside, but they thrive given the right conditions and care. We hope this guide has provided you with the information to start growing your fresh peppers inside.
Featured Image Credit: GregReese, Pixabay