If you live in a small space, have a balcony, or want to try your hand at indoor gardening, you might want to consider growing jalapenos in pots.
Jalapenos work well in many different types of dishes, including salads, sauces, and toppings. Jalapenos are a type of pepper, and peppers themselves thrive well when grown in pots.
Growing jalapenos in pots have an advantage, as you can move them to a different location if the environment changes.
For instance, if the weather takes a bad turn, you can move the jalapenos to a sunnier or cooler area.
Growing these peppers inside containers also means that they can be overwintered easily. You’ll be able to shield them from the cold during the winter, so the plant has the best chance of growing in summer.
If you’d like to try growing jalapenos, you’re in the right place!
We’ll cover more about cultivating these tasty peppers indoors below, including the right pot size, where to plant them, and how long you’ll have to wait to see your first jalapeno pepper.
How Big Should The Pot Be?
Jalapenos can grow well inside pots, but they do need to be big enough to allow them to grow freely. Look for 5-gallon pots, or if you’re in a pinch, a 5-gallon food bucket will do.
If you choose a smaller pot, like a 2-gallon one, the plant won’t be able to grow as large as it would have done in a bigger pot.
You’ll achieve fewer peppers on the plant, but it will keep growing peppers as long as it is well cared for. Peppers in smaller pots won’t need as much watering either.
Always ensure that your pot has drainage holes at the base and that it is full of fertile, well-draining potting mix.
It’s best to use potting mix over garden soil. If the soil is too gritty, the pot won’t retain any moisture, so it will dry out quicker.
If the soil contains too much clay, the soil will clump and arrange around the roots, retaining too much moisture.
This can make it difficult for the roots to breathe. Peppers don’t thrive if they are overwatered, as this can cause root rot.
Can You Use Store-Bought Peppers To Grow Jalapenos?
Jalapenos aren’t ripe peppers, so they won’t contain many usable seeds.
The seeds are still growing and maturing as the ripening process occurs. If you want to give it a go, you can try planting a load of seeds to see if any begin to germinate.
However, this changes if your jalapenos have begun to ripen, as these seeds will have a better chance of germinating.
These peppers will turn a darker shade and begin looking red on the edges. Leave your jalapenos on your counter until they have ripened, remove the seeds, and plant as you wish.
Jalapeno Growing Conditions
Jalapenos that are grown in pots need certain conditions to reach their optimum yield. These depend on whether you grow them indoors or outdoors.
Jalapenos that are grown outdoors thrive best in full sunlight, but they can also grow well in slightly shaded areas.
If you live in a very hot climate, place your jalapenos on a wall that faces east. This will let the plants receive sunlight in the morning, along with shadier conditions in the afternoon.
Apartment dwellers should grow their jalapenos on their balcony, preferably one that faces south. If this isn’t possible, east and west-facing balconies are the next best option.
North-facing terraces experience a lot of shade during the summer months. You may be able to grow some jalapenos here, but not as many as you would have on the opposite side of the premises.
If you want to grow your jalapenos indoors, it’s a good idea to invest in a grow light. Placing your plants on a south-facing wall may do, but a grow light will ensure that your plants receive enough light to grow well.
More light will encourage more buds and fruit to grow. You can purchase many types of grow lights, including LEDs and fluorescent lights. In the case of jalapenos, these peppers grow the best under powerful, strong LEDs.
Fluorescent light bulbs can be good for getting pepper seedlings to emerge, but they tend to produce fewer peppers compared to LEDs.
However, this may differ with different types of peppers. Jalapenos may prefer LEDs, but Thai peppers usually produce plentiful yields when under a fluorescent grow light.
Grow lights don’t need to be expensive when you’re growing jalapenos. LEDs are less expensive and unlike some other light bulbs, they won’t rack up your electricity bill. You can find decent quality grow lights for around $40.
No matter what type of grow light you choose, don’t position it too close to the plants.
Keep the bulbs around 2-4 inches above to stop the heat from burning the foliage. Try to keep the lights on between 10-18 hours daily.
When Should You Plant Jalapeno Plants?
It doesn’t matter if your jalapenos seeds were extracted from home or bought at a store.
Cold nights can prevent the plants from growing. They need to be transplanted outdoors when night temperatures stop decreasing below 50°F.
If you’re growing jalapenos in a pot, the best time to plant them depends on what size your pot is. In most cases, the best time to sow is roughly 10 weeks before they need transplanting.
This is fine if your starting pot is larger than 3 inches. If your starting pots are smaller, or you’re using starting trays, you can sow them 6-8 weeks before they need transplanting.
Time Needed For Jalapenos To Grow
Your jalapenos can start sprouting after a few days, but in some cases, they might take a few weeks to do so. When this occurs, your first pepper harvest should start flourishing after three months.
For example, if you planted them around the middle of March, your first jalapenos should have finished forming around the middle of June.
Do Jalapenos In Pots Need Fertilizer?
Jalapenos don’t require a lot of fertilizer during overwintering or after their peppers have matured. However, jalapeno plants are hungry for nutrients during the leaf growth period, and the fruiting period.
You may have bought a new potting mix to grow jalapenos in containers, but this mix will only contain enough fertilizer for 1-2 months.
Jalapenos can finish a whole pot’s worth of nutrients before the season finishes. You’ll need to feed them every week, or at least every fortnight, with a liquid, multi-purpose fertilizer.
Choosing a ‘bloom’ solution at the start of summer can stimulate fruit and flowers to form.
These formulas will have lower N and greater PK numbers. Slow-release fertilizer also works well, just make sure you follow the instructions included with your product.
How To Overwinter Jalapeno Plants
Pepper plants are perennials that grow every spring, but despite this, they are frost-tender. This is why many gardeners choose to grow peppers like annuals.
However, if your climate experiences cold wintery months, you can transport your peppers indoors to keep them safe from the cold.
Your jalapenos will stay alive in the winter as you wait for spring. Once spring comes around, the jalapenos will have a good chance of sprouting jalapeno peppers earlier.
Choosing a powerful grow light will ensure that the plants keep creating jalapenos during winter.
Here’s how to overwinter your jalapeno pepper plants:
1. Prune the branches off of the plant. This may take some effort to do, but pruning is one of the best ways to spring life into peppers.
Don’t forget to prune the peppers along with the branches. How much you want to prune depends on your preferences.
You can choose to cut it down to a stump, but leaving a few branches is better, as you’ll have a larger area for buds to grow.
If you do want to cut it down to a stump, make sure you leave some inches to allow new branches to take hold.
2. This step is optional. Remove the jalapeno from the pot, clean the roots, then transplant it into a different container.
This isn’t a necessary step, but cleaning the roots will remove any soil-dwelling pests which may travel inside your home. Don’t worry about harming the roots, as these will grow back later.
3. Place the jalapeno plant inside, water it fully, then keep it away from any harsh light sources for a few weeks. Bringing the plant indoors will place it under a lot of stress, especially if you transplant it.
Keeping it next to a window or a grow light is fine, but make sure that this light isn’t too strong. If you wish, you can also feed the plant with a very small amount of fertilizer.
4. Keep monitoring your jalapeno plant and check to see what the soil is like. Only water the plant if the first two inches of soil are dry.
As the plant doesn’t have many remaining leaves, it won’t need a lot of water, so don’t oversaturate it.
5. Once new green sprouts start growing out of the stem’s nodes, place the plant under a grow light and keep caring for it during the cold months.
During this time, the plant will start to produce many new leaves and shoots, so a grow light is necessary to avoid the new branches growing too long.
If your grow light is particularly strong, you may notice a few tiny buds after a month, then see full-formed jalapenos ripe for picking a month after that.
6. When spring comes around, place the plant back outdoors, but make sure that the night’s temperature doesn’t reduce below 50°F.
Don’t expose it to sunlight just yet! It needs to stay in the shade for a while until the plant can adapt to sunlight once more.
You can also choose to take the plant out during a cloudier week or prune it once more to promote new bud growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Jalapenos Grow Well Inside Containers?
All jalapenos grow well inside pots, and they can harvest very quickly when doing so.
This is because jalapenos are so small, so they thrive well inside a smaller pot. However, some types of jalapenos will need a larger container compared to others.
Keep this in mind if you plan on growing yours within a limited area, like a terrace or patio.
Do Jalapenos Need Full Sun?
Jalapenos need a lot of sunlight and heat to grow well. You can grow them indoors by using grow lights to simulate light.
They will need at least six hours of strong sunlight to thrive well. Jalapenos can grow in the shade, but the plants will start to thin and produce less fruit.
What Kind Of Pot Should I Grow Jalapenos In?
Jalapenos grow well inside pots. Grow your jalapeno plant in 5-gallon buckets or pots for the best yield, but 2-gallon containers are fine to use.
Make sure that your container, pot, or bucket, has drainage holes at the base and is full of well-draining potting soil.
The Bottom Line
Yes, you can grow jalapenos in a pot! Jalapenos are peppers that thrive well inside containers.
The best part of growing these peppers in pots is that you can move them to different areas whenever necessary. You can also overwinter them to keep them out of the cold and ready for the coming spring.
Jalapenos grow well under direct sunlight, so if you do choose to grow them indoors, invest in a grow light to ensure they get enough light.
Grow your peppers in 5-gallon pots to ensure they produce the best yield, but a smaller 2-gallon container will do in a pinch.
Keep in mind that plants in smaller pots will produce less fruit, but they won’t need as much watering.
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