The Jalapeno plant belongs to the plant type Chili Pepper in the Capsicum annum species. Unlike bell peppers, which are prominent in appearance and sweet in taste, chili peppers have various colors, flavors, and sizes.
The plant is grown in many parts of the world, including North America, Mexico, Peru, Spain, India, and China. The plant is named after a city in Mexico called Jalapa.
It’s one of the most sought-after chili peppers bringing variety to your kitchen garden. Like any other plant, Jalapeno plants have a growth cycle.
If you are enthusiastic about cultivating them, you could be curious to know how long they live. We discuss this in detail and provide you tips for growing Jalapeno plants successfully.
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Growing Jalapeno Peppers
With your gardening basics right, growing Jalapeno peppers should be a breeze. First, you want to know the ideal conditions for their growth.
The plants do well in well-drained loamy soil with a considerable amount of organic matter. They are heat-loving plants and prefer warm temperatures under full sun. Their germination temperatures range from 18-27 degrees Celsius.
Without enough warmth, Jalapeno plants may fail to sprout. You should avoid planting Jalapenos outside until after the frost is over and the temperature is above 15 degrees Celsius. It’s advisable to use black mulch to warm the soil in cold areas before planting.
If you are also planting tomatoes in your garden, a quick tip would be to plant peppers two weeks after planting your tomatoes. However, we don’t advise growing Jalapeno plants alongside plants in the nightshade family.
Maintain the temperatures below 32 degrees Celsius during fruiting for maximum production. Plant care could be challenging, but it’s still doable. Hello
Always ensure to water the plant during dry spells. Drip irrigation is the most preferred irrigation method since it prevents water from getting to the roots. Fertilize your Jalapeno plant with well-rotted manure when they begin to blossom.
Fish fertilizer can also be a good alternative. Some Jalapeno varieties bear a lot of peppers, with some being tall. Such cases will require you to stake them for support. A ripe Jalapeno is dark, green, smooth, and looks shiny.
How Long Will My Jalapeno Plants Live?
All pepper types, including the Jalapeno plants, are grown as annuals. They all go through the typical cycle of sowing, growing, picking, and decomposition in a compost heap at the end of the season.
However, under the right conditions, Jalapeno plants are perennials that overwinter with ease up to the following year. They can survive longer than one season and up to over five years. We discuss more of how to achieve this later in the article.
To make them bear fruits in summer and through fall, plant your Jalapeno plant in sheltered sunny spots. Jalapeno plants best grow in hardiness zones 9 to 11 of the U.S Department of Agriculture.
Jalapeno plants typically die back after harvesting in late fall; however, in areas with year-round warm temperatures, the plant will continue to produce, like in the tropical region where it thrives naturally.
Jalapeno Plant Life Cycle
Jalapeno plants set off in Spring when the temperatures are high and daylight hours long. As the plant grows, check for new foliage regularly, preferably every 3-4 days.
As the foliage matures, increase watering but only to a point where the soil is moist but does not become waterlogged.
You should apply a high-potassium fertilizer, preferably of the ratio 18-18-21. Ensure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions during application.
If not growing your Jalapeno plants indoors, you can plant them outdoors during the daytime. Bring them indoors during the night for about a week before setting them outside permanently.
Overwintering The Jalapeno Plants
The ideal conditions for overwintering a Jalapeno plant include shelter, high light levels, and reduced watering. If growing your Jalapeno in a container indoors, identify bright areas such as a sunny windowsill or a home greenhouse.
You should only water the plant when the top inch of the soil is dry to avoid the risk of damping-off disease. We don’t advise fertilizing the plant since the plant grows little in winter.
Overwintered Jalapenos also suffer some diseases that you want to know first hand. A common disease is Root Rot.
The pre-conditions for Root rot include low light levels and cold temperatures. Aphids are also a common pest on overwintered Jalapeno plants.
To keep your Jalapeno plants growing over to the next season, discard the diseased ones to prevent them from spreading diseases.
It’s also important to mention that growing Jalapeno plants in subsequent seasons is pretty easier than overwintering them.
Jalapeno Pepper Care
Follow the tips mentioned below to keep your Jalapeno plants growing:
1. Occasional Pruning
If you manage to overwinter your Jalapeno plants, they will require some special care in spring. A crucial aspect of caring for your Jalapeno plant is pruning them occasionally.
You will need to prune any dead or diseased plant parts. Some plant parts also appear thin and weak. You must prune them to ensure an increase of nutrient uptake by the healthy branches that can bear fruits.
Before and after pruning, you need to disinfect your pruning shears with a household disinfectant.
2. Proper Sunlight Exposure
There has to be sufficient sunlight exposure for your Jalapeno to grow well. Less sunlight makes your Jalapeno plants lean to get the sunlight.
There will also be less flower production which means fewer fruits. On the other hand, too much sun may cause your Jalapeno plant to wilt.
What you want is to have a balance of sunlight to avoid the extremes.
You can replant Jalapeno peppers once they reach 2-4 inches. This is only required if you start your Jalapeno plant from a seed tray.
You want to do this to give your Jalapeno plants more room to grow wide and tall.
4. Proper Watering
We have mentioned this before, but it’s important to reiterate it. Do not water your Jalapeno plant under full sunlight as these could damage the leaves.
The other pitfall to avoid is overwatering your Jalapeno plant. You could experiment with the water regime and see what works best for your plant.
Jalapeno plants can live for more than five years, provided you grow them under the right conditions. They typically require reasonable exposure to sunlight and a loamy potting medium.
Another thing to consider is overwintering them successfully while giving them proper care during growth. We hope the tips mentioned above will make your Jalapeno plants live longer.
Job Kiniale is a certified crop scientist and gardening enthusiast with a passion to help beginning gardeners navigate their newfound hobby. Let’s talk about plants, backyard ideas, and general gardening advice. Outside work, Job loves spending time with family.