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Growing Jalapenos in Pots: A Guide for UK Gardeners

Written by Sarah Talbot

Jalapenos chilli peppers grown from seedWhether you're a fan of container gardening or a cook who loves chillies, growing jalapenos indoors in pots is a rewarding experience.  Especially in the UK where the climate can be unpredictable. In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know to successfully grow and harvest your own fiery peppers at home.
Talking of 'fiery' did you know that jalapeno chillies are one of the milder chillies at only 2000-8000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).  When you consider that some chillies sit at 1 million on the Scoville scale then you can see that these area good introduction to chilli growing.

When to Plant Jalapenos

Timing is crucial when growing jalapenos from seed, especially in the UK where the weather is so unpredictable. The best time to plant jalapenos in pots is during the spring, once the threat of frost has passed. Aim for late April to early May for optimal results. This gives your jalapeno plants plenty of time to establish themselves before the colder months set in.

Choosing the Right Soil for Chillies

The type of soil you use plays a crucial role in the health and productivity of your jalapeno plants. Opt for a well-draining, nutrient-rich potting mix to ensure proper root development and growth. Avoid heavy clay soils that can lead to waterlogging, which can spell disaster for your jalapenos.

How to Plant Jalapeno Seeds

Cut jalapenos grown in potsFill a Seed tray with compost and scatter the jalapenos seeds thinly across it.  Cover them lightly with compost or vermiculite. Water well and place in a warm location such as a propagator or sunny window sill.
Keep the soil moist and seedlings should be large enough to transplant after 2-3 weeks when they are 2–3cm (1in) tall.  At this point move each one into its own 8cm (3") small pot of peat free multi-purpose compost.
Then, once roots begin to show through the drainage holes, move them into larger 13cm (5") pots  
And finally, once roots begin to show through the drainage holes transplant them again into their final pot or container. 

The Best Containers for Jalapenos

A single Jalapeno plant needs a container between 22-30 cm and (9"-12")
Vigoroot planters are ideal for chillies as they encourage healthy compact plants.
You could also put 3 plants together in a larger planter such as the Multipurpose Growbag Planter.

Caring for Jalapenos

Here are some essential tips:

  • Watering: Jalapenos prefer consistent moisture, so water them regularly, especially during dry spells. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot.
  • Sunlight: Place your pots in a sunny spot where they can receive at least six hours of sunlight per day. Jalapenos thrive in warm, sunny conditions.
  • Fertilising:  Once the first flowers appear feed your jalapeno plants with a balanced fertiliser every 2-4 weeks to promote healthy growth and fruit development.
  • Fruiting: Encourage the fruit to set by gently spraying with tepid water and although chillies are self fertile, a gentle shake of the flowing stems to release the pollen can help them along.
  • Pruning: Pinch off any small shoots that appear between the main stem and branches to encourage bushier growth and higher yields.
How long does it take Jalapenos to Fruit?

On average, jalapeno plants will start producing peppers 70-90 days after planting. However, this can vary depending on factors such as weather conditions, sunlight, and care.

Harvesting Jalapenos

Jalapenos grown indoorsKnowing when and how to harvest your jalapenos is essential for enjoying a bountiful harvest. Here's what you need to know:

  • When to harvest jalapenos: Jalapenos can be harvested once they reach their full size and turn dark green. However, if you prefer a milder flavour, you can wait until they start to turn red.
  • How to harvest Jalapenos: Use a sharp pair of scissors or garden shears to snip the peppers from the plant, leaving a short stem attached. Avoid pulling or twisting the peppers, as this can damage the plant.

Plant Protection: Defending Against Pests and Diseases

While jalapeno plants are relatively resilient, they can still fall victim to pests and diseases. Here are some common issues to watch out for:

  • Aphids: These small, sap-sucking insects can wreak havoc on your jalapeno plants. Keep an eye out for clusters of tiny green or black bugs on the leaves and stems. If you spot aphids, gently wash them off.
  • Fungal Diseases: Moisture-loving fungi such as powdery mildew and leaf spot can affect jalapeno plants, especially in humid climates. To prevent fungal diseases, avoid overhead watering and ensure good air circulation around your plants.

Why Vigoroot is Your Secret Weapon

When it comes to growing jalapenos in pots, choosing the right container is essential for success. That's where Vigoroot comes in. Vigoroot pots are made from a unique fabric material that promotes healthy root growth by air-pruning the roots as they reach the pot's edge. This prevents root binding and encourages a robust root system, resulting in healthier, more productive jalapeno plants.

Growing jalapenos chillies in the UK is not only possible but also incredibly rewarding. With the right care and attention, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fiery peppers from your own kitchen windowsill. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your gardening gloves, and get ready to spice up your cooking with homegrown jalapenos!




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