If you enjoy spicy food, particularly Mexican-inspired cuisine, you’ve likely come across Jalapeno Peppers.
These colorful spicy peppers aren’t too dissimilar to your standard bell peppers with bright colors and a long body. Where they differ is in their flavor. Bell peppers have a sweet, mild taste with no heat. In contrast, jalapeno peppers are renowned for their heat ranging from little to mild heat, to rather spicy.
Growing jalapeno peppers, like all peppers, take time as they slowly mature over their long growing period. However, with the right amount of sunlight, water, and soil conditions, they can grow very well in your average garden.
The challenge comes when choosing which jalapeno pepper to grow. To help you with your decision, here are 8 types of Jalapeno Peppers you can grow at home.
What Are Jalapeno Peppers
Jalapeno peppers originated from Mexico. They are peppers with a mild to moderate heat level and range in color from purple to green, red to orange, and yellow. They grow on a vine with each pepper growing between 2-3 inches long.
The heat from Jalapeno peppers is scored on the Scoville scale with the mildest jalapeno peppers scoring 2500SHU and the hottest at 8000SHU.
Jalapeno peppers are not the hottest variety of pepper, however, they are full of flavor and offer not only heat but color to your homemade meals.
Top Tips To Grow Jalapeno Peppers
Jalapeno peppers grow very similar to other varieties of peppers. They have a long growing period and are best planted from seeds indoors at the beginning of spring.
Once the outdoor temperatures have risen over 60 degrees F, the seedlings can be transplanted outdoors.
They require at least 8 hours of direct sunlight, shelter, and regular watering. To help your jalapeno peppers succeed, you can add a natural fertilizer every 4-6 weeks to encourage your plants to produce more flowers and fruits.
8 Types Of Jalapeno Peppers
These 8 types of Jalapeno peppers offer a good selection of options to choose from and plant in your garden. You could also consider planting multiple varieties to add different levels of spice and color to your meals at home.
Though not what you would expect when thinking of jalapenos, this variety does not disappoint. Purple jalapenos are average in size and medium heat level, but what makes them unique is their sweet flavor and deep purple color.
Purple jalapenos grow similarly to other varieties and need the same growing conditions. They also start green before turning purple. The only difference is that they take longer to fully mature compared with other jalapeno varieties.
Also known as the Fuego pepper, Jalafuego is a slightly larger variety of jalapeno peppers. They grow up to 4 inches long and have the typical coloration of green and red.
They have a medium heat rating where jalapenos are concerned, with a score between 4000-6000SHU. Jalafuego peppers have a slightly shorter time to maturity than purple jalapenos and can be harvested in 70 days.
Unlike many varieties, these jalapenos are disease-resistant and resistant to cracking.
Senorita jalapeno peppers take 80 days to mature from seeds. As they grow, they change from green to purple to red.
They grow an average size at 3 inches in length but are hotter than most jalapeno varieties, reaching 5000SHU on the Scoville heat scale.
Fresno Chile Jalapeno
Though slightly smaller at just 2 inches long, the Fresno Chile jalapeno is related to the senorita variety. However, unlike senorita jalapenos, Fresno chile is milder scoring only 300-400SHU and taking less time to mature.
If you are not a big fan of heat but don’t want to lose any of the jalapeno flavors, TAM jalapenos are a good option for you to grow at home.
TAM jalapenos grow up between 3-4inches long and start green, turning red with maturity.
This mild type of jalapeno pepper reaches 1000-3500SHU and is a good choice for new pepper growers as it is disease resistant.
Mammoth jalapeno peppers are ideal to grow at home if you are looking for a jalapeno you can stuff and cook.
This large hybrid variety can grow up to 5 inches long and 2 inches wide. Mammoth jalapenos are ready to harvest around 75 days from planting and are disease-resistant.
Mammoth jalapenos reach between 1000-5000 on the Scoville Heat Scale.
Billy Biker Jalapeno
Named after the motorcyclist Bill Hufnagle, the Billy Biker Jalapeno is one of the hottest varieties reaching 30,000SHU, matching Cayenne pepper for heat.
This jalapeno can grow up to 3.5inches long and is not just known for its heat, but its exceptional flavor.
NuMex Pinata Jalapeno
NuMex Pinata Jalapeno is an interesting variety to grow due to changing from green to yellow, orange, to red as it ripens.
Another hot jalapeno variety, NuMex pinata jalapenos can reach 50,000SHU and are best planted if you prefer your peppers on the spicy side.
They take an average of 75 days to reach maturity but can be eaten at any color stage. The earlier they are harvested, the milder the heat will be.
These varieties of jalapeno peppers range in not only color but also size and heat rating. Before selecting a type of jalapeno pepper to plant, consider
- how spicy do you like your food,
- how long do you want to wait until your crop matures,
- and also what size jalapeno you would prefer.
Ideally, it would be best to plant more than one variety to not only add a range of colors to your dishes but provide you with different harvesting periods so you can enjoy your homegrown jalapeno peppers for longer.
Take a look at these posts to help you choose and grow a range of peppers in your garden: