It’s an exciting time in our household! We have babies! Jalapeño babies, that is.
Here is our primary Jalapeño plant; we have two plants but this guy here is definitely the largest. He is 15″ (40cm) tall from base to highest leaf. Typically Jalapeño plants will grow to be about twice that height, so my little guy is only a teenager. The plant is often called an annual, however if kept in ideal temperatures (not exposed to frost) they will keep growing and producing.
Over the last couple weeks our Jalapeño plants have been flowering. Since we are growing indoors with no bees or insects to pollinate, I have to do it myself. An old toothbrush head on the electric toothbrush really helps save the day; the vibration is just enough to get the pollen shaking loose.
As the flower gets older, it starts to wilt. But its what emerges from beneath the aged flower petals that’s the most exciting part:
I aided this guy by very gently removing the old petals; only a couple petals were left attached, and the fruit was mostly visible. You can see some of the left over pollen on the fruit. Each fruit appears to be about 1.5-2cm in size (0.5″ give or take).
We have multiple fruit starting to appear. I count four peppers so far, with several older flowers that are beginning to bulge. I don’t want to go disturbing the flowers yet in case I break them off, or ruin the chance for them to bear fruit.
Opps. The last time I shared an update on the Jalapeños was when they were four weeks old. I didn’t realise time was going by so fast and somehow I didn’t remember to write an update.
Well guess what: it flowered!
The very first flower opened today in fact. It’s so dainty looking; a stark contrast to the hot and spicy fruit that it’s going to produce.
There are plenty of other flowers growing on each of the branches, most at that point of about-to-open. Give them a day or two and the whole plant will be flowering, and in need of pollination. Domestic varieties of Jalapeños are self-pollinating, but they benefit from the electric toothbrush method.
I’m surprised at how small the plants are to be honest. They can grow to be 30in (or 76cm) tall, yet my plants are both around only half that.
My husband is very excited about the jalapeños growing, and his excitement is catching; I am looking forward to making some yummy meals like Jalapeño poppers!
It’s hard to believe that its been a whole month since I first planted the Jalapeño seeds into the rockwool.
Last week (photo below) we saw the Jalapeño forming much larger leaves and thickened stems:
So how have the jalapeñoes grown over rthe last week?
They have gone through that initial growth spurt that I have come to expect from most plants once their first leaves start growing. The plants have grown larger leaves, and what were once small leaves are now quite a decent size. They have also started growing new small leaves – will these be big next week?
One big change is that we have gone from 5 pepper plants to one! No they didn’t die. Jalapeño plants are quite a lot bigger than lettuces, and I want to make sure that they have enough space to grow. So I have removed all but one pepper plant from the bucket.
I did wait a tad bit too long to transplant them, but here they are getting ready to be moved outdoors. We have a family friend with a garden that’s ready for “winter” crops – most of the year in Kuwait is too hot to really grown plants, we tend to grow during “winter”.
Did you see that little sad looking Jalapeño at the front right in the photo? That’s what happens when a couple of the plants grow faster than others in Kratky; some plant roots start sucking up water before all plants have necessarily put out their roots, dropping the water level in the bucket. I should have maintained the water level with slight top-ups. Whilst the plant does have some green leaves on it, most fell off with the slightest of touches. I have given it plenty of water, but chances are that one seedling will die.
We still have 3 other plants, plus one growing in my Aerogarden Bounty. I hope we get a good harvest of peppers out of all these plants.
Three weeks ago I got some Jalapeño seeds as a present from a friend; thank you friend! My husband is a big fan of Jalapeño poppers recipes; I’ve only tried them once and enjoyed them a fair bit too. Biggest issue was finding jalapeños large enough to easily stuff. So it makes sense that we planted some Jalapeño pepper seeds into some rock wool to grow our own (hopefully large peppers).
It’s now time to do the three week update!
The peppers are taking off! I wanted to say that they haven’t grown that much, but looking back at week two they were only little seedlings:
The week three jalapeños have clearly grown much larger leaves, and are now growing their third and fourth true leaves.
I am concerned about the size of the bucket that I am growing it in – ideally I would have only one or two plants in this sized bucket long term, and I am growing five! I think that I will give some seedlings away to family (to plant traditionally in soil) and keep one or two for myself.
Have you grown Jalapeño peppers before? How long did yours take to fruit? How big were the peppers? Let me know in the comments below.
I’m not a huge Jalapeño fan, but my husband is. I think I made his day when I told him that I had planted some jalapeño seeds for him.
I think he’s a bit disheartened, as many new gardeners are, that they aren’t growing faster. He’s been checking them daily and when you see something so often its hard to see the changes. That’s why I love posting my weekly updates – I get to see and compare to photos a week ago. In this case these plants didn’t even exist two weeks ago!
These seedlings have all put out their first true leaves, and in a couple cases they have started to grow their second sets of true leaves as well.
As with all the other plants I have grown hydroponically so far, once the seedlings start producing a couple of their first leaves they go through a very sudden growth spurt. I expect that these jalapeño seedlings won’t look so small and vulnerable within one or two weeks.
Since it’s the first time growing jalapeño’s, I am unsure just how big they will get. I have them distanced only about 2-3″ apart from each other, so they are quite close. I expect that I am probably going to have to transplant some else where – luckily the weather is getting cooler in Kuwait so I can probably place in the soil. It’s currently (at time of writing) 48°C (119°F) outdoors… umm it is getting cooler, right?
Have you grown jalapeño’s or peppers? I’d love to hear about your growing stories in the comments below!