How to Water Jalapeño Pepper Plants – 11 Things to Know


Jalapeño peppers are one of the most popular peppers, and they are loved for their unique, crunchy spicy taste. Growing your own Jalapeño peppers can be pretty exciting, but you will need to ensure that your plants get enough water if you want a nice, healthy harvest of tasty peppers.

To water a Jalapeño pepper plant, use a watering can or hose with low pressure. To ensure that your Jalapeño plant survives, keep the soil moist, but don’t drown your plant. It’s best to water your plant two or three times a week in the mornings, before the sun evaporates the moisture.

Let’s discuss the best ways to water your Jalapeño plant. If you follow these steps, you will be sure to have an abundant harvest, so let’s get to it.

Photo of Jalapeno pepper plants with a few green pepper pods hanging off the vine
Photo by Jure Gasparic

How to Water Jalapeño Pepper Plants

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Why Jalapeno Peppers Have Lines

To water your Jalapeño pepper plant, pour enough water around the stem until the soil is moist, but do not let it get muddy. A Jalapeño plant’s soil should be moist but not marshy or muddy. Overwatering the plant could cause rot, while underwatering could result in wilt. If you are worried about overwatering, always check the soil to see if it’s damp, and hold off on watering until the soil feels dry to the touch.  

Your Jalapeño plant’s soil should be moist at least 6 inches (15 cms) below the surface. If you want to measure the soil’s moisture, stick a pencil below the surface and wait for at least 10 seconds. Then, remove the pencil. If the tip is not moist, you need to water your pepper plant. You can also use your finger to feel if the soil is dry or damp.

If you are looking for a more foolproof way to measure soil moisture, use a moisture meter like iPower Soil pH Meter. It will help you keep track of how much light your plant is getting, the pH level of the soil, and the soil’s moisture level. Using a tool like this is an excellent way to ensure that your plant is healthy and well hydrated.

Keeping an eye on the plant’s leaves will also help you figure out how much water it needs. If the leaves start to droop, you are not watering your pepper plant enough. If that happens, increase the amount of water you’re giving your Jalapeño plant until the leaves stay rigid and perky at all times.

Step-by-Step Guide to Watering Jalapeño Plants

Watering a Jalapeño plant can be confusing at first, but once you get into a routine, it should be pretty straightforward. To water your Jalapeño plants properly, follow these steps:

  1. Start in the morning. Watering in the morning will allow the water to fully seep into the soil before the sun hits your Jalapeño plant. Ideally, water your plant at the same time every day.
  2. Only water your Jalapeño plant when the soil is dry. To avoid overwatering, only water your pepper plant when the dirt has dried out. To test the moisture, stick your finger or a pencil into the soil. If the soil is completely dry, you should water it, but if you detect some moisture, you can wait.
  3. Use a low-pressure watering can or hose. Fill a low-pressure can or use a hose with an attachment that will not displace the soil around the pepper plant while you water. Do not put water on the leaves or stem of the Jalapeño plant as water droplets will act as a magnifying glass and the sun could burn your plant. Usually filling a can with around five cups of water will do.
  4. Water your pepper plant. Water your Jalapeño plant until the soil is moist 6 inches (15 cms) beneath the ground’s surface.

Watering your plant appropriately will ensure that it lives as long as possible. If you follow these steps, your pepper plant should yield plenty of peppers every harvest season.

What Type of Watering Can is Best for Jalapeño Plants?

When you water a Jalapeño plant, you should use low-pressure watering cans that can hold plenty of water. If you use high-pressure watering cans, the force of the water hitting the soil can displace the dirt, leaving your plant’s roots exposed. Use a large watering can with small holes in the spout to control the water pressure.

You should also water your Jalapeño plant near the roots, as excessive moisture on the leaves could damage the plant. During the daytime, water droplets can magnify the sun’s rays and burn its leaves. And if you leave water on the leaves at night, the water may sit there for hours, causing the leaves or stalk to rot.

You can also use a low-pressure hose head or one with a shower setting. Never use a hose without a head to water your Jalapeño plant because you do not want to displace the surrounding soil.

Should You Water the Plant or the Soil?

You should never water the stem or leaves of a Jalapeño plant, just the soil around it. If you put water on the Jalapeño plant’s leaves, stalk, or peppers, you could quickly damage them. When the plant is wet, it is much more susceptible to heat stress symptoms like sun scalding, sunburn, blossom drop, and more. To help your plant stay healthy in sunny weather, never put water directly on the pepper plant.

Watering the plant can also rot the leaves, stem, or peppers, potentially killing the plant. If water sits on the leaves, fruits, or stem, the plant could absorb too much water, causing its cells to burst. When this happens, your plant will rot and may even die.

Should You Use Tap or Filtered Water?

When watering your Jalapeño plant, you should use filtered water. Tap water usually has chlorine in it, which is the chemical that water treatment plants use to disinfect the water. It also contains fluoride, which could damage the roots. So, when you water your Jalapeño plant, it’s best to use filtered water if possible to maintain your plant’s health.

Filtering the water removes salts, fluoride, and chlorine, making the water better for your plants. Still, if you do not have access to filtered water, there are other ways, including collecting rainwater since it does not contain any harmful chemicals.

You can also put tap water in the sun in a large container. Leaving tap water in the sun for at least 24 hours will allow all the chlorine to evaporate, making the water better for your Jalapeño plant.

What Temperature Should the Water Be?

When you water any plant, the water should be at room temperature, generally between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 24 degrees Celsius). The ideal water temperature for Jalapeño growth is 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). Cold or hot water can shock your Jalapeño plant and even kill its roots, resulting in leaf loss, flower loss, and possibly even plant death.

Before watering your plant, leave your watering can sitting outside or in a lukewarm environment to let it reach the appropriate temperature, or use filtered water that has been stored at room temperature.

Photo of empty blue plastic plant pots
Photo by Irina Pislari

How to Water Jalapeño Plants That are in Containers

Because containers such as pots usually dry out faster than soil in the ground, you will need to water container-growing Jalapeño plants more often. That is because containers don’t hold that much soil, so water tends to pass through quicker.

Nevertheless, always test the soil moisture before watering your Jalapeño plant. Use a pencil, humidity gauge, or your finger to test the soil, and only water your plant if the soil is dry. Keeping track of the moisture is an important step if you want to keep your Jalapeño plant alive, so always monitor it carefully.

How Frequently Should You Water Your Jalapeño Plant by Growth Stage?

Seed Germination Stage

When germinating your Jalapeño seeds, you should moisten the dirt before sowing them and keep the soil moist before transplantation. Generally, it is best to water sprouting Jalapeño seeds a little bit every day, ensuring that the soil is wet but not muddy at all times. You can use a mister or spray bottle to add moisture to the soil without uncovering your seeds.

Plant Growing Stage

Once your Jalapeño plant grows its first full-sized leaves, you can start watering it more often. Usually, watering every day in hot or sunny weather, or two to three times a week in cool, indoor, or shady conditions, is just right for a Jalapeño plant. Be careful not to water it too much at this stage since the plant is still immature. If in doubt, just water the plant when its leaves start to droop.

Jalapeño Pepper Fruiting Stage

While your pepper plant is bearing fruit, it will need more water to ensure that it can grow large, healthy peppers. Water your Jalapeño plant every morning to ensure that it gets enough water, especially if the weather is hot since heat will cause the soil to dry out much faster. If you are living in a hot environment, watering your Jalapeño plant every morning and watering it lightly every evening will usually do the trick.

How Much Water Should You Give Your Jalapeño Plant by Growth Stage?

So, let’s talk about the amount of water that your Jalapeño plant will need as it grows. Keep in mind that these are only general rules. The golden rule to keep in mind is to only water your Jalapeño pepper plant when the soil is dry. If your Jalapeño plant starts to wilt, you should begin to water it more, and if it starts to droop, water it less.

Seed Germination Stage

While your Jalapeño seeds are germinating, you should moisten the seeds with about a tablespoon of water per seed every day. Keep in mind that the soil around your seeds should be constantly moist but never muddy.

Plant Growing Stage

Once your seedling has grown at least two full-sized leaves, you can start to water it more. Jalapeño plants need at least an inch (2.5 cms) of water every week to thrive. Space this out over the week, watering it two to three times a week.

To measure how much water you will need to give your Jalapeño pepper plant:

  1. Use a straight-sided container, such as a tuna can, to make a homemade rain gauge.
  2. Take the empty container, mark it at 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the bottom with a marker or pencil, and place the gauge directly beneath your Jalapeño plant.
  3. Water your plant until the gauge is filled to the mark.

Jalapeño Pepper Fruiting Stage

When your Jalapeño plant starts to form peppers, you will need to monitor the soil’s humidity often. If the weather is hot, your plant may need up to a quart (around 1 liter) of water every day. If the weather is cool or cloudy, you may need to water it only two or three times a week.

What Time of Day Should You Water Your Jalapeño Plant?

No matter what kind of plant you are watering, morning is always the best time to water your plants. If you water in the mornings, your plant will have time to absorb the nutrients before the sun gets too hot.

If you water later in the day, when the sun is more intense, and the temperature is high, the water may dry out before it can seep deeper into the soil. In contrast, in the evening, the temperatures may not get hot enough to evaporate the excess water, causing the leaves, stalk, and peppers to rot.

When Should You Water Your Jalapeño Plant More?

You should water your Jalapeño plant more often when it is less humid and hotter outside. Hot temperatures can evaporate the water in the soil, leaving it dry and unpleasant for your plant. To increase moisture retention, add a bit of water in the evening.

When Should You Water Your Jalapeño Plant Less?

It is easy to overwater your Jalapeño plant, so continually monitor its health to ensure that it is getting the proper amount of water. To make sure that you do not overwater it, you may want to wait until the leaves start to droop or until your plant shows signs of drought. If you wait until your Jalapeño plant looks thirsty, be sure not to overwater it.

Purposely Stressing the Plant

Water-stressed Jalapeño plants usually grow stronger stems and leaves and spicier peppers. Since water content makes a plant softer, withholding water for a short time will strengthen the stem and leaves, helping it endure heavy winds and rains more easily.

Note that water-stressed Jalapeño plants do not grow as tall as well-watered Jalapeños, but they do produce more peppers. To water-stress your Jalapeño plant, only water it when the soil is completely dry, but be careful not to let the plant wilt. If your Jalapeño plant starts to develop crispy, brown leaves or drops its blossoms, you should begin to water it regularly again.

During Rainy Weather

Naturally, when it rains, you should not water your Jalapeño plant as much. Allow the soil to dry out before watering your pepper plant again. To avoid overwatering, check the weather predictions before watering your Jalapeño pepper plant.

If the Soil Does Not Have Adequate Drainage

If your pepper plant’s soil gets waterlogged or muddy often, you should water it less than usual. Allowing your pepper’s soil to dry out before watering it again is imperative to growing healthy, vigorous Jalapeño plants. You should also look in to providing better drainage for your Jalapeño pepper plant if it continually gets clogged every time you water it.

If Your Plant Shows Signs of Overwatering

If your Jalapeño starts to show signs of overwatering, immediately stop watering it until the soil dries out. Overwatering symptoms in Jalapeño pepper plants include discolored leaves, smelly rotting roots, leaf dropping, flower dropping, and weakness in the stem. Let overwatered plants dry out completely before watering to prevent the plant from dying.

Here are Some of my Favorite Gardening Products and Tools

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful for growing some new plants in your home or garden. Here are some products I like that I hope you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, and I am compensated for referring traffic. But in all honesty, these are the exact product that I use or recommend to everyone.

Soil: For high-quality soil, I really like Fox Farm Ocean Forest. I do all my growing in containers and this soil has worked great for me. I like how they use nutrient-rich contents like earthworm castings, bat guano, and composted crab and fish.

Fertilizer: Currently I am using a seaweed-based organic fertilizer call Neptunes Harvest. This is a great milder fertilizer option if you want to use something organic. If you want a more powerful fertilizer, I recommend Fox Farm Liquid Nutrient Trio, lots of people have had great growing success with this product.

Pruning Shears: Pruning shears are one of the most useful gardening tools to have because it’s important to prune your plants to keep them healthy. The pruning shears I recommend are the Gonicc 8’’ pruning shears. I like them because they are built sturdy and work both on bigger and smaller plants, so you don’t need to have multiple pruning shears.

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