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Chilli–Jalepeno (Capsicum annuum 'Jalapeño')

Chilli – Jalepeno - Edible Plant

  • Space plants: 40 - 50 cm apart
  • Harvest in 9-11 weeks. Wear gloves to pick 'hot' chilies
  • Best grown where they can get plenty of light and air circulation

The jalapeno pepper is a fruit of the Capsicum pod type. It is a medium sized hot pepper when compared to other chili peppers, measuring an average of 2-3.5 inches in length but growing up to 6 inches long or longer. While originating in Mexico, it is now grown worldwide for it’s popular flavor and mild heat level, which averages around 5,000 Scoville Heat Units. That is hot, but not too hot. You’ll find them served when green, but if you leave the jalapeno pepper on the plant long enough, it will turn red. The red variety is just as delicious as the green jalapeno pepper, though a touch sweeter.

Potted plants should be protected from the wind and receive at least six hours of sun. Any less and you’ll hinder pepper production. If you need support for your growing pepper plants, insert a stick near the main stem and tie the plant to the stick with a string. Choose a pot or container that offers sufficient drainage. You don’t want to waterlog your plants, as that is the main cause of disease and other issues with growing. A 5-gallon pot that is 12 inches deep is good for most single plants. Choose a larger pot or container if you live in a warmer climate to accommodate growth. 

Choose a location with full sunlight, as chili peppers LOVE the sun. Mix in some mushroom compost or other organic compost to make the soil fertile and moist. Space the chili pepper plants 50-100cm apart. The plants will eventually grow to nearly one meter high. As with growing chili peppers in general, keep the soil moist but do not overwater them. For pepper plants in pots or containers, do not let the soil dry out completely. When peppers start to grow, cut back on your watering schedule a bit, but again, do not let the soil dry out.

Tomato fertilizers work well for chili pepper plants, as do compost and well-rotted manure. A good 5-10-10 fertilizer is usually sufficient for peppers. Work it into the soil before transplanting, about 3 pounds per 100 square feet. You can use a solution of fish emulsion and seaweed. When the pepper plant is about 15cm high, clipping the growing tip will result in a bushier plant. Remove any flowers that appear early, as the early flowers diminish the plants overall energy.

Potential health and medicinal benefits

Chili contains high amount of vitamin C and other vitamin such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin K and minerals like calcium, magnesium, folate, potassium, thiamin, iron, copper etc. Capsaicin is the main bioactive compound in chili, which is responsible for its pungent taste and various health benefits. Capsaicin has diverse uses in pharmaceuticals that are attributed to relief of pain, anti-arthritic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-rhinitis, and analgesic properties. It also has a prominent role as an immunity booster for the management of cardiovascular diseases, type-2 diabetes, obesity and stops the spread of prostate cancer.

Capsaicin is the main bioactive plant compound in chili peppers, responsible for their unique, pungent taste and many of their health benefits.The antioxidant content of mature (red) chili peppers is much higher than that of immature (green) peppers.

The nutrition facts for 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of raw, fresh, red chili peppers are:

  • Water: 88%
  • Calories: 6
  • Protein: 0.3 grams
  • Carbs: 1.3 grams
  • Sugar: 0.8 grams
  • Fiber: 0.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.1 grams

Chili peppers are rich in various vitamins and minerals.However, since they are only eaten in small amounts, their contribution to your daily intake is minuscule.

  • Vitamin C. Chili peppers are very high in this powerful antioxidant, which is important for wound healing and immune function.
  • Vitamin B6. A family of B vitamins, B6 plays a role in energy metabolism.
  • Vitamin K1. Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K1 is essential for blood clotting and healthy bones and kidneys.
  • Potassium. An essential dietary mineral that serves a variety of functions, potassium may reduce your risk of heart disease when consumed in adequate amounts.
  • Copper. Often lacking in the Western diet, copper is an essential trace element, important for strong bones and healthy neurons.
  • Vitamin A. Red chili peppers are high in beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A

Here are the main bioactive plant compounds in chili peppers:

  • Capsanthin. The main carotenoid in red chili peppers — up to 50% of the total carotenoid content — capsanthin is responsible for their red color. Its powerful antioxidant properties may fight cancer.
  • Violaxanthin. The major carotenoid antioxidant in yellow chili peppers, violaxanthin accounts for 37–68% of the total carotenoid content.
  • Lutein. Most abundant in green (immature) chili peppers, lutein’s levels decrease with maturation. High consumption of lutein is linked to improved eye health.
  • Capsaicin. One of the most studied plant compounds in chili peppers, capsaicin is responsible for their pungent (hot) flavor and many of their health effects.
  • Sinapic acid. Also known as sinapinic acid, this antioxidant has a variety of potential health benefits.
  • Ferulic acid. Similarly to sinapic acid, ferulic acid is an antioxidant that may help protect against various chronic diseases.

If you are going to use Chilli–Jalepeno to treat an existing health condition please consult with your healthcare provider first.