Our first jalapeño. Photo by Elvira Kalviste |
Do you use fresh jalapeños to spice up recipes? If so, try growing the seeds.
We grew our first jalapeño plant by accident.
We had grown a pot of basil on the windowsill over our kitchen sink, from a packet of free seeds. The basil turned out to be a flimsy strain, however, with unsteady stalks and small leaves. We harvested the few leaves and waited for more to grow.
One day, what looked like a weed sprouted in the basil pot. It grew into some lovely green leaves but we couldn’t identify the plant. Small white buttercup-type flowers appeared, but they turned into more leaves.
In several weeks we had an attractive houseplant, and pulled the failing basil from the pot. Then one day: surprise! The plant revealed itself with a one-inch-long jalapeño.
Through the miracle of nature, a seed from a jalapeño must have landed in the basil pot. Now, we’re having fun growing our own jalapeños indoors. Try it!
1. Reserve some seeds from a fresh jalapeño. Line the bottom of the plant pot with pebbles to provide drainage and top with a nutrient-rich potting soil.
2. Lay seeds, spaced about two inches apart, and cover with a final 1/2 inch of soil. Water and place in a window that receives direct sunlight.
3. Water twice a week. Don’t over-water—jalapeños don’t grow in wet soil. If you have cold winters, remove the plant to somewhere slightly warmer (like the side of the sink) so it doesn’t freeze and stunt the growth of the jalapeños.
4. Transfer the plants as needed to larger pots. Enjoy your little harvest.
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