Minimum temps for jalapenos?

Joe1980(5)May 23, 2011

This year I ventured into growing jalapenos in containers. The question I have comes up because of the ever-so-stubborn temperatures here in WI. What temperature range should I be concerned about causing harm to my seedlings, which are about 8" tall right now?? Tonight is supposed to be under 50 for a low, and a bit cooler in the following days, possibly in the low 40's. At what temperature should I bring them inside, or are they ok as long as there is no frost?? Thanks!


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Keep them from freezing for more than 4 hrs. Low temps will slow growth,. but not kill them. Chiles are quite hardy.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 8:36AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I bring mine in if the temps are consistently under 50F degrees.
The first part of the season is always tough on peppers.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 11:29AM
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Here in SC we're way past cold weather now, but a few weeks ago I found that some chiles really looked forlorn when the overnight temperature got to 40 F -- the tops wilted and bent over, and it took a few hours for them to perk up. However, the jalapenos weren't affected. Apparently, jalapenos aren't as tender as some other varieties such as serranos.

Hope this helps,


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 1:35PM
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Thanks for the replies. Tonight they are saying 43 for a low, and mid to upper 40's for the rest of the week. Only 53 for a high tomorrow, then 60's the rest of the week. This weather is getting sickening around here. I am chompin' at the bit to have things get going around here, mainly so I can get my plants outside, and so I can stop worrying about our annuals and my new peppers. Anywho, it sound like my jalapeno buddies will be ok. I am super excited to get my own crop of peppers so I can make my favorite pepper snack.

In case anyone would like to try it, I take jalapenos, then slice them in half. You can remove/leave as much of the guts as you want, depending on how hot you want them. Then, I fill them with cream cheese, wrap a slice of bacon around each one, and toss them on the grill. Once done, I grab my bottle of Tapatio hot sauce, and proceed to eat a couple dozen.

Oh, and if I get a good crop this year, I will be growing my own every year. I also am contemplating growing them year round, maybe making a small hydropnics setup.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:05PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Joe, I think you'll get a nice crop. ;-)
I have a buddy who grows under lights, which is pretty cool in the midst of winter.
He keeps peppers and strawberries and really gets a headstart on the season.
If you have the lights (and don't mind the energy bill), I think it's a great idea.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:36PM
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I'm an electrician and have pretty easy access to any kind of lighting, at discount or even free. As for the energy bill, well, that all depends on what you're doing. If you're growing house plants, then obviously you are paying for nothing more then enjoyment. On the other hand, if you're growing food, then the cost can easily be turned into savings in that you don't have to buy the veggies or fruit that you grow. It might just be a dream at the moment, because growing any substantial amount of veggies requires a lot of space, which is at a premium ever since having kids. I'll probably stick with summer growing, assuming summer actually shows up this year. It's hard to believe that in a few weeks, the days will be getting shorter, and we've only had 2 days in the 80's so far, and it doesn't look like any are coming soon. Gotta love Wisconsin.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:46PM
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Like willard3 said, peppers are fairly hardy. They can tolerate cold temps for a little bit (it's the hard freeze that can damage a plant).

Also, keep in mind that your house can provide some protection (especially brick) by absorbing heat during the day and radiating it at night.

Also, the pots themselves can absorb heat (one of the reasons potted plants require more frequent waterings).

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 7:48PM
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I'm still trying to harden off my plants and it's going to get down to 36 Thursday night. This is gettin' ridiculous!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 9:41PM
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esox07 (4b)

Yah, I hear you guys. I am also in Wisconsin (Zone 4) and they are talking low 40's tonight and high 30's tomorrow eve. I have six peppers potted up for the summer but I will be keeping them inside the next two nights. However, my garage is not heated or insulated and will likely get down pretty close to the outside temps. At least it will negate the wind. I was thinking about putting a tarp or something over them and turning on a propane torch or something under the tarp for the night. I dont want them to go into a dormant period or even slow down. I just got them potted and ready to go for the summer. It is very aggravating. At least I have them all in my garden trailer hooked up to my riding mower so I can just drive them in the garage in the evening and then back out in the morning.
Good luck fellow Wisconsinites and make sure you blow some pollen my way.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 9:03PM
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I know, this is crazy! Central IL and we're supposed to be in the low 40's tonight. Everything is planted out (some are in pots) and they're just going to have to deal with it. I just hope they don't slow down too much (they just started growing in the past few days).

esox - sounds like you got it made!! Drive them into the garage. You could put a plain incandescent light a few feet above them for a little bit of warmth but, not too much.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 10:10AM
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boy am i glad i am in SD! :) its been 70 during the day and lows in the low 60's upper 50's, so the hardening off process for me is moving right along! plus what has helped me is my balcony does not get direct sun till 2pm and i can move the plants around so they dont get it till 4 till sunset!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 1:22PM
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