Popular in several Mexican dishes, serrano peppers are among the hottest pepper plants to include in your backyard garden. Ranking between 5,000 and 15,000 Scoville heat units, serrano pepper plants are even hotter than jalapeno peppers. Learning how to grow serrano peppers is easy when you have the proper knowledge and tools.
Throughout this article, we show you how to sow serrano pepper seeds, transplant, and harvest serrano peppers.
Although you can purchase serrano peppers at your local grocery store or farmer’s market, growing serrano pepper plants in a garden carries several benefits.
Serrano peppers are most commonly grown in Hidalgo, Mexico. The warm temperatures make it the ideal climate for serrano pepper plants to produce a bountiful harvest.
However, if you live in an area with cooler climates than what is found in Mexico, growing these hot pepper seeds is not out of the question. These tips and tricks make it simple to plant and tend to serrano pepper seeds.
Advantages of Growing Serrano Peppers in Your Garden
Some hot peppers like habanero, poblano, cayenne, and chili peppers are challenging to grow. However, different type of peppers like serrano peppers are far simpler to plant when you know the plant’s best conditions to thrive.
Planting any food in your vegetable garden carries many advantages. For example, at-home gardening produces pesticide-free food, reduces your environmental footprint, and allows you to get active outdoors.
Follow these helpful tips to grow the best possible serrano peppers for a fantastic pico de gallo or hot sauce. Note that you can grow peppers in pots, too. Growing habaneros in containers is easy as long as they get the right amount of sun and water.
What is a Serrano Pepper Seed?
The first step in growing serrano pepper plants is sowing seeds at the proper time in the growing season, along with the various kinds of jalapenos and other peppers. Also referred to as sweet peppers or green chilis, serrano pepper seeds pack some heat because of the seeds’ capsaicin.
What is a serrano pepper plant’s best time to be planted? Growing serrano peppers in pots is a fantastic way to start your plants. Start your serrano pepper seeds in containers or pots about eight weeks before the last frost of spring.
When you grow habaneros from seed or serranos, bury your seeds at least ¼ of an inch deep into the soil and ensure the soil temperature is between 80 and 85℉ for germination. It is vital to sow the seeds at the right time of year to grow serrano peppers from seed efficiently.
How to Transplant Your Serrano Pepper Plant
Growing a Capsicum annuum plant indoors, like a serrano or bell pepper, works well when you set the pot in a sunny windowsill and offer the plant plenty of sunlight. The same applies to growing ghost peppers in pots.
Correctly transplanting your serrano peppers is crucial so that the plant can grow successfully in outdoor conditions. When you transplant a serrano or red pepper plant too quickly, it becomes unproductive.
Serrano seedlings are ready for transplant when they are about seven or eight weeks old, and the plant stands about six to eight inches tall, just like when growing jalapeno plants.
Over three weeks, set your serrano peppers outdoors for increasing lengths of time each week, eventually allowing the plant to sit outside for six hours. After you harden off the seeds, ensure the nighttime temperatures are above freezing.
Growing Serrano Pepper Plants in the Proper Soil
Soil plays an integral role when understanding how to grow serrano peppers. Potting mix provides nutrients, support, and a precise water and air network for the pepper’s root system. Growing serrano pepper plants demands well-draining soil.
If the potting mix is not well-draining, water pools at the root’s base and causes diseases. What is a serrano pepper plant’s ideal soil type? Utilize loamy soil for your serrano peppers.
Rich loamy soil holds a significant amount of moisture while also draining well to allow air and water flow. Incorporate about six inches of loamy potting soil in raised beds for your serrano pepper plants.
How to Grow Serrano Peppers with Fertilizer
As they germinate, serrano peppers use a lot of energy to produce fruit at the end of the growing season. Fertilizer contains essential ingredients that assist your plant’s growth, with elements not usually found in the earth’s organic matter.
With additional nutrients, your serrano pepper plants grow even quicker. Purchase a fertilizer with a 5-10-10 balance, containing half as much nitrogen as it does phosphate and potassium.
Higher levels of phosphate and potassium support greater fruit production. Lower amounts of nitrogen help the plant grow without compromising fruit production. Because serrano peppers are heavy feeders, reapply about two inches of fertilizer once a month.
Companion planting for peppers includes onions and cucumbers to reduce pests and chances for disease.
When to Harvest Serrano Peppers
After you carefully tend to your heirloom serrano pepper plants, you must understand how to identify when the pepper plant has reached its full maturity. Exposure to full sun and the use of mulch are two tools that support consistent plant development.
Growing serrano pepper plants with the correct care usually means the plant is mature within three months or when the plant reaches between 24 and 36 inches in height.
A straightforward indicator that your serrano peppers are ready for harvest is the length of the pepper. Serrano peppers are mature when they are between three and four inches in length.
When serrano peppers remain on the vine, they change color, from green to red to brown. Snip your serrano peppers at the stem with a pair of scissors when they are still green or just beginning to change color.
Storing Your Serrano Peppers
To extend your serrano peppers’ shelf life, it is important to understand how to store the food properly. As you harvest your peppers, ensure the fruit is free of any insects like flies or aphids.
After rinsing the peppers under cool water, space them out on a piece of paper towel and let them dry completely. After your serrano peppers are dry, place them in a paper bag and store the peppers in the refrigerator.
A brown paper bag helps absorb excess moisture on the pepper, which decreases the chances the peppers grow mold or other bacteria. When kept in the fridge, serrano peppers stay fresh for about a week.
Making a Delicious Homemade Serrano Pepper Hot Sauce
Are you looking to add a powerful spice to a Thai or Mexican dish? Follow this fantastic recipe for a homemade serrano hot sauce with your fresh serrano peppers. This homemade hot sauce is about as hot as Tabasco hot sauce found at your grocery store.
Start by sauteing your chopped onion and peeled garlic clove over medium heat. Add a little oil so the elements do not stick to the pan.
After the onion browns, include your oregano, pepper, and cumin until the mixture is fragrant. Add your serrano peppers, vinegar, water, and salt to the pan until the mixture simmers.
Pour the ingredients into a blender with the lime juice and blend until the sauce is at your preferred consistency. Store your hot sauce in Mason jars in the fridge to keep them fresh.
Some fruits and vegetables are somewhat challenging to grow successfully in a backyard garden. Serrano peppers are not one of these plants! Growing serrano pepper plants is easy when your plant has the proper tools to develop.
What is a serrano pepper plant’s ideal conditions? Serrano peppers need plenty of sunlight, loamy soil, and adequate amounts of water to thrive.
If you finally learned how to grow serrano peppers, share this article with your gardening friends and neighbors on Facebook and Pinterest.