Jalapeno Seeds: Can You Grow Jalapenos from Store Bought Peppers?

When you buy jalapeno peppers, you may wonder if you can grow the seeds inside the chillies. Jalapeno seeds are easy enough to purchase so it may seem wasteful not to use the supply that’s right there inside those pods.

can you grow jalapenos from store bought peppers

So can you grow jalapenos from store bought peppers?

The simple answer is yes. Having said that, this leads to more questions about what you can expect from these types of seeds. For example, are these seeds harvested from mature peppers, and are you collecting seeds from hybrid chillies?

Below, are some tips to help you pick out the best jalapenos from the store and the steps you’ll need to grow them out.

Get Jalapeno Seeds From Mature Peppers

When harvesting jalapeno seeds, make sure you choose mature chillies. The seeds from ripe pods have a better chance of germinating (sprouting).

Ripe peppers are the color of their maturity. In the case of conventional jalapenos, this color is red.

Likewise, some jalapenos have “corking” on the skin. These light, beige stretch marks can be another sign of maturity.

Best tasting peppers jalapeno peppers
Jalapeno Peppers

Planting Seeds From Grocery Store Produce

Jalapenos and other grocery produce are typically F1 hybrids. Harvesting seeds from these plants isn’t ideal.


Essentially, when you grow out seeds from hybrid peppers, you won’t get jalapenos like the ones you bought in the store.

That is to say hybrids won’t produce an exact duplicate of the original plant. What you’ll get, instead, are variations. For example, your jalapenos might be smaller, taste differently or hardly produce at all.

Hybrids are specifically developed to have desirable traits for commercial retailers. Their seeds, however, are genetically unstable.

Mucho nacho jalapeno growing on pepper plant.
Mucho Nacho Jalapeno

The Best Store Bought Peppers For Seeds

If you have an organic or natural health foods store nearby, check out their supply of jalapeno peppers. You might find “heirloom” varieties. These types of seeds are the best for growing.

Likewise, your local farmer’s market (if your area has one) would be another great option. Ask the vendor about their jalapenos. Heirloom or open pollinated varieties work really well for planting.

How To Plant Jalapeno Seeds From The Pepper

Once you have your jalapeno peppers, you’ll need to harvest the seeds and then plant them so they germinate. Below, is a brief overview of each process.

Harvesting Jalapeno Pepper Seeds

Note: Put gloves on before starting this process so you don’t burn yourself.

Cut the jalapeno open and scrape the seeds out on a napkin or plate. Let the seeds dry for a couple of weeks before planting them.

(If you’re harvesting a bunch of peppers, here are some other ways to harvest your chillies so this process goes quicker.)

Saving Jalapeno Seeds After Harvesting

If you don’t plant your seeds right after they’re dry, be sure to store them in a cool, dry place. You can use envelopes or small, sealable baggies.

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Germinating Jalapeno Seeds

Make sure you’re planting at the right time before you attempt to grow out your seeds.

An effective way to germinate your seeds is to do a seed viability test. (This is also known as the “baggie method.”)

This simple test uses a paper towel, sealable baggie and plant heat mat. Seeds are germinated in a napkin and then transferred to seed-starting mix or other growing media.

You have more options for sprouting your seeds. In the case of sowing seeds from store bought jalapenos, I would definitely do this test because it lets you know if your seeds can even grow so you don’t waste a lot of time.

pepper seeds

If you’d like more help growing your own jalapenos and other peppers, be sure to check out The Pepper Seed Starting Guide. This step-by-step ebook teaches you how to start pepper seeds indoors and grow them into healthy, outdoor-ready plants.

Jalapeno Seeds Not Germinating?

Even if you pick the best store-bought peppers, they still might not grow.

Here are a couple of things you can do to give seeds the best chance at germinating:

  • Keep the napkin moist during the seed viability test. Seeds won’t germinate if they dry out.
  • Use a plant heat mat to keep the seeds warm so they can sprout. Pepper seeds need the right temperature to germinate.

Seeds from store bought jalapenos can be a fun experiment. Use these types of seeds in the spirit of adventure.

If you prefer to know exactly what you’ll get, it’s best to purchase jalapeno seeds.

» Related: Where to Buy Pepper Seeds Online

Peppers take a long time to mature and produce fruit. I hope this article helps you set expectations and, more importantly, that it helps you grow lots of delicious jalapenos!

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​And for those of you looking for complete, how-to steps on all indoor growing phases, from ​germinating your seeds to g​etting your seedlings to the point ​where they can safely go outside… Make sure to check out the updated and expanded Pepper Seed Starting Guide. I personally use this resource to ​start my abundant pepper garden each season, and I’m always here to answer questions!

3 thoughts on “Jalapeno Seeds: Can You Grow Jalapenos from Store Bought Peppers?”

  1. can I grow jalapenos in Washington state? its really cold here? well in the 30’s to 60’s right now. any advice?

  2. what is the temp and soil we are looking to grow jalapeno peppers in about 5-10 acres of land…..i am based in india


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