Jalapeno Pepper Varieties: Which One Will You Grow?

There are many different types of Jalapenos that vary in color, heat, and flavor. You may prefer something bright like the yellow Jalapeno, or choose the TAM Jalapeno for a milder option. Here are 10 Jalapeno pepper varieties that you can grow.

jalapeno pepper varieties, purple jalapenos
Purple Jalapenos

When I first started growing peppers, I had no idea there were so many different kinds of Jalapenos. Stores typically carry the green or red variety, but you don’t have to limit yourself to that!

For example, there are colorful options like orange jalapenos and varieties that turn a range of colors as the peppers mature. When it comes to heat, you can grow Jalapenos that are really hot or about as mild as a Poblano pepper (or chile Ancho if you prefer the mature Poblano).

You can even choose different Jalapenos that have a shorter growing season. There truly is something for everyone.

Below, is a list of some intriguing Jalapeno varieties that you’ll definitely want to add to your garden.

» Related: Where to Buy Pepper Seeds Online

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Purple Jalapeno Pepper

purple jalapeno pepper growing on the vine
Purple Jalapeno Pepper (one of my favorites)

Purple Jalapenos are an ornamental variety that starts off green, turns purple and eventually ripens to red at maturity. Besides the purple peppers, this beautiful plant also produces almost black leaves (in full sun) and purple flowers.

You can eat purple Jalapenos in any color so be sure to try them in different stages. Besides color, this pepper differs from a normal Jalapeno variety because it’s twice as hot!

Yellow Jalapeno Pepper (Jaloro)

yellow jalapenos Jaloro
Jaloro Jalapenos

The yellow jalapeno pepper, or Jaloro, was developed in 1992 by the Texas Agriculture Extension. Pods go from golden yellow to orange and then end up red. You can eat these chillies at any color stage.

If you like mild heat with a slightly fruity aftertaste, this pepper is for you. It’s also a bit larger than the regular green jalapeno, which makes it great for pickling.

Even more, the yellow Jalaro Jalapeno is highly resistant to many viruses that often afflict other peppers.

Lemon Spice Jalapeno

lemon spice jalapeno
Lemon Spice Jalapenos

The Lemon Spice Jalapeno was developed by New Mexico State University (NMSU) and is another yellow Jalapeno variety that is especially vibrant. This Jalapeno starts off green, turns an eye-catching yellow and eventually matures to red.

These yellow peppers have a fruity, hot taste that is ideal for salsa. I grew these peppers and found that Lemon Spice Jalapenos are one of the larger varieties, which makes them great for stuffing too.

Mucho Nacho Jalapeno

Mucho nacho jalapeno growing on pepper plant.
Mucho Nacho Jalapeno

The Mucho Nacho Jalapeno is one of the large Jalapeno varieties as it grows up to 4 inches long. These peppers start off green and then turn red. I’ve found both colors to be extremely hot.

You’ll find that these chillies tend to be longer and wider than standard Jalapenos, which makes them ideal for stuffing. This is an ideal Jalapeno pepper if you love the heat.

Billy Biker Jalapeno

The Billy Biker Jalapeno is named after motorcyclist and TV personality Bill Hufnagle. This variety is in the hot Jalapeno peppers category as it can reach a top level of 30,000 SHU, which matches a Cayenne pepper.

Besides heat, the Billy Biker Jalapeno is known for its incredible Jalapeno flavor. You can expect these chillies to grow larger than other Jalapenos at up to 3.5 inches long.

TAM Jalapeno

TAM Jalapeno
TAM Jalapeno

The typical Jalapeno Scoville makes it a medium spicy pepper, but the TAM Jalapeno has the classic Jalapeno flavor without the heat. You can expect a mild taste that ranges from 1,000 to 3,500 SHU (Scoville Heat Units).

Eat them in the green or red stage when they are 3 inches to 4 inches long.

And, if you’re concerned about plant health, the TAM Jalapeno is one of the best types of Jalapenos to grow because they’re bred to be disease resistant and vigorous!

Black Jalapeno

black jalapenos
Black Jalapenos

The Black Jalapeno is an eye-catching variety that starts off green, changes to black and ultimately turns red. You’ll notice these Jalapenos turning black when they get more direct sun.

Besides color, Black Jalapenos are known for being more juicy and sweet as compared to the green Jalapeno. You can grow these Jalapenos in containers and get pods that typically measure 3 inches to 3.5 inches long.

If you want help growing out your jalapeno peppers, be sure to check out The Pepper Seed Starting Guide. This ebook contains all the steps that explain how to go from seeds to healthy, outdoor-ready plants.

Orange Jalapenos

orange jalapenos
Orange Jalapenos

The Orange Jalapeno is a juicy, sweet Jalapeno variety that has thick walls and a citrus-like taste. Like other varieties, Orange Jalapenos start off green and eventually turn a vibrant orange before ripening to red.

These colorful Jalapenos have a medium heat, and pods grow up to 3.5 inches long. This Jalapeno variety plant is known for being an easier plant to grow.

NuMex Piñata Jalapeño

NuMex Piñata Jalapeño
NuMex Piñata Jalapeño (Orange Stage)

The NuMex Piñata Jalapeño is a multicolored variety developed by Dr. Paul Bosland at NMSU. This Jalapeno goes from green to bright yellow, to orange, and finally red. You can eat these chilies at any color stage.

If you like heat, the NuMex Piñata Jalapeno is very hot as it can reach 50,000 SHU. [source]. (Many Jalapeño pepper varieties are in the range of 8,000 SHU.) This is an aromatic variety ideal for making colorful salas.

Early Jalapeno

early jalapenos
Early Jalapenos

The Early Jalapeno has a shorter growing season — the days to maturity is around 60 days. For comparison, other Jalapeno pepper varieties take about 70 to 85 days. This plant produces smaller 3-inch pods and has more of a tolerance for colder weather.

As for heat, the Early Jalapeno is considered medium hot with the Scoville rating of 2,500 to 5,000 SHUs. You can enjoy peppers in the green stage or let these Early Jalapenos turn red for a sweeter flavor.

When To Harvest Jalapeno Peppers

When you eat your Jalapenos depends on your preference. You can harvest Jalapenos in a specific color, or wait for signs of corking (stretch marks) that let you know chilies are ready.

I recommend experimenting with the Jalapeno pepper variety you grow by picking them in various color stages and sizes. Here’s more on when to pick Jalapenos for information on harvesting specific Jalapeno varieties.

jalapeno pepper chopped up

» Related: When to Pick Habaneros + 3 Best Ways to Store Peppers

What’s Next?

I hope this information helps you choose Jalapeno pepper varieties that you’ll enjoy most. If you’re ready to start growing, be sure to check out Growing Jalapenos 101 so you know how to go from pepper seeds to potted plants.

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Jenny is the creator of Grow Hot Peppers. She is a self-taught gardener and has been growing peppers and a plethora of veggies for over 10 years. When she’s not writing or gardening, she loves eating spicy foods, hiking, and going to the ocean.

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