Growing peppers in the garden is one of the most popular vegetable to grow in the garden. Today I am going to talk about growing poblano peppers. This year is my first time growing poblano peppers. Poblano peppers are a mild chili pepper, compared to the jalapeno pepper that is much more spicy then poblano peppers.
The poblano pepper is popular with Mexican dishes like chili rellenos. Poblano peppers are great for stuffing anything in them, cheese, rice and beans, just about anything. The poblano pepper originates from Mexico.
Peppers are also great for container gardening. I would do at least a 3 gallon or bigger container, especially for popblano peppers, they can get up to 3 to 5 feet tall.
Starting Peppers from Seed
Starting peppers from seed can take 10 to 14 days to germinate, if you plan on starting your own plants from seed. You will want to start them indoors for the cooler climates. Start them 8 to 12 weeks before you last frost date. I am in Michigan, zone 5a and I started my pepper plants the beginning of April.
Once they germinated and grew to about 2 inches tall, under a grow light, I transplanted them into individual bigger pots and continued to grow them under a grow light. Make sure to have the grow light low enough so the plants don’t get leggy or spindly. Have the light about 2 or 3 inches above and continue to raise the light as the plants grow. This will keep them strong as they grow.
Poblano peppers take 110 to 115 days to mature and not temperature hardy at all.
Transplanting Pepper Seedlings
The soil needs to reach 70 degrees before transplanting pepper seedlings. It is recommended to wait until at least 2 weeks past your frost date and temperatures at night don’t go below 60 degrees. The problem I had this year was 2 weeks after our so called frost date we had frost danger, 2 weeks into June.
Before transplanting pepper seedlings outside, it is recommended to harden them off by taking them outside during the day in a sunny location, protected from wind. Once the weather cooperates to plant the poblano peppers outside, find a sunny location for them to get at least 6 to 8 hours of sun. They don’t mind some mid-afternoon shade on hot summer days.
Poblano peppers like rich well-drained soil, damp but not soggy. Avoid soil that you have used to grow tomatoes, potatoes or other members of the nightshade family within the last few years. Poblanos like soil pH to be between 5.5 and 7.0. Place your seedlings 12-24 inches apart. This allows for a little contact but prevents them from crowding each other.
Poblano Pepper Care
Poblano peppers will get tall and the peppers grow about 2″ long and get heavy, staking the plant is advised. The pests to be on the look out for are aphids and hornworms. Even though poblano peppers are pest resistant, they still can be a problem. They can be removed using an insecticidal soap or spraying them off with the hose.
Harvesting Poblano Peppers
Poblano peppers can be harvested when they are green or you can wait for them to ripen on the plant. Just remember that if you harvest peppers early, the plant will produce blossoms more frequently; however, you will want your poblanos to turn red if you plan to dry them. When dried, poblano peppers are known as ancho chilis. As with all peppers, you will want to cut the fruit from the plant with scissors or shears when harvesting. This is preferable to pulling them off, which can damage the delicate branches.
Did you know you can overwinter peppers? Peppers are perennials. If you are in a climate where it doesn’t freeze you can just leave them in the ground. If you are in climates that do freeze, you can prune them down and bring them indoors. If you are already have them in a container, the plant will need to be cut back by 2/3 and majority of it’s leaves cut off. If the plant is in the garden you will want to dig it up and put in a container and follow the same steps and bring indoors. Keep in indirect light and little water. Once you see new growth in the spring, you can start harding off on warm days, transplant into a bigger container or wait to transplant back in the garden when the frost danger has past and temperatures are right.
I have 2 poblano pepper plants that I am growing in my garden. I started them from seed indoors and they just started producing peppers 2 weeks ago. My other pepper plants are the same way, where my friend about 45 minutes south of me has had no problem with harvesting peppers. We will see what happens with my peppers.
I am hoping we have a warm fall this year to give a couple things a chance to finish growing in my summer garden. My poblano pepper plant is about 3 1/2 feet tall with small peppers. It’s a nice size bush. I am thinking of trying to overwinter one of the pepper plants to see how it goes.
Have you grown poblano peppers before? How did you do? What zone are you in?
Have you overwintered a pepper plant before? What zone are you in? Did you bring indoors? or are you in a no freeze climate? Please leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you!