If you’re a fan of hot and spicy food, chances are, you have cooked or used jalapeno in your favorite dishes or recipes.
From its Spanish-like name, we can easily guess that this spicy pepper has its origin in the Latin American regions. Long story short, jalapeno is indigenous to Veracruz, Mexico, and has been used in various recipes since the early days of the Aztec civilization.
Unlike regular peppers, jalapenos are much bigger and come in varied sizes, shapes, colors, and forms. But how big can jalapenos be? Is there any jalapeno variety that is much bigger than the ones you find in the local grocery stores?
In this article, we have listed the nine largest jalapeno varieties that exist in the world. Let’s dive in deeper and discover what makes each variety unique.
Table of Contents
Like the name, Mammoth jalapenos are one of the largest jalapenos varieties that can grow up to 5 inches long and 2 inches wide. These peppers can be recognized by their shiny and smooth green skin that will turn dark green when they are ripe.
Mammoth jalapenos are easy to care for. They have a Scoville rating of 3,500 to 4,500 and grow in the hardiness zones 10 to 12.
On average, they can grow around 24 to 48 inches tall and need a space of at least 18 or 24 inches wide. These plants also need moist, well-fertilized soils and can tolerate partial but prefer full sun.
If you love fresh jalapenos with a slight hint of sweetness, then you should harvest Mammoth jalapenos when their skin turns dark green.
However, if you prefer them to be a bit spicier and sweeter, you can wait until they are older which is when they turn bright red.
Jalapeno Gigante is another large jalapeno variety that you can use in various dishes and recipes. These peppers can grow up to 5 inches long and take only around two months to mature. With a Scoville rating between 2,500 and 5,000, they can be harvested when their skins turn green or red.
These plants can grow around 18 to 24 inches tall and spread around 12 to 14 inches wide. They thrive in the hardiness zones 11 to 12 and grow best in moist, well-drained soils.
To make sure that they grow to their full potential, you should plant them in a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sun per day.
Jalapeno Gigante can be grown with other companion plants such as onions, peppers, and eggplants. You should also schedule a regular pruning session to promote better branching and fruit set.
Craig’s Grande Jalapeno
Craig’s Grande jalapenos were developed by a company in California called Redwood City seeds.
The fruits of Craig’s Grande grow around 3 to 4 inches long and weigh around 3 ounces with a Scoville rating of 2,000 to 4,500. These peppers can also be harvested when they turn green or red. The redder they become, the spicier they will be.
The plants from this variety usually grow around 24 to 36 inches tall. For each plant, they need to have a space between 20 to 24 inches to grow well. You should also plant them in moist, well-drained soils and under the full sun for at least 8 hours per day.
It takes 14 to 28 days for the seeds to germinate and around 70 days for the fruits to mature. Once the fruits are harvested, they can be kept in closed containers or refrigerators for up to 5 days.
‘Emerald Fire’ Jalapeno
‘Emerald Fire’ jalapenos or ‘Emerald Fire’ hybrid peppers have been given a Scoville rating of 2,500. The fruits can be recognized by their shiny, thick dark green skin that is resistant to damage and cracks. Even after their skin turns red, their exterior won’t crack easily.
The fruits can also grow up to 3 ½ inches long with a diameter of 1 ¼ inches wide. They also weigh just around 1 ounce. You can either harvest them when they are still green or wait until they turn red for a richer and a more tender texture.
The plants from this variety usually grow around 20 to 40 inches and could reach up to 2 feet tall. They also need space of around 18 to 24 inches in width to produce well.
Like other large varieties, ‘Emerald Fire’ jalapenos thrive in moist, well-drained soils and under full sun. They are easy to care for and resistant to most diseases, pests, and extreme heat.
‘Jedi’ jalapenos are easy to spot by their thick, shiny, and crack-resistant dark green skin. The fruits can grow up to 4 or 4 ½ inches long with a Scoville rating of 2,500 to 3,600. They are also categorized as a hybrid variety.
To grow this variety, you should provide them with a space of at least 18 or 24 inches wide between each plant. They also perform well in slightly acidic, well-drained soils and under full sun.
It usually takes around 72 days for ‘Jedi’ jalapenos to mature. But if you prefer to have red fruits, the best time to harvest them would be around 82 days.
This variety is also resistant to bacterial leaf spots.
‘Mucho Nacho’ Jalapeno
These large hybrid jalapenos are native to Mexico and could yield large numbers of fruits earlier than other common varieties. ‘Mucho Nacho’ jalapenos can be recognized by their shiny dark green skin and thick, elongated shape.
The fruits measure around 3 to 4 inches and are available in both green and red colors. But you may choose to harvest and eat them when they are still green. They also have a Scoville rating of 4,500 to 6,000, which is a lot spicier than other large varieties.
The plants from this variety typically grow around 24 to 36 inches. They need a space of at least 18 or 24 inches wide between each plant to grow well. It takes around 75 days for the plants to mature.
To get the most out of this variety, you should always grow them in moist, well-drained soils and choose a location without any shade.
‘Big Guy’ Jalapeno
‘Big Guy’ jalapeno plants generally grow around 18 to 24 inches tall with the same spread. In some cases, they could even grow up to 43 inches tall. To grow well, they need at least a space of 18 to 24 inches between each plant.
The fruits are shiny with smooth, green skin. They measure around 5 inches long with a thickness of around 1 inch.
These peppers have been given a Scoville rating of around 4,000. With this level of spiciness, you can add these peppers to several types of dishes or use them for pickling and stuffing.
On average, it takes around 69 days for the fruits to mature and be ready for harvesting. The plants from this variety perform well in moist, well-drained soils. They also need to be placed under full sun or at least exposed to direct sunlight for at least 6 hours a day.
‘Goliath’ jalapenos are hybrid varieties that can be recognized by their shiny, dark green skin and thick walls. When they mature, the skin will turn bright red. These peppers can also grow up to 5 inches long with a width of around 2 inches wide.
The plants from this variety typically grow around 36 to 48 inches tall. They also need a space of at least 18 to 24 inches between each plant to grow well.
The fruits are ready to be harvested after the 69th day of planting and can be eaten while they’re still green. They also have a Scoville rating of 3,000 to 5,000, which is a lot spicier than other common jalapenos.
Like other varieties, ‘Goliath’ jalapeno plants perform well in moist, well-drained soils and under full sun. They are also highly resistant to common plant viruses such as Potato virus Y (PVY) and Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV).
Jalafuego peppers can be characterized by their smooth, dark green skin and enormous size that measures around 4 to 5 inches long. This cone-shaped, hybrid variety also has a Scoville rating of 4,000 to 5,000.
The plants usually grow around 24 to 30 inches tall and spread around 18 to 24 inches. They thrive in hardiness zones 9 to 12 and perform well in moist, well-drained. The fruits are also crack-resistant and take around 70 to 80 days to mature.
If you prefer spicier peppers, you can wait until the skin turns red before harvesting them. Being sun lovers, they grow well under full exposure to the sun and can tolerate extreme heat. They are also easy to care for and are highly resistant to many plant diseases.
Aside from being an added spice to enhance the heat and taste of dishes, jalapenos also contain vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory agents that are beneficial to our health.
They can boost our metabolisms, protect the stomach lining from inflammation and ulcers, as well as reducing the possibility of getting cardiovascular diseases. So, if you haven’t used jalapenos in your cooking before, try it and see what happens!