Poblano Pepper Plant

A plant with a long and storied history, the poblano pepper plant is often thought of as the chili pepper’s wild cousin.

One thing in particular that sets the poblano apart from other chilies is its unique location in a seed pod at its base. As opposed to being grown on a vine like most chilies, it grows on top of the ground and then blooms into clusters of peppers up to six inches long.

The poblano pepper plant itself is medium-sized and will grow up to 18 inches tall and bear peppers that are greenish-brown when they start out, turning an orangey red when ripe.

It can be used fresh for its flavor or dried for both flavor and preservation. The darker color of the dried peppers makes them a popular ingredient in Mexican dishes.

How to Plant and Grow Poblano Peppers | Gardener's Path

What is Poblano Pepper Plant

The poblano pepper plant is a member of the ancho variety of chili pepper. The seeds for this plant are unique, in that they are found inside a thin, hard casing that surrounds the seed itself. The pods themselves grow directly out of the ground and must be picked when they are fully ripe and brown, and then dried in order to preserve them for later use.

The plant thrives in heat, growing best in the southeastern United States, north to Washington and Oregon, and south to Texas. The peppers themselves can grow anywhere from three to five inches long when fully ripened and dried.

As a purely ornamental plant, it is grown for its blooms that are often found being used as cut flowers or corsages by Southern women. Even with the flora of its flower being widely used as a decorative item today it is only a very minor crop in the spectrum of agricultural products.

Poblano Pepper Plant Fact

  1. The poblano pepper plant is also known as California New Mexico, and Pasilla.
  2. Poblano peppers are slightly sweet and are widely used in Mexican cuisine and other Southwestern American dishes.
  3. Poblanos are often used for making chili or salsa because of their rich flavor and moderate heat, which can range from 2,500 to 5,000 units on the Scoville scale which measures the amount of capsaicin found in peppers.
  4. Poblanos can be used to make many popular dishes including chili con carne, salsa, tacos, green or red enchiladas and burritos.
  5. While often referred to as a red pepper, poblanos are not actually red. They are dark green when they start out and turn an orangey-red when they ripen.

How To Take Care Of Poblano Pepper Plant

  1. The poblano pepper plant can be grown in any area of the United States where you would like to grow chili peppers. It grows best in warm soil and produces very high yields.
  2. Unlike other chili pepper plants, the poblano pepper plant will not produce seeds that are known as “baby chilies” simply because there is no fruit on the plant itself.
  3. When harvesting the poblano pepper plant, be sure to use gloves because the pepper itself is known to carry a very mild toxicity. Cooking the pepper before consumption will drive off any toxins that are in it.
  4. Poblanos can be dried and stored through the winter months and used in many things including stews, chili and salsa.
  5. Poblano peppers pair well with fruit in dishes like salsa or preserves to soften any heat that they may have.

How to Plant and Grow Poblano Peppers | Gardener's Path

Uses Of Poblano Pepper Plant

  1. Poblano peppers are used extensively in Mexican cooking and often used in soups, stews, stir fries and braised dishes.
  2. The poblano pepper plant is also used to flavor many popular sauces like salsa verde and fresh tomato salsa.
  3. Because of its moderate heat level, poblanos are used to make enchiladas, tortillas and tacos that have a slightly sweet flavor to them.
  4. Because of its unique shape, this pepper is often used in flower arrangements as well. It is known to be one of the most common cut flowers in Mexico and the southwestern United States.
  5. When harvesting the poblano pepper plant, you may find that you have more pods than you can use at home. If this happens, simply dry them and then hang them somewhere they will stay cool until they are ready to be used again.

Preparing Poblano Pepper Plant

  1. The poblano pepper plant is a good candidate to be used in preparing various dishes, especially Mexican cuisine.
  2. Since they are a very hot pepper they can be difficult to digest and should be used with caution in dishes that include large amounts of the pepper.
  3. Poblanos should be eaten when they are green if you want to enjoy their full flavor. They will ripen faster once they are dried or cooked, however, and this is the best way for you to use them for your cooking needs.
  4. Poblanos will last much longer when stored in a well ventilated area. If you keep them in a cool, dark room they will retain their freshness for several weeks or even longer.

The poblano pepper plant is a very popular ornamental plant that can be used for many decorative purposes. The peppers themselves are often dried or used in sauces or other recipes in Mexican cooking. The poblano pepper is grown in the southwestern United States, Mexico and the Southwestern United States including Arizona and New Mexico.


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