How to Grow and Care for Anaheim Pepper Plant

The Anaheim pepper will add a zing to your food but will not overwhelm your dishes. The chili 🌶️ pepper is also known as Magdalenas and the California peppers. The best part is they are large enough to stuff them and very flavorful to stand up to the ingredients when you slice them to serve them with fajitas.

You can chop them to add to salsa, and even fleshy enough to roast. So, thinking of it, when you have Anaheim peppers, you have a do-it-all vegetable, and as they are not hot, your spic-adverse family can enjoy a chiles rellenos dish without the burn.

Thus, get your Anaheim pepper plants in the ground to enjoy fresh out of the garden or container.

Plant Name: Capsicum annuum longum Anaheim

Other Name: Anaheim Peppers, Magdalene, California peppers

Plant Type: Perennial

Native Areas: North and South America, Caribbean

Light Requirement: Full sun

Watering: Water Frequently

Fertilizer: Balanced Fertilizer

Toxicity: Non-toxic to humans and pets but can burn pets when ingested

Temperature: Warm temperatures

Propagation: Seed

Growth: 2-5 feet tall and 18 inches wide

Soil Type: Sandy loam

USDA Hardiness Zones: 9-11

Characteristics of the Anaheim Pepper

Anaheim pepper plants belong to the Capsicum genus belonging to a group of chile cultivars in New Mexico, hence referred to as New Mexico peppers. The group includes a similar variety known as Hatch chilies.

These pepper plants are not super hot 🔥 and have a mild heat with a sweeter taste, similar to the sweet bell peppers. According to the Scoville Heat Unit that measures capsaicin in pepper, it is between 500 and 2,500 and below the hotness of a jalapeno and above the poblano pepper.

Best Anaheim Peppers Cultivars to Select

When looking for an Anaheim pepper plant, you can find different cultivars with unique characteristics. Here are some of the best to consider.

  • Big Jim is the largest pepper in the Anaheim family, with a mild to moderate taste. You can use them for stuffing or in Mexican dishes, and they are popular with the Mexican food brand. You can use them for roasting and grilling as the thick flesh protects against heat.

  • ‘NuMex Heritage 6-4’ is a cultivar with a uniform shape and size and a great choice if you want to grow chilies commercially. It is a mild pepper for stir-fries, sauces, and salsa. You can even use them in pickling.

  • ‘Joe Parker’ is excellent for roasting or drying with medium heat and is delicious 😋 in green chile stew or enchiladas.

Also, make sure to check out our shop for some other excellent cultivars to choose from.

Anaheim Pepper Plant Care

anaheim pepper plant

Growing Anaheim peppers is not too difficult, but they do have specific needs you need to provide. The Anaheim pepper plants are perennial and can grow up to three years in a row on a single seed.

Many gardeners growing Anaheim peppers do it in a pot to move around quickly in summer outside and indoors in winter.

Individual pepper plants should reach maturity after planting in 80 days to harvest. Anaheim peppers cross-pollinate to produce flowers and form fruit.


well-draining loamy soil for anaheim pepper

The first step for growing your Anaheim peppers is to choose a suitable soil. These pepper plants prefer sandy loam soil that helps adjust the acidity to 7.0 and 8.5 pH. We recommend investing in a soil test kit if you are uncertain about the soil pH.

The important thing is to provide your Anaheim pepper plants with well-draining soil filled with well-rotted compost like aged manure. Another notable thing is while it is a low-maintenance plant, it is susceptible to different soil-borne diseases like root rot and verticillium wilt.

We recommend that when planting in your garden, avoid planting them in the same spot where you have previously planted nightshade plants, like other peppers.

Anaheim Pepper Plants Light

As with growing onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos, the Anaheim peppers need full sun to thrive and grow. Pepper plants need at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal growth.


watering for anaheim pepper

Anaheim peppers require consistent watering during warm temperatures but should not be overwatered as it leads to root rot. Keep soil moist and aim for one to two inches of water weekly.

We recommend doing the finger test to check the soil moisture level. When you grow peppers, water at the base of the plant instead of over the leaves, as it helps prevent blossom end rot. You can mulch around your plants to help retain moisture.

Temperature and Humidity

As you know, Anaheim peppers have a slightly sweet taste and are versatile peppers to grow in the garden. Yet, these pepper plants prefer dry, warm climates. So, the best thing to do when you grow seedlings outdoors is to choose a spot where it gets a lot of direct sunlight with good air circulation.

It will need frequent watering to keep the soil moist in hot climates, but it does not like humid environments and needs to be well-ventilated. For cooler climates, you must start seeds indoors and wait for the soil temperature to warm up to transplant outside.

You must also harden off your seedlings over two weeks before planting them in the garden.


balanced fertilizer for anaheim pepper

When planting your Anaheim peppers, we recommend giving them a balanced fertilizer before planting. You can add some rock phosphate or bone meal to boost phosphorus and help encourage root development.

Once your plants establish and grow, you can fertilize them every few weeks using a feed low in nitrogen as you want to enjoy Anaheim peppers and not the growth. Also, take extra care not to overfertilize, as it can lead to burnt roots and stunted growth.

Alternatively, you can use an organic feed like compost tea or fish emulsion to help with healthy plant growth.


When you grow multiple plants, it helps to prune your Anaheim peppers to enjoy a high yield. Trimming your plants nearby provides airflow and will prevent blossom end rot, rotting of the roots, and pest infestation.

A week after planting your seedlings, you can start with early pruning.

Start by pinching off an inch of the main stem to help encourage healthy branching to establish a larger plant later on. When the first batch of flowers appears, remove them, which helps the plant focus energy on strengthening.

Later you can prune the branches or any leaves touching the soil.


When you grow peppers as a perennial, you can do this for up to three years when overwintering your plant. If you live in temperatures dropping below 50 °F, you must take precautions and best to grow your plants in containers to move indoors.

Your plant needs more light during the growing season than in winter. Then, cut down on watering and only water them every three to four weeks. The leaves will die off as your plant goes dormant and normal.

You can then prune a few branches back as they grow in the growing season again.

A month before the last frost date, you can move your plants to a spot with more light and warmth. When the temperatures rise outside, you can move your containers back outside.

How to Grow Anaheim Peppers Plant

There are different methods to propagate Anaheim peppers, and we will discuss them here:

Anaheim Pepper Growing Seed

growing anaheim pepper seeds

If you love pepper plants, you can grow Anaheim pepper seeds. You can collect the seeds from previous plants or buy pepper seeds online or from a local nursery.

A fact is that once your plants in the garden cross, pollination will even take place with nearby plants. Or you can buy Anaheim pepper seedlings to get a head start. Still, when you sow seeds, the germination process can take up to six weeks or more.

  1. We recommend starting seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date.

  2. Get some trays with a seed starting mix and moisten them. Plant Anaheim pepper seeds about a 1/4 inch deep. Also, label your seed tray to avoid mixing them with other plants.

  3. Place the trays in a warm spot with bright indirect light with warm temperatures above 75 °F. Or you may need to use a heat mat to keep them warm.

  4. To spread the germination, you can soak the seeds in water for eight hours before planting them.

  5. Once the seedlings emerge, you need to increase air circulation by reducing watering and ensuring the soil is moist.

  6. Once seedlings are about four inches tall with a few leaves, you can transplant them outside.

  7. But harden your Anaheim peppers off by gradually exposing them to the outdoors, placing the seed tray outside, and bringing them in at night.

  8. Ensure to plant your seedlings 18 inches apart.

Transplanting Seedlings

seedlings of anaheim pepper

If you have grown, Anaheim pepper seeds the time has come to transplant them into the garden. Still, we recommend waiting after seeds germinate and reach the appropriate size. Then, when temperatures outdoors warm up, you can transplant them into well-draining soil amended with organic manure.

For bought Anaheim pepper transplants, place each seedling in a planting hole and backfill with soil while ensuring the roots remain in contact with the soil. Also, space them 18 inches apart and water well for the first few weeks.

Then, apply a thin layer of mulch at the base of your plant 🌿 to retain moisture and control weeds.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

aphids on the anaheim pepper

Sadly, your Anaheim peppers are not pest- or disease-resistant and can draw much attention in a garden.


  • First, you get aphids that will munch on your pepper plants, and they can leave behind diseases. The best to control them is with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

  • Other tiny insects are flea beetles that leave small holes in yellowing leaves.

  • Another bug 🐛 is leafhoppers, which can cause significant issues, and they can spread the mosaic virus fast.


Blossom end rot is a common disease that affects your plants, and it causes the bottom of the fruit to turn black and mushy, resulting from inconsistent watering. It can also result from a calcium deficiency or overfertilization.

To prevent blossom end rot, it helps to water your Anaheim peppers consistently and add some calcium to the soil or use a low nitrogen fertilizer with higher phosphor and potassium.

Frequently Asked Questions

Depending on the variety of Anaheim peppers you grow, it can take up to 80 days for the fruit to reach maturity. Once you feel the Anaheim pepper is firm and plump, you can hand harvest them or wait until they turn green or red.

You can pull the fruit with the stem attached to be eaten raw, as it has a medium heat level with a milder taste than jalapeño.

Luckily this New Mexico pepper plants fruits you can store in several ways.

  • Store them in a crisper drawer in the refrigerator in a sealed bag or as they are.

  • Or you can preserve them as ristras by drying them in a tapered bundle.

  • Alternatively, you can place them on a baking tray at a low oven setting to dry or use a dehydrator.

After you buy Anaheim pepper seeds and sow them indoors to transplant them outside, these plants can reach 1.5 feet tall. So, you can enjoy peppers with mild heat in your food.

As the Anaheim peppers can get quite tall, it helps to provide them with a solid trellis similar to tomatoes. With the support, it will help keep the heavy yields off the ground.

Anaheim peppers are commonly grown throughout the United States and are primarily found in New Mexico. The peppers are long and slender with a milder and sweeter taste than most other chile with a smoky flavor.

Hence, it leaves a subtle flavor and is a popular choice to spice up dishes without the overwhelming heat. When you cook the peppers, it develops an earthy, rich flavor pairing well with the ingredients used. These peppers are versatile to use with any recipe.

These peppers start green and will change to red the longer they remain on the pepper plants. If you enjoy Anaheim peppers hot, then leave them to turn red.

Whether you want to buy, sell, or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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