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Germinating pepper seeds

Chilli Pepper    Pennsylvania, USA

A friend of mine gave me a fruit from her cayenne pepper plant a few months ago for me to collect the seeds to grow my own. I only have a total of nine seeds so I'm interested to know what people think would be the best way to germinate them. I had planned to sow them in regular seed starting mix and provide some bottom heat but I wonder now if I should perhaps pre-germinate them on some moist kitchen paper. What would folk recommend? I will be starting the seeds indoors to grow as container plants.


Posted by: Lindsay McMenemy (167 points) Lindsay McMenemy
Posted: February 11, 2014




Answers

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What you have suggested sounds perfect. I think the ability to add bottom heat is the key.


Posted by: Charlie B. (84 points) Charlie B.
Posted: February 11, 2014


Lindsay McMenemy commented,
Thanks Charlie, that's reassuring
almost 5 years ago.



1
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I've tried both. I like the paper-towel method because you can check for germination daily and pot them up as soon as you see the roots start to form.

One year I had a sunny window and 12 pepper varieties to try. I put the pepper seeds on moist paper towels, put the paper towels in sealed plastic bags, and placed them where the sun would reach them (for heat). I've heard that warm spots such as the top of a refrigerator work, too. Pepper seed optimally germinates at 86F (30C), with a range of 68-95F (20-35C), so you have to be careful not to cook the seeds! Heating pads meant for people get too hot for seeds; instead, use seed-starting heating pads or another gentle heat source.


Posted by: Tanya in the Garden (128 points) Tanya in the Garden
Posted: February 20, 2014




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I had to do some wacky things before we could afford a greenhouse and heat mats. The heat is really important, and it doesn't make sense to fiddle with germinating outside of a seed starting mix...everything is so delicate at the seedling stage, and it takes great manual dexterity to avoid damaging them. You can get quite a lot of warmth using a sunny, southern-exposure windowsill and saran wrap. If you can relocate the tray to somewhere that is warmer than the windowsill at night, that's best of all.....if you don't have pets or small children...a human heating pad is too warm, but not when you layer a folded towel on top of it (please take risk of fire into account!). Heat lamps (the kind sold in feed stores to keep baby chicks warm) can work also, but they are kind of overkill for 9 seeds. Half a milk carton cut lengthwise, with well tamped moist (not dry, not soggy either) peat moss should do the trick. Even in my greenhouse with mats pepper seeds usually take 5-7 days to poke out...and hot peppers for whatever reason can be even fussier.


Posted by: Deborah Raven-Lindley (4 points) Deborah Raven-Lindley
Posted: April 6, 2014




0
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I've always started the seeds on a wet paper towel, so that I can see them and make sure that nothing goes wrong. To start them I use an egg carton, in which I punch a hole in the bottom. This sits on a cup of water, and I stick two paper towels in the water, and fold one of them to the left within the carton and one to the right. Then I place a paper towel over these two, place the seeds on this, and cover them with another moistened paper towel. Once the egg carton lid is closed they have a nice germination chamber. To reduce the risk of mold, you could place the seeds in very dilute bleach very briefly. However its a bit risky, as leaving them in the bleach too long will kill them.


Posted by: Heliantha (3 points) Heliantha
Posted: February 11, 2014


Lindsay McMenemy commented,
So if I understand correctly, two paper towels are threaded through the hole in the egg box and act as wicks for the water?
almost 5 years ago.

Heliantha commented,
Yes. It ensures the seeds have an evenly moist environment, without having to carefully water them everyday. Also, I think that the egg carton system is less prone to fungal growth than starting the seeds in a sandwich baggy.

almost 5 years ago.



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