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  • Saving pepper seeds?

    Created by tmcdanel on

    I have a “cherry bomb” pepper plant that I really like. Sweet and just the right hotness. It was difficult to find the seeds, they were expensive, and when I bought them, out of more than a dozen, only two sprouted. I started the surviving plant in an Aerogarden hydroponic garden and raised it outside on the porch, so insects had pollinating access.

    So now I save and dry the seed when I harvest a pepper. But when can i expect to replant them successfully?

    Can I simply take a seed out of a pepper and put it in an hydroponic sponge pod?

    Do they need to be dried or frozen to activate enzymes?

    Do you think they will sprout or is there some rule about sexual pairs in peppers?

    To get new seeds, do I have to pretend I am a bee and spread pollen with something?

    Do I have to wear wings and antenna?

  • Author
  • #185111

    Eric Vinje


    Pepper seeds are quite easy to reproduce, as far as the solanacae family goes! Pepper seeds can be harvested directly from the fruit, and should be left on a paper towel or other means to dry for two weeks before they are ready for storage or planting.

    I would start the seeds indoors sometime between late February and mid March (Farmer’s Almanacs’ suggest planting seeds during the first moon phase, sometime between the new moon and the first quarter), either in a hydroponic sponge pod or simple potting soil will do.

    Germination rate for peppers will vary slightly from one variety to another, the original seed package should list a germination rate or percentage which may give you a clue. Some tips for increasing pepper germination include:
    -Keeping your soil temperature between 70-75 degrees (F) for sweet peppers and 70-85 degrees for hot peppers is optimum for germination. This can be obtained in cooler climates thru use of a seedling heat mat.
    -Fresh seed germination (undried) can take 20-50 days to sprout. Seeds that are dried and then stored for 2-3 weeks germinate in about 20 days.
    -Harvesting seeds from overripe fruit (about 10 days after fruit is physiologically ripe) has also been shown to increase germination slightly.
    Keep in mind that properly dried and stored seeds should remain viable for about two years.

    Peppers are self-pollinating for the most part, though some cross pollination may occur from wind or insect interaction. Seeds and fruit shall happen automatically with proper plant care. No wings or antennae required!! (Unless you’re into that sort of thing!)

    Something to note: Peppers are actually a perennial plant, which means you will get fruit (though it may not be as prolific of production as your first season) from your older plants next season.

    Hope this helps!
    Happy Holidays!

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