View Full Version : Peppers ..... mine won't sprout :?

03-14-2009, 10:42 PM
My wife planted and sprouted all kinds of veggies. So far, the only thing that hasn't come up is the peppers. NUTS!! At the price of bell peppers (they were $2.08 ea. in Billings yesterday) I wanted to get a few plants going. How is everyone else doing on peppers? maybe we just got some bad seed ..... even tho it's heirloom ......

03-15-2009, 07:14 AM
What brand? I went with burpee this year and it beats those off brands.
We hate to shop at walmart but burpee was $1 and organic burpee was like $1.50.

soil must be warm it makes a difference, seeds have a built in monitor that is always
seeking a combination of moisture and heat then it will react. You can germinate a seed
in the south pole if it has the right condition's.

03-15-2009, 08:01 AM
I saok mine for a few hours in luke warm water, then put them on a damp paper towel, fold it up and put it under a glass on a dish to make a little hot house and put it in a warm spot. I usually see rootlets in a day or two and transplant them to what every way I'm going to grow them out.

Did you save this seed or buy it?

03-15-2009, 08:18 PM
OK, it might have been the cold, we've had very few days in the past 4 or 5 months that the temp inside of the building has been over 40 degrees. But almost all of the other seeds sprouted, and she sprouts alfalfa all the time, so I would have thought that sweet peppers, Hungarian Wax peppers, and onions would have sprouted too. These are heirloom seeds from Irish Eyes in Cle Elum, Wa. We bought those because they were specially for short-season areas like ours. I've emailed the grower, so they may send out some more seeds, and we'll try again ;)

03-15-2009, 09:11 PM
Most peppers and tomatoes need 60's to 70's to germanate.

03-15-2009, 09:18 PM
Yea some seeds can deal with low temps but not many garden variety. Fascinating seeds
have built monitors, they monitor outside temps before they even germinate
and that is truly amazing to me :o

last year I used a magnifying lens and a camera, I was doing some research
to see how well seeds germinated on wet napkins. here are some pics

03-22-2009, 06:09 PM
When things didn't go right for me, my Grandfather use to say I wasn't holding my mouth right....get a small mirror and look in it while making different faces with your mouth while planting various seeds to see if that will help :lol: :lol: :mrgreen:

When that fails read the instructions on the seed packet :mrgreen:

03-22-2009, 07:21 PM
It has been a while since your post are peppers finally sprouting?

11-12-2009, 01:07 PM
I have pretty good results when I place my seed starter trays on top of the fridge....it's pretty warm up there.

10-08-2010, 01:08 AM
Oh, I like this topic! I have mostly grown peppers from your everyday peppers to ghost peppers (the hottest in the world). What I have discovered, as many have already stated, is that HEAT is needed. I found the more common varieties of peppers seem to germinate the fastest at 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit whereas the ghost peppers seem to do best at 85-95 degree Fahrenheit (explains why they're so HOT).

On the note of pre-soaking. Yes, using warmer water is better than cooler water as it speeds up the osmotic saturation of water into the seed through the seed coat. I don't usually do this for peppers though, and it is important to note not to use water that's TOO HOT because it will start to denature the proteins in the seed. Also, don't ever put your seeds (even in water) in the microwave. You will literally kill the seed. I may be recalling it wrong, but I read a study that showed damage to seeds at temperatures exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit for lengths of time in water!

Now for my ultimate advice that comes from my experience germinating thousands of different pepper seeds... *drum roll*

I have found the BEST method for germinating pepper seeds involves a heat mat, one of those mini-greenhouse germination stations, and saturating and and allowing to dry the seed. To clarify, I make sure that in the first 2 days I get the seeds and their medium real wet (but not liquored up... jk) set the lid off the base a little to allow the heat to cause the moisture to evaporate rapidly and dry the medium and seed substantially, then the next day or the next time it feels substantially dried out (even if the same day) get it real wet again and allow it to dry out mostly (but not entirely because this could kill the germination process although I have never had a problem getting close to 100% germination). What I BELIEVE this does is create several chances for the seed to trigger by whatever environmental events cause it to germinate! The temperature, moisture, contact with soil, and saturation in the seed fluctuate wildly. I liken this idea to strawberry seeds and how they have to be FROZEN to trigger their germination before being planted in soil. Seeds are fickle creatures, and the experience and patience I have gained from germinating hot pepper seeds has dramatically improved my chances of finding a new friend at the bar on weekends... jk again :lol:

10-08-2010, 04:52 AM
As the Late...Great Country Singer "JERRY REED" said in a song..... "WHEN YOU'RE HOT...YOU'RE HOT!" :mrgreen:

10-12-2010, 11:14 PM
Man, I just saw these at wally world for $2.87 A PIECE! I just ordered seeds for the GIANT Bell Peppers. These things are 2-4 times as big as the regular ones.

But, how are your peppers doing? Any pics? :mrgreen:

10-13-2010, 09:46 PM

Big Al
10-14-2010, 07:00 AM
hi stucco, wow very nice pepper's. Big Al

10-14-2010, 08:58 AM
Thanks big al! Iím trying to build up enough for a sauce; Iím thinkingÖ garlic, onion, habanero, lime juice, orange juice and tequila. It sounds good in my head. :mrgreen:

10-14-2010, 10:46 AM
Peppers... such a beautiful sight... they have to be my favorite plant to grow! :D

11-29-2010, 08:08 PM
the most difficult pepper to sprout and raise is the Bhut Jolokia, it requires temperatures close to 90 to sprout. habaneros like warmer weather particularly like the carribian reds or red siennas want warmth to germinate. there is a lot of grafting of plants, don't know the fertility of their seeds.

11-30-2010, 07:29 AM
the most difficult pepper to sprout and raise is the Bhut Jolokia, it requires temperatures close to 90 to sprout. habaneros like warmer weather particularly like the carribian reds or red siennas want warmth to germinate. there is a lot of grafting of plants, don't know the fertility of their seeds.

I have several of these sprouted and grown to a decent size, but they refuse to fruit. Yes, they flower, but then I get no fruits. I haven't figured it out. I have some in soil and most in my aquaponic setup. The ones in the aquaponic setup are side-by-side with other "regular" peppers. These other peppers flower and produce fruit plentifully. I'm still trying to figure it out!

11-30-2010, 09:17 AM
Maybe it's just not warm enough for the 'hot' peppers to 'set' (?) ....Seems to reason, if they won't sprout unless it's close 90 degrees.

11-30-2010, 03:46 PM
For the most part they want 90degrees, although a local Hydroponics dealer that can't get his to fruit gave me a cutting and it is fruiting at 60 degrees aquaponically. He has his in a sterile environment and my greenhouse is full of bugs.

11-30-2010, 03:47 PM
Try artificially pollenating them.

Big Al
12-01-2010, 05:52 AM
hi everyone, the only way i could get my pepper's or tomato's to produce fruit
was to hand pollinate them with a small paint brush it's time consuming but it
work's. good luck Big Al

03-24-2011, 11:11 AM
I touch the nail of my finger to the pollen (anther) then to the male part (stigma). I tap at it a few times to make sure, but it ALWAYS works. Sometimes when I am lazy and there are a lot of flowers, I just give it a few quick but gentle shakes. In Florida, the paper wasp seems to LOVE pepper flowers. I have some in containers, and if I put them out I almost always see one of these little guys fly up withing MINUTES. I guess it has to do with the color or maybe the smell? I see everything else go to it too, but wasps seem to gravitate towards them.

03-28-2011, 06:20 PM
Just a note to those of you starting peppers this spring... we do a lot of bells and hot peppers and have come find that peppers like a little bit of sulfur both in seed starting and in growth. An old farmers trick is to stick a match head down in the seed potting mix and plant the seed right next to it- the water dissolves the sulfur and it is used by the seed to germinate.
The also like phosphorus and calcium which both lend a hand in the blossoming and ability to produce mature fruit.
Lastly- Epsom salts are generally used as a tonic - and safe for AP- for blossoming peppers. You can spray this directly on the plant when you start to see blossoming occur. It will help the fruit to form.
Good Luck!!!

05-03-2011, 06:18 AM
Germinating peppers does not require sulfur. I have never used it. I often get 100% germination and often 2-3 faster than the expected time. The trick is moisture and temperature.

As far as using it later, I would imagine that depends on the specific nutrient situation. It might help some people and not help others.

Foilar spraying would of course need to be done on the underside of the leaf, but otherwise epsom salt is great where needed (and much cheaper than buying the same thing from garden centers)!

05-03-2011, 07:46 AM
they can easily be cloned by rooting cuttings. if you have access to chile plants at a nursery it may be easier to purchase them and take cutting as they grow. as chiles age they produce fewer fruit so don't purchase old plants. they can also be grafted onto tomato rootstock as scions tomato rootstock is less prone to rot.

05-03-2011, 01:09 PM
We shouldn't have a problem with the root stock in aquaponics though! :mrgreen:

05-04-2011, 11:23 AM
Find a successful farmer and then try to figure out the how and why using low tech. Could it be the soil was very alkaline and the match's sulfer acidified the soil helping them to germinate?

05-04-2011, 04:25 PM
Sure, but that doesn't even apply to using seed starting mix indoors... :(

Yes, the pH is important for germination. Maybe the water used had a pH that was way off. Peppers are typically very easy to germinate if you get the right temperature and good seed stock.

05-05-2011, 08:13 PM
RE ABOVE: Germinating peppers does not require sulfur.
Urban, I did not say it was required, more that it has been noted to be helpful in the early stages of development- which any seasoned gardener would agree. BTW.. if you noticed- the thread was about what could help the member get his seeds started- so .. Positive comments are always welcomed.
In plants, sulfur stimulates more rapid early root development- hence the old farmerís trick- since once the embryonic root has emerged during germination it is able to maximize growth, is necessary in the formation of chlorophyll, increases the growing plantís protein content thereby increasing its physical strength. Plants use sulfur in the processes of producing proteins, amino acids, enzymes and vitamins. Sulfur also helps the plantís resistance to disease, aids in growth, and in seed formation for future crops.
A lack of adequate sulfur is almost always a limiting factor for some plants in AP and can be corrected thru -as I stated before Ė epsom salt foliar application which is highly beneficial. http://www.saltworks.us/gardening-with-epsom-salt.asp
And yes, under the leaf is great, but more recent detailed research is showing that there are many locations across the leafís entire surface -both upper and lower- which will accept foliar spray so long as the cuticleís hydrophobic surface is breached. Using a balanced but slightly acidic spray will help to temporarily break the cuticleís protective surface and allow absorption. This is aside from just the stomata (which is what you were referring to when you said spray the leaf bottoms) whoís daily processes have limited opening and closing periods during which spraying is suggested.
Perhaps you could post some recent pictures of your perfectly germinated peppers.

05-05-2011, 08:42 PM
Yes, sulfur is an essential plant nutrient and a deficiency will undoubtedly have detrimental effects. However, I can't really follow your logic on it's use in the germination process. Merely stating what happens in a deficient state is not in itself merit or evidence to prove that sulfur is required for germination. Although you state that plants are commonly deficient of sulfur in aquaponic systems, this has nothing to do with seed germination. Adequate pH and temperature are the key factors to getting a high germination rate. Since the seed embryo contains everything it needs to germinate, it really does not rely on nutrient uptake through the seed coat to germinate nor is it deficient. So, what would help pepper seeds sprout? Adjusting the pH and temperature.

Yes, having an optimal level of nutrients will help a plant in the "early stages of development" and the rest of its life cycle. This is not in question, but again, I am trying to draw a distinction between the germination of the seed and the rest of the plant's life cycle, as you mentioned, to answer the original poster's concern of germinating pepper seeds. Please keep in mind, nutrient uptake from the soil does not occur until AFTER germination has occurred.

Now that that is cleared up, I did not know that plants absorbed foliar spray nutrients through the leaf epidermis. Is there any chance you have "recent research" or recall where it was published?? I would like to read it. I have been taught that it only occurs through the stomata, but a brief google search reveals some evidence to what you are saying; however, my references keep leading me back to a commercial webpage selling chemicals for foliar applications. I will keep searching since I was even taught this recently in my Master Gardener training by county faculty. It is definitely something to correct for future curriculums. Thank you for that, this is why I love this forum! :mrgreen:

05-05-2011, 09:24 PM
I have asked one of the good doctors up at UF who has a postgraduate specialization in plant nutrition to shed some light on the issue. I have actually found contradicting literature on the subject. The question of how nutrients translocate via foliar application is not just academic, but it has profound practical applications (no pun intended). I will get us an answer!

05-09-2011, 05:30 PM
In reference to your response to my statement about sulfur deficiencies in AP- the statement was made with respect to the forum in general and the fact that this is a safe element in an AP system (BTW- another HOT topic when it comes to APs) - not with respect to the germination. Sulfur as a foliar spray in AP is beneficial to the health, growth and fruiting capacity of peppers. Both germination and fruiting (which you yourself had an issue with on the b. jol.) have been the topic of conversation in this thread- therefore both can and should be responded to, but you should not confuse one with the other- but my logic is to kill as many birds with one stone as possible- let's just say I'm a multi-tasker- so here it goes.
As far as the Farmerís trick- donítí you know that our farmer grandparents were smarter than the average weekend gardener- but letís break it down. Sulfur is not used in the act of germination in the way you are thinking because your recent studies told you PH and Temp were the common factors- which is true- but as you know cold stratification and also scarification are necessary for some plants and can be helpful in germinating many types of seeds. In this aspect, sulfur plays a limited role in the deterioration of the seed coat allowing the germination process to occur within a shorter period much the same as a sulfuric acid dip would be used commercially on a quantity of seeds for germination- but in a more gentle and natural way.
No peppers donít necessarily need this, but hey- every little bit helps... and what sulfur also does is provide a level of protection to the seed as a fungus fighter therefore giving a better chance of survival to the sprouting seed from a variety of possible dampening off species such as Pythium or Rhizoctonia while also providing a minute amount of acid to the surrounding seed's soil- which we all know pepper plants love. In the end, the embryonic root that has emerged during germination is able to maximize healthy growth thru the use of this very same sulfur!
So if we are to recap so you can follow the logic: Add sulfur to: 1. Help to deteriorate the seed coat and provide a slightly acidic soil medium which peppers love 2. Fight possible infections which will halt germination and/or seedling emergence and growth 3. Maximize the health and growth of your new plants by making available a limited nutrient in your AP system, and finally 4. Increase the fruiting capacity by use of an AP safe epsom salt foliar spray.
And just for good measure- you should know that pepper seeds are Phytochromes which means they are reactive to light. Germination occurs as a response to light- If a seed is planted beyond the reaches of the available light spectrum- it will not be able to trigger the germination process.
Finally, if you are interested there are many current research studies which prove the essential Laws of Cuticular Penetration - which you can assuredly Google.
BTW- here are some recent pepper photos from the AP- just look at the Cowhorn and Dital's - they are going crazy this season.. the Dital pepper plant is a good 5 foot tall and full of blooms and peppers..the Cowhorn is hiding behind it dripping with fruit. I am just trying to come up with a new sauce this season. I hope you all have fun planting this season's peppers and remember please post photos!

05-09-2011, 06:35 PM
Yes, adding sulfur or anything else to adjust the pH is exactly what I mean by the pH! :mrgreen:

I am not familiar with sulfur's ability to fight all or many plant diseases and pathogens, but I guess I have been lucky in the thousands of seeds I have germinated as I have never really had a problem besides finding the right temperature or pH.

Any deficiency, be it sulfur or otherwise, should be remedied by adding the missing nutrient in question. This is not in question.

Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is a great and inexpensive form of sulfur and magnesium fertilizer. It's cheaper to buy it from the pharmacy/drug store than the garden center.

I have added the foliar spray research to my todo list, but my attention is shifted to learning about other things at the moment.

You should try some giant bell pepper seeds, they grow way bigger than that (hard to tell in the absence of scale though). Mine are enormous and just started changing color. Regardless, your peppers look great! I am a pepper lover too! I got a dital pepper plant this year from one of the other gardeners. I'm planning to save seed for next season.

P.S. I like your fingernail polish! :lol:

05-10-2011, 08:23 AM
P.S. I like your fingernail polish!
Must be hard to keep it looking that nice when your sticking your hands in stucco all day long..... :lol:

05-10-2011, 10:59 AM
wow, those peppers look awesome!!!!

10-27-2011, 03:49 PM
I have success with peppers and tomatos being started in dixie cups full of peat starter mix. Soaked and place on top of flourescant aquarium lights or PC lights. Water once a day.