I noticed that some of you have saved seed from your peppers....do you do any flower isolating to breed pure? I've heard peppers can be.....promiscuous.....and you may not know who the daddy is.
I did isolate a couple of my bhut pods but none of the others. From what I can tell and from what I have read, even if you grow to different varieties next to each other, the chances are very high that they they will not cross any way. I grew two of my plants last year from seed saved from the prior season. They grew true.
If you truly want pure seed, you should isolate. But if you are willing to accept the small risk as many do, then you don't have to bother with isolating them. I dont have an accurate percentage chance of crossing. It probably depends a lot of the varieties you are growing and how close in proximity they are grown to each other.
Some people do isolate blooms for pure seed, others don't.
Peppers can and do cross pollinate, but, since they also self pollinate, chances are greater that even without special measures, the seed will be pure.
All my Bhut seeds from last summer should be "true". They were the only peppers I grew for the season, which should hopefully reduce the chances of mystery daddies. :)
This year will be different since I'm looking at growing at least 3-4 varieties (more, depending on the wife's tolerance for my "hobby").
I dont do any special isolating methods. But what i do to increase the chances that i will have true seeds the next year is that i harvest multiple pods for seed from the strongest, healthiest, most productive plant (sometimes multiple plants) of that particular type. All those pods are dried and seeded and mixed together and labeled for that type. Chances are better that way that among several pods i will get some "true" seeds.
And if they are any hybrids, its fun to see what will grow ;)
Mbellot: just tell your wife you should be allowed one plant for every pair of shoes she owns. Problem solved.
is there a rule of thumb for distance between varieties to ensure purity?
Bruce - No such luck. She's a practical woman, I'm guessing total pairs of shoes is less than half a dozen. :(
Well, mblellot: I have about an 80 plant cushion with my wife. I am not sure which of us is better off in that respect.
Jss, I believe the rule of thumb is 500 feet.
I have read that the old rule of thumb of 1/4 mile separation isn't as good as they thought for isolation and that one mile is better.
I just bag mine (in fact this year I bought a bunch of shade cloth, that is supposed to let 80% of the sun in but keep out bugs, then I'm going to buy some tomato cages, cover them in the cloth and put the whole thing over each plant.
I have read that it's pretty safe to assume you won't get cross-pollination, then I recently read (I think it's home, I'll go looking for it when I get home tonight) that there has been some experiments and they have discovered that you will definitely get cross-pollination.
shoontok, I recently read somewhere, in fact in several places (again, it's home, I'm sure), that you should never let the pepper pods dry. Apparently, as the insides break down they can ruin the seeds. Everything I have read says to collect the seeds once you pick the pepper.
I don't worry about cross pollination, but have seen that it can occur up to 1 mile. Can't worry about it on my crowded 1/4 acre.
I have both planted fresh seeds out of peppers and dried seeds with both working or not, depending on peppers.
If using a dehydrator, use one with a temperature setting and keep at or below 120 degrees. If I dry outside I try to keep out of direct sunlight here in south florida, especially in summer.
Most of the time I just clean out the seeds and put on a paper plate by my kitchen window(indirect sun).
Pepper crosspollination varies by variety and environment. I've grown some varieties that threw one crossed plant out of 300 pure seedlings. Other varieties are more like 50% crossed. Chinense varieties in my experience are about 10% crosspollinated on average presuming two or more varieties are grown close together. I was able to test this by growing a deep purple leaf variety near normal green leaf peppers and then watching for the crossed seedlings.
You also have to know a bit about your pollinators. Solitary "carpenter" species bees are the usual culprits with tomatoes and peppers. Very rarely you will see a honeybee on a blossom. There are some halictid bees (tiny bees similar to sweat bees) that commonly visit solanums in South America.
If you want to be 99% sure your open area (field grown) seeds are true to the original plant (if the plant is true to begin with), then 1 mile (yes one mile) is the standard distance between varieties.
As for crossing in your back yard or acre lot, see link below. Some species cross more prolifically than others. Of course it' a crap shoot with regard to odds of cross pollination occurring in plants in close proximity because peppers are prolific self pollinators.
Here is a link that might be useful: Cross Pollination
Although there is one sure fire method I can think of to making sure your seeds are pure. Pollinate it yourself. To my knowledge, once pollinated thats it, its done, thats the genetic payload they get and no further amount of cross-pollinating will make a lick of difference.
So, just take a soft bristle paintbrush and pollinate it yourself. Put a little ribbing around the base of the ones you do so you know those are your pure ones, and you should be good to go.
thanks for the tips guys.... I think the "polinate it myself" method is going to be the best in my situation. While I do have several acres, I don't have the land to seperate 34 species of peppers by 500ft (or more). So I'll pick up a small soft paintbrush, and atleast for the seeds I intend to save, I'll polinate the flowers my self.
I think it might be fun to grow some of the weird hybrids I might end up with as well.... But I want that to be a small portion of my garden.
one other thing, not sure if you know this or not (not related to cross pollination, but seed collecting) but they say you should collect seeds from the first peppers. Not only does the earlier fruit have a higher percentage of viable seeds, but (this is something I did not know) they are genetically predisposed to produce earlier fruit. If you collect fruit from the end of the season, they will be more predisposed to later fruiting and you will end up pushing your fruiting farther and farther out.
I would imagine those earliest peppers have a better chance of being pure also. Especially if they are before your other varieties have begun to bloom.
I have been saying for years now I wanted to try and cross pollinate a standard bell pepper with a bhut jolokia. I'll call it a Hell's Bell pepper and cross my fingers that it would end up looking like a regular bell but with even half the heat of the ghost.
If you succeed, I want some seeds. A softball size ghost pepper would be just fabulous.
Great idea Edymnion!
There's a few pointers in this link, just in case you need a little help.*smile*
Good luck and save me some seeds too!
You can manually pollinate a bell pepper with pollen from a ghost pepper. There are tons of articles on line regarding manual pollination.
Here is an excellent article on manual pollination with the intent to cross breed two different varieties.
Here is a link that might be useful: Fatalii's Growing Guide
You guys are freaking insane!
I would definitely be interested in that kind of seed my self haha :)
Would one want to make the bell the male or female though?
Does anyone really know what genes are inherited maternally vs paternally?
Or is it just darwins grab bag.
Not sure the answer to your question, but, C.annuum (Bell Peppers) and C.chinese (habanero, Jolokias, etc..) don't cross easily/well. The chart in the FAQ lists the combo as PF = resulting seeds are partially fertile.
Tsheets, they just need a little privacy.
And some Barry White.
I'm not sure there really is a difference in which plant you choose as the female and which the male, beyond just having the bigger, more robust plant be the female (simply to better support the pepper growth).
If anyone happens to know if its something as simple as "Female plant tends to favor size and shape, male the heat and flavor" or some such thing like that, please enlighten us.
I'm also growing some Mulato this year, big thick walled stuffing pepper with medium heat, would be kind of awesome to cross those as well. Purple bhuts or atomic mulatos anyone?
You guys are nuts! ;-)
I'm not sure about plants, my genetics knowledge is in dogs, but I do know that the X chromosome carries a lot more genetic information than the Y. How that translates to plants, I have no idea. Might contact the NMSU Chile Pepper Institute, if anyone would have that info, it'd be them.
Edymnion: "...Although there is one sure fire method I can think of to making sure your seeds are pure. Pollinate it yourself...."
I've hand pollinated many a Lagenaria female gourd bloom with an artist's brush at night by flashlight. The thought never occurred to me to do peppers that way, I suppose tomatoes could be also?
kuvaszlvr: "one other thing, not sure if you know this or not (not related to cross pollination, but seed collecting) but they say you should collect seeds from the first peppers. Not only does the earlier fruit have a higher percentage of viable seeds, but (this is something I did not know) they are genetically predisposed to produce earlier fruit. If you collect fruit from the end of the season, they will be more predisposed to later fruiting and you will end up pushing your fruiting farther and farther out."
Thanks! That's some good information to know!
Would the same apply to tomatoes also I wonder?