Hot Pepper Seed Germination Times

sunnibel7 Md 7(7)February 21, 2010

Hello, I'm here visiting from my usual haunt over at Veggie Gardening! I have some hot pepper seeds (Thai Bird's Eye, I believe)that I am waiting to see germinate. And I know that it can take a long time for them to germinate, as well as for a lot the other hot guys. But it got me wondering, has anyone ever put together a table or list of germination times for various hot pepper cultivars? I've been sifting through a lot of postings, but haven't seen one... yet. Could be that I haven't entered the magic search term to bring me to it if one does exist.

Cheers!

Sunni

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chinamon

i think there isnt a list for fixed germination times simply because germination times can vary greatly within the same cultivar and is also dependant on germination method.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 7:58PM
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smokemaster_2007

I've found that most pepper seeds germinate in about 10 days on a heat mat (at 85-87degrees F) in general.
Older seeds take longer.
Every once in a while I get sprouts that came up a long time after but most seeds I've sprouted came up within 2 weeks.
If your soil is at room temp.they take longer,sometimes a lot longer.
The longer a seed sits in wet soil without sprouting the more chance it'll rot or get eaten by something in the soil.
I use soiless mix for my sprouting of seeds.
Mostly Peat and fine perlite with a couple balls of Osmacote tossed in the middle of the cell when I fill it and sow the seeds.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 11:31PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

According to a general chart that I have, hot peppers will geminate best at soil temperature from 68F to 77F, at rates of 70% to 96%.
At temperatures 60F and under practically nothing will germinate.

Egg plants are even more heat lovers than peppers.
Nothing will practically germinate at 68F and under.
86F is optimum. even then only 53% will germinate.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 9:00AM
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sprouts_honor(5, southern shore of Erie)

Do any of you drop the temperature at night? Maybe it's my imagination, but it seems when I turn the heating pad to low over night to mimic a day/night cycle, seeds germinate more quickly.
Jennifer

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 12:04PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I've got my little seeds at about 80 degrees and it's been 8 days now... but I'm surprised no one has ever tried to put together a chart for hot peppers. I guess while I was looking I got the impression that people have been doing these guys for a while have a genereal idea of which cultivar they expect to germinate when-ish. I swear I saw things like "my ghosts always take a week longer than my Bhuts." or somesuch... maybe I was just tired. It would be neat if everyone here pooled their information and we could make our own chart! Including the cultivating conditions in the descriptions, of course.

Cheers!

Sunni

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 1:36PM
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smokemaster_2007

A chart wouldn't do much good.
Seeds have too many different traits from even plant to plant.
How the seeds were stored , parent plants genes etc. are different than another ones even from the same variety.

For instance I have a couple Turkish Cayenne seeds from 2 different sources that one sprouted a root in 2 days while the other took a week to pop out a root.
Both were/are in the same 12 cell seed starter on the same heat mat in the same soil mix planted on the same day.
Also I planted a couple of each sources seeds and one from 1 source alaways came up in a couple days where the other always came up much later.
For peppers most sprout within in about 10 days.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 5:22PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Hmm, it seems a little confusing that you say that the pepper seeds are too unpredictable to create a chart of average germination times, but tell me that most will sprout within 10 days. :)

I was under the impression that certain varieties did habitually take longer to sprout than others. I understand that no two seeds can be predicted to sprout at the same time, whether you're talking peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, or cardoons. But, for example, last year I had two different cultivars of tomatoes and the first seed of type A came up a full 5 days before the first seed of type B, but the other seeds of A were still germinating then as well, whereas all the B seeds were about 5 days later. So, on average B took 5 more days to germinate than A. And the grower mentioned that A was a "quick germinater", so I was expecting something of the sort. It was helpful.

So earlier I was thinking if the HP growers here pooled their information, maybe there would be enough different data points to create some statistically meaningful analysis. Even if they only have 1 or 2 data points to contribute per each variety. And yes, it could all turn out to equal "most cultivars take about 10 days." But I can't really get out in my garden yet, and this gives me something I like to think about! Thanks for the info. you have given me!

Sunni

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 12:05PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

Well, the charts are just general guide lines. This is not an exact science like algebra.
Of course there can be variations from cultivat to cultivar and condition of the seeds. A fresh, well kept seed will germinate much easier than some old and dried out seed. I will use 85F as a guideline. Right now I am germinating various seeds under shoplight in my bedroom. The temperature is around 70F. But I have managed to germinated few eggplants, few peppers and lots of tomatoes.
It just takes longer and bad seeds will not have a chance.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 7:43PM
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smokemaster_2007

What's so confusing?

In general most peppers germinate at 85-87 degrees in 10 days.(Some stuff says Bhuts like 90+ dgrees but most seeds die at about 110 give or take.)
I have no idea what other plant seeds sprout at,I only grow non Bell Peppers.
Depending on uncontrollable stuff they might come up earlier or latter.
I get ALL varieties except wild stuff to sprout mostly within 10 days,doesn't matter if it's a Chinense or a Baccatun etc.

Now if your talking about growth until maturity thats a different story all together.

Some take from 2 1/2 months to 6 months to bud and ripen pods.

I also don't see what difference it makes to know within a day or two why it would matter if a seed comes up in 10 days , 11 days or 7 days for that matter.

It could have been a hair deeper or whatever in the soil or grew more root before popping up.

It's like watching Paint dry-most of the time it dries in the time it says on the can,but every once in a while it dries a lot faster or much slower...Just because it felt like it. :)

Thats why seed packs only say how long it takes to put out pods AFTER it's in the ground.

If seed sprouting was exact all the time it would be on the pack too ,you would get your chart...

As it is you'll only get generalities,ball park figures.
Too many variables to even get more than a ballpark figure for seed germination.

Which for my growing conditions,soil mix etc. is 10 days average for most everything.

Thats why they tell you in general to sprout your seeds from anywhere from 3-6 weeks before planting them in your garden.
Most all seeds that don't pop in 14 days get dug up and they are usualy rotten or were deeper than I thaught and had sprouted but hadn't cleared the soil yet.

I might not be an expert but I do grow a few pepper plants each year(400+ varieties last season.Going to cut down this season,Honest I will...LOL).
I've got going on 3000 varieties and strains of pepper seeds and I just gotta grow them all....Always room for another pot...Looks good over there doesn't it? LOL

No such thing as too many peppers.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 1:39AM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

Amen, smokemaster

This is not an exact science and there variables.
As far as pecentage germination, I don't care much because I usually sow more than twice as many as I need. On the temperature, I prefer to grow on cooler end, even if it takes longer to germinate and growth is slower. This way seedlings will not get leggy fast. My seedlings are doing fine at around 73F., no legging, no mold, but slow and steady growth. I can always push them if I wanted to. I have time till mid April(or later) to transplant them, thet is more than 45 days. Even 30 days is pretty good head start to me. Last year my direct sowed eggplants germinated lik in lates June and I still managed to get decent crop.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 7:31PM
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megachili(7a)

Well, I'm not an experienced pepper grower...but on the other hand I'm a fanatical record-keeper, bordering on compulsive. I logged and charted every thing I planted last year, from seed-planting to final pod counts in October. This included ~ 70 pepper seeds.

The upshot of it is: germination times vary a little; on a chart, you'd get a bell curve, with the top of the bell occurring from 7-11 days. A very few will pop earlier, in the 5-6 day range. And a few will come later, betwen 12-16 days. Chinenses took longer - 12 to 23 days, with the majority around 17-18 days.

I raised some on heat mats, and some at room temperature. On heat mats, I had one mat at 70 degrees, the other at 80. Conclusion: germination occurs much faster, and in the 85-90 % range, on a heat mat at 80 degrees. Germination times and rates both go down when the mat is on 70 degrees, and then down from there again when germinated at room temperature, which is not a very good idea.

Individual cultivars, and in fact individual seeds within cultivars, vary in germination times and rates. Nature is a bit variable and unpredictable. I don't think you will get a more exact figure than 1-2 weeks for non-Chinenses and 2-3 weeks for Chinenses.

I did have one cultivar, Numex Twilight, which I planted 8 of. One came up in 20 day; the other 7 took over a month! They eventually all grew up. However, only one survived to produce pods.

I also had one cultivar, Mariachi (a Santa Fe type), that were all sprouting within 4-5 days. They then grew like mad. Very satisfying.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 10:17PM
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bunnyman(Thumb of MI)

As I posted on another thread my red savinas took a whole month. Jalpenos and a habenera only took 2 weeks. I don't check daily so no exact time.

Heat is certainly going to affect things. To a point more heat will allow quicker chemical reactions so the cells grow quicker.

Then I see some here don't say what they mean by germination. Germination is when the seed case cracks in my book. During germination starch inside the seed case is converted to sugar for the plant to eat. Beer brewers "malt" the barley to get more alcohol from the grain... which mean you allow it to do the starch conversion and then bake it to kill the seed so it can't use up the sugar. Sprouting is when the young plant bursts out of the soil (IMHO). I see some here germinate on paper towels and then put them in soil. I'm lazy so I stick them in the dirt from the get go.

So I'm no rocket scientist... if others have a "correct" definition of germination have at it.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 12:11PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

"Thats why seed packs only say how long it takes to put out pods AFTER it's in the ground.

If seed sprouting was exact all the time it would be on the pack too ,you would get your chart... "

OK, so: Broccoli, Green Goliath, seedlings emerge in 10-21 days sown outdoors. Marigold, Cottage Red, seedlings emerge 8-14 days at 70 degrees. Lettuce, Simpson Black Seeded, seedlings emerge in 7-10 sown outdoors... This cultural information IS on seed packets. And further, there are charts out there too... see the link below for a single example.

Now the hot pepper seed I have was given to me, thus no cultural information. And I have read various anecdotes about 1 cultivar taking 4 days and another taking 4 weeks, and the poster said that this was typical behavior for those two varieties. I have VERY limited space and find knowing approximately what time certain things are going to happen allows me to sucessfully juggle more plants. Just because you don't need to know a particular piece of information for your sucess does not means it isn't useful for someone else.

I went elsewhere and got the information I needed from an expert in chili pepper growing who was much friendlier and understood how scientists arrive at these "ballpark" figures. By the way, Megachili, he did say that chinense did take twice as long as annum and that my seed was likely chinense and I shouldn't expect less than 20 days at about 80 degrees.

Cheers!

Sunni

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed Temperature and Germination Time

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 12:14PM
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euarto_gullible(5)

I got me a pepper seed voodoo doll. I pull the stuffing out of it with pliers, and make my seeds germinate in a week or less.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 1:16PM
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smokemaster_2007

Your chart is saying pretty much what I've been telling you about peppers.
Best germination took place in 8-13 days.Close enough to 10 days for me.
I think there temps are off a bit as far as my experiance goes.
I did say that 'for my soil etc.' what my experiance has been with Peppers.

None of my seed packs for peppers say germination times,only the time until ,maturity.
But I don't buy stuff from Gurney's etc.
They don't have the varieties I'm looking for.

As stated above,germination time is when the seed starts to grow,not pop up.
Some decide to grow more root before they pop up - could be due to my soil mix not being what that variety wanted.
But if you sow in soil you might think seeds took longer to germinate than they did because it didn't pop up yet...
If you use the coffee filter method you know when the seed germinated.

Did you read this?

'The above data was taken from a report published in the mid-1980's. Author, affiliation, and publisher are not known.'

Not necissarily a SCIENTIFIC study.
Could be something anyone published.
(Like the seed companies that say Tepins or Habaneros are the hottest peppers in the world so they can sell more seeds.They don't have Bhut Jolokia , Trinidad Scorpions or & pots.)
Could be from a seed company to show their seeds sprouted better on a heat mat they sell...

I grow my non peppers in containers and also have a very limited amount of space.

I'm sorry that you think we are being so mean to you,just trying to answer your question.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 6:50PM
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smokemaster_2007

Your chart is saying pretty much what I've been telling you about peppers.
Best germination took place in 8-13 days.Close enough to 10 days for me.
I think there temps are off a bit as far as my experiance goes.
I did say that 'for my soil etc.' what my experiance has been with Peppers.

None of my seed packs for peppers say germination times,only the time until ,maturity.
But I don't buy stuff from Gurney's etc.
They don't have the varieties I'm looking for.

As stated above,germination time is when the seed starts to grow,not pop up.
Some decide to grow more root before they pop up - could be due to my soil mix not being what that variety wanted.
But if you sow in soil you might think seeds took longer to germinate than they did because it didn't pop up yet...
If you use the coffee filter method you know when the seed germinated.

Did you read this?

'The above data was taken from a report published in the mid-1980's. Author, affiliation, and publisher are not known.'

Not necissarily a SCIENTIFIC study.
Could be something anyone published.
(Like the seed companies that say Tepins or Habaneros are the hottest peppers in the world so they can sell more seeds.They don't have Bhut Jolokia , Trinidad Scorpions or & pots.)
Could be from a seed company to show their seeds sprouted better on a heat mat they sell...

I grow my non bell peppers in containers and also have a very limited amount of space.

I'm sorry that you think we are being so mean to you,just trying to answer your question.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 7:01PM
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wordwiz

First seed to sprout in days:

Bhut Jolokia - 10
Red Savina - 7
Red Habenero - 10
Hungarian Hot Wax - 13
Purple Jalapeno - 10
Tabasco - 12
Long Cayenne - 12

Plants were placed on a 3/8 board that had a 105-watt CFL bulb under it that was on 16 hours per day. Seeds were sown in Fertilome Ultimate Potting Mix and throughly drenched before being covered with a plastic lid.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 11:10AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I'm at 100% germination.
Bhuts and Choc habs sprouted 9 - 11 days...but we'll call it 10 ;)

Thai's, Arbols, and Tobascos took 6 days or so.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 9:07PM
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