Cross Pollination

Bill_Missy(8b)March 23, 2013

Hello guys/gals,

I have read a lot about cross pollination and honestly I am not worried about it hate to say. I do not have the room or time to try and keep plants seperated by the distance required/netting etc.

My question here is, in this case does it or would it matter what plants are kept next to each other? I have a few milds (Bells, Cayanne etc), some hots (Jalapeno's, Habanero's types) but mostly super-hots (Butch T, Moruga Scorpions, Reapers, Naga Dorset etc)

I will be planting about 50% in the ground and the other 50% in containers.

My thinking here is if they are going to cross pollinate put the comparable heatness together as much as possible. I know I do not have to worry about it for this growing season, but I plan on saving seeds from almost all pods to dry and share next year and I want to try and not send seeds that may end up something totally different if I can (As much as possible).

Thanks in advance for any input. I will be planting 100 or so plants next weekend....


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The best thing to minimize crossing would be to isolate species as much as possible. In other words, alternate c.chinese, c.annuum, c.baccatum, etc.. So, from that perspective, lumping all the super-hots together would be the most likely to cross.

But, by just having a plant or two between probably isn't going to matter much. Either you really care about pure seeds and isolate, or you take your chances.

Anything I get in gifts / trades I assume is a roll of the dice and I may or may not get what I expected. Also, even though it may look/smell/taste like what I expect, there could be traits from crossing that are buried in there that I haven't picked up on.

So, to make a short story long..... :-) If you don't have the time / resources / ambition to really isolate them, then don't worry about it, just mark them as Open Pollinated.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 11:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Since peppers do a lot of self-pollination (don't they know they will go blind doing that?), would bagging an unopened flower in a small cloth bag work? Then you know which pod to save for seed too.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 2:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Tsheets, makes since to me and this is what I will do, Take my chances and when trading seeds just mark as OP.

Sunnibel, Wouldn't the pollin still come through a "screened bag" even the slightest screen I think it would but heck, I am a rookie so have no idea.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 10:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I saw this recommended on the Veggie forum, but it was for a broccoli plant. However, peppers aren't wind pollinated, so no, I don't believe you would have pollen blowing in. It would stop any busy bees from carrying sticky pollen from other plants to the bagged one. I just don't know if anyone here has used the method for peppers and if there is some drawback I'm not aware of.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

billmissy: Bagging your peppers will not be 100% but very close. Just open pollination is probably over 90% even with plants close together. By far, they mostly self pollinate. The remainder are mostly pollinated by insects which bagging will prevent and only a very small percentage, probably in the neighborhood of 1% get crossed by wind and the bag will even "help" prevent that.
You only have to bag a branch of the plant you want to isolate. Simply bag a branch down below where it has several buds forming. Then after several pods actually set, you can remove the bag and tie a string around the stem of all the pods that have set inside the bag. When you harvest, you will know the ones with strings are pure.

Just make sure the branch you bag has plenty of room to grow so it doesn't get cramped in the bag.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bill i tend to encourage my cross pollination in my plants to a degree. I too grow the hotter style chiles in my garden so i try to have them pollinate with my mild peppers like banana peppers. i find that the habenaro and banana pepper blend create an incredable sweet pepper to eat whole with a meal with just enough kick to acsent the meal rather than overpower it with spice. Now i only do this to have peppers i can eat whole with a meal usually 2-3 without burning my mouth for the next 45 minutes after. Have had fun bringing the heat up in mild peppers to enjoy flavor over spice compared to the insanely meal stopping big hitting chiles.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 4:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The majority of pepper flowers are self-fertilized before they're even fully open. You'll get occasional cross-pollinization, but we're talking maybe 5% of flowers at most.

If you want to bag some flowers, go ahead, it'll assure that you get no cross pollinization. Its not a huge worry either way though.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 4:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bill, i use row cover fabric. Its cheap, and i just made bags out of it where i can just slip them over the whole plant. I tried to make it as easy as possible, cause i grow alot of varietys. I wouldn't worry too much if i was you. Crosses are a low % and can sometimes be a nice suprise like the bhut/ scorpion cross i ended up with last year. The only reason i mess with covering some is cause i'm crazy and tend to over do things. John

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 6:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the advice guys.

I will try to isolate some of the peppers, but not all. I like the idea of getting some "unknowns" put I would like to keep some pure for future use/trade.

John, since I am now hooked I have become crazy as well... :) I got a couple of the Douglah's you sent the second time to germinate THANKS!!


    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 7:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm glad to hear that Bill, i can't understand why your having trouble. I had great results with the same seed. Anyway, glad to hear you got some to come up. John

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 9:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Am I understanding this correctly....

When you see flower buds start to develope and before they open, use the netting on a stem of peppers you want to isolate and once the pod starts to develop you can take the netting off? Cross polination only occurs in the flower stage but once pods start there is no longer a chance of cross pollination.



    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 7:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Yes, once the flowers are fertilized, the die is cast. But you might still want to mark the cluster in some way, so you know which ones are which later, it takes a long time to go from flower to ripe pod. Cheers!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 9:57PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
will my pepper seeds sprout?
I am planning to start to grow some pepper plants and...
Labeling seed germination trays
Just finally getting around to seeding this weekend....
Help for GardenWeb Users
Pepper plant wilting
Not sure what's going on here. This plant nearly died...
My Carolina Reapers and Naga Viper need help!
As you can see from the pictures above each of the...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™