Habanero germinating am I doing something wrong

flipback23(9 SF Bay)March 12, 2014

Hey All,
So I don't know if I'm having bad luck or what but for some reason any habanero seeds I sow refuse to germinate for me. And I mean any. Regardless if I bought them from the store or got from the seed swap. Every other pepper on the other hand had germinated no problem for me. Everything from sweets to reapers have germinated fine and with in 7 days.

I'm using a heat mat with 72 cell starter kit, with MG seed starting mix. But I cant get any hab's to germinate. Some have been in the cells for 2+ weeks. I dont get it. I assume conditions are right since everything else germinated fine and are happily growing and have even been potted up.

Should I try something different.

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Could be older seed. Older seeds tend to take longer. Also, the smaller the seed, the less depth needed. Do you have habaneros at the grocery store? Those would probably pop up right away. Here's something you may try -- put some sandpaper in a pill bottle, throw seeds in and give a good shaking for about 30 seconds. Then, give a soak in warm water for 12-24 hours. Then sow.
Are they burpee or ferry morse seeds? I had very low germ rates with theirs.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 3:33PM
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flipback23(9 SF Bay)

They aren't burpee or ferry they are renes garden or something got them from ace hardware. I have two packs purchased from the store in January which is when I sowed my first batch of seeds with no results, and two types from the seed exchange that I sowed last month along with the store bought again with no results. I will try the sand paper and soak tonight. Then sow a new batch tomorrow. Then we will see what happens. Maybe the gardening gods are telling me I'm growing to much this year lol.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 3:46PM
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It seems like you are doing things right, I wouldn't give up hope yet. I find that habs can be slow to germinate.

My average germ time for habaneros is 13 days, which is 4 days longer than the average for all my other hot peppers combined (which includes scorpians, 7-pots, scotch bonnets etc).

I planted 19 habanero seeds this year, I managed to get 13 to germinate. The first hab sprouted after 8 days, the last one came up after 25 days and I'm still waiting to see if any more pop up.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 3:47PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

Seeds *should* germinate just fine in your starter cells. Starting them with the paper towel method will help you diagnose the problem. I have found that there are two classes of problems at that age - 1) no germinate, 2) weak seedling, where the seed pops but the seeding dies before it can break the surface.

I start my seeds by soaking, then moving to a paper towel in a ziploc baggie. It's easier to control the temp in a smaller venue, and you can check on them every hour if you have OCD. I put baggies in a casserole dish with a mercury thermometer and cover with a small towel, then find somewhere warm. (E.g. If you have a gas oven the pilot light or, if you don't have one, the oven lamps, keep the innards pretty warm.)


    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 1:07PM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

Habaneros are slow starters in my experience. I don't remember how long they took last year, but I wouldn't worry much at two weeks. I'd give them just a little more time. If they don't pop up soon, like within another week, then I'd be more concerned. Of course you courld always plant some extra seeds to try again right now. In a worst case scenario you might end up with extra plants, which is not a bad thing from my perspective!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 10:48AM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

I guess I should add something to my earlier reply: a lot of sources say that habaneros can take up to 5 weeks to germinate. I don't think I've ever had them take that long personally, but it's a possibility. But the bottom line for the original poster is that you are just reaching the point where germination is possible. So don't worry yet. :)

Habaneros are definitely slow starters. But the good news is that once they get going, they get going fast, and they are prolific producers. So I find them very well worthwhile. :)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 11:32PM
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judo_and_peppers(Tampa FL)

I planted about 8 types of hab this year. only 4 types have sprouted (of which all but 2 have died of some unknown cause), but not one sprouted before the 2 week mark.

I shall try again. it's funny, the habs are pretty much the mildest thing I'm growing this year, and they're the ones that refuse to sprout.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 10:59AM
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Yeah, I'm having a tough time as well with the habs. I started them two weeks after the superhots but not one germinated yet. I scattered the rest over damp papertowels to test the seed. I will give them two more weeks till I start my other crops and if no germination by then I'll toss them. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Peace, Chad

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 8:42AM
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Patience is a virtue in chile growing.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 9:49AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I am growing a few habs. They are 12 weeks old.
I look at my notes:
----- Sowed 12/4 >>>> germinated 12/10 (that is in 6 days)

And the thing is , I got the seeds from store bought habs.

This tells me, PROBABLY freshness of seeds is an important factor.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 11:50AM
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HotHabaneroLady(7a Central MD)

That has got to be the fastest habanero germination I've ever heard of! But: moistening seeds before planting can often speed germination. And unless you dry them first, the seeds will likely be damp already when taken from a pepper. Seeds from a packet, on the other hand, are going to be dry. So this could point to either freshness or moisture as important factors.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 12:07PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I just quoted from my notes.
I save the seeds from store bought, dried them on the counter, then put them in zip bag and kept them in the frig.
I did that also with SHISHITO. It was sown on 11/10 >>> germinated on 11/17.
Both of the above were fresh peppers. I tried to germinate seeds from dry pequin pods, NO LUCK. I gave up after 3 weeks.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 12:27PM
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flipback23(9 SF Bay)

So I finally had got some sprouting action. The batch I started 3 week ago finally came up. I Saw the first on Saturday a Mustard hab, and 2 orange tree habs yesterday. Man that took a long time to happen. I was going to toss them out to but waited as other suggested. Today was going to be d-day for them had I not seen anything by the time I got off work today. My store bought seeds still haven't popped up yet though. I will give them til Friday then I'm going to start a new batch with previous suggestions on helping to speed up the process. Patience was a virtue with these guys.
Thanks All

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 11:18AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I suspect that your seeds are not getting the heat.
Lets say that the top of mat is 85F. Then you have the tray, then the cell's plastic. Then you have 2 inches of starter mix. Too much cushion. NOW you get to the seeds. Probably it would be around 70, depending on the ambient temperature. If your setup is in a cold garage, it can be even worse. So you have to see what the temperature is where the seeds are.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 4:33PM
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