Ever grown seeds from grocery store bought peppers?

HighlanderNorthApril 7, 2012

I was in the local grocery store about a week ago, when I noticed they had Poblano peppers for sale.

Now I'd grown 2 Poblanos last year, as small plants bought from Lowes, but they were killed by aphids over winter(see my last thread about aphids/insects on plants at odd times).

But I did get a lot of peppers off of those 2 plants during the growing season, but they were typically only 3/4" diameter, and 2.5 - 3" long.

But the Poblanos I saw in the grocery store last week were friggin' HUGE! Some were as wide in diameter as a bell pepper(3"-3.5"), and many were 6-7" long! I picked out 1 that was about 2.5" diameter and 5" long, the took it home, pulled out the seeds, and placed them in one of my typical sprout bags. That means I folded over 2 paper towels in quarters, moistened them, placed the seeds on top, then placed another folded paper towel over them, moistened it, and sealed it inside a zip lock baggy with an air pocket inside, and placed it in my bedroom on shaded shelf.

I checked them after 5 days, but they are yet only swelling up but with no germination yet. They may not germinate for all I know, as I have never tried it with a store bought pepper, and as far as I know, those peppers couldve been processed somehow after being picked in El Salvador, Chile or wherever, leaving the seeds not viable.

What should I expect if they do grow? I'd assume they were all planted together in a huge field with poblanos all of the same variety, so they shouldnt end up as some strange hybrid I wouldnt think.

Are MOST Poblanos usually as large as the ones I described?

Have you tried growing seeds from store bought peppers?

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I did it once a few years ago with Serrano's and sweet pointed peppers and it worked really well with loads of delicious peppers. I'm doing it again this year with scotch bonnets and the seedlings seem healthy

Serrano from store bought pepper

Sweet pepper from store bought pepper

Scotch Bonnet from store bought pepper (this year)

The Serrano pods seemed a slightly different shape to the parent pod and the sweet pointed peppers were considerably smaller but I don't know whether this was due to hybridisation or growing conditions (I live in the UK and its pretty cold here plus the growing season isn't that long).

Also I tried growing seeds from green jalapenos with no success at all. Seems they weren't ripe enough.

Both were delicious and produced plenty of pods so I would definitely recommend giving it a try if you have space :D

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 11:53AM
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Yes, I am currently growing a Red Hab I picked up from Giant Foods (they were from Mexico), the pod shape looked so cool for a Hab I figured I would save the seeds and grow for 2012 season. Also I am growing yellow bell peppers from the store for my Wife.

Pic of the pod

This is what it looks like now

I say try and if they are good seeds they will grow.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 11:57AM
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esox07 (4b)

I did it just this year to see if they would germinate. I bought an Orange Bell Pepper at the local Walmart grocery store. I harvested the seeds, dried them and planted several. I think they all came up within about 6 or 7 days. I saved one of the seedlings and it is by far the biggest pepper plant that I have growing and it was planted long after my other hots.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 12:04PM
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I've also done it (with Thai hot peppers) and found the seeds germinated quickly with near 100% germination. I did it a bit differently than the original poster -- I selected pods that were fully ripe to over-ripe, allowed them to air-dry until they were completely dried out, then cracked open the pods and planted the seeds. Probably difficult to air-dry a polblano though?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 12:47PM
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I've experimented with harvesting seeds. Slicing the pepper in 1/2 and let it air dry, cutting a pepper open and taking out the seeds and let them dry on a paper towel, and with the bell pepper from the store plucked the seeds and about 30 min later put into ziplock bag with wet paper towel. All the methods used all had good germination rates.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 1:09PM
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Yeah, don555, I shouldve thought about allowing them to sit and ripen more or to dry them out. I had also opened up a Poblano pepper that had fallen off one of my recently deceased Poblano plants that I had overwintered, and tried sprouting them. Almost every seed sprouted, but they were definitely over ripe, as they had grown on that plant last season.

So I dont know what to expect from these new poblano seeds I removed from the store bought poblano, because they were green, ripe peppers and I scraped the seeds out of the pepper, and put them right into the sprouter bag.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 1:14PM
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Fully ripe pablanos are tending toward brown or redish brown. Like bell peppers, green isn`t fully ripe. Bells will turn red, yellow, orange or even other colors. My pabs I`ve grown have been just a shade smaller than a good sized bell pepper but 2 lobed or slightly pointed. Even if they are hybrids, and they most likely are, you should still be able to grow some nice peppers from saved seed. Think of dehybridizing. It`s done quite often. Next generation will be a little more stable and so on. Save seed this year from the better looking ones you like.
Just my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 2:44PM
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Correct me if I am wrong, but Pablano's are red when ripe and the seeds would have to be collected then, though maybe if they are green getting ready to start turning some of the seeds may be viable?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 2:54PM
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You can occasionally (not rare) find viable seed in unripe pods. The number of them is low, though.

Some seeds may not contain enough germplasm and create weak seedlings. If the pod is very immature there may be no viable seeds inside.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 5:18PM
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To habjolokia: I've gotten conflicting info about this, but on the tag with my Poblano plants last year, it said they are called Poblanos when green, but they are called Anchos when they turn red. So they will turn red, and I germinated some seeds from an older red one a month ago.

But then I read that they are called Poblanos either green or red, and called Anchos when dried.....Who knows?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 8:37PM
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As I understand it, Red dried = Ancho, not dried and either red or green (but usually green) = Poblano.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 10:16PM
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2 years ago, we got a veggie tray that had some amazing mini sweet peppers on it. Everybody raved about them. I saved some seeds and grew out 4 plants. The seed was true and the peppers grew out just like the ones on the tray.
I now grow them every year. They're perfect for snacking. Thick walled- small, almost no seeds, super sweet, and the plants are loaded with pods.
If you find something you really like from the grocery store or market, it's worth giving a shot!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 11:14PM
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I too love the small mini sweet peppers that you get at the grocery store. Usually they are packaged in a clear plastic tray or container. I looked and looked but couldn't find a seed co description that described them. Sooooo I saved what few seeds I could get from them over the course of last winter. I have 9 seedlings growing up and I'll see how they do. I tried raising some "Hatch" from the store and some "caribe" but neither of those came up. I could never find a strain listed as a caribe either. Anyway, I labeled my mini sweets as "Wally World mini sweets". I get a chuckle every time I see them as I have a sister who works for Walmart and I think of her. So yes the saving of store pepper's seeds can grow, I'll see how true they develop to the original pepper later on.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 1:03PM
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On a lark last year I pulled a seed out of an Orange Hab and stuck it in some starter. Gave the plant to my brother after it had hardened off and he brought back several dozen extra pods that he couldn't eat.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 5:50PM
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I just germinated some Thai birds eye chili seeds, which took 3 days. Didn't dry the seeds out, but started them fresh. I just popped them into soil to sprout today. Hopefully my family won't have to buy birds eye chili anymore in the near future!=D (Cause it's one of the chilies we eat on a regular basis)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 1:40AM
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To don555: I couldnt even get the poblanos to air dry in a dehydrator for 8 hours! They were still moist.

But also, I just looked at the new Poblanos seeds I got from the grocery store, and at least 1/2 are germinating in my sprout bag now. Its taken about 2 weeks or so, but it worked even though they were green peppers, and not air dried or allowed to sit for a while. I pulled the seeds on day 1 that they came from the store.

Now I will plant them into little market packs of 6 cells into peat moss.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 10:10PM
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Congratulations HighlanderNorth!=D

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 11:21PM
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Has anyone tried growing the long pointed red sweet peppers from the store? I buy them from Costco and would like to grow them if possible.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 12:18AM
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I am growing Hot Portugals right now from seed I saved from the fall. First time growing peppers.

I kind of stumbled into growing peppers. I have been saving seeds from different things - growing a cherry tree out of seeds, apple tree, some pineapples from rooting the tops, etc. I help my dad make some traditional hot sauce from where we come from, and decided to try and save some of these seeds.

I threw a bunch (I think around 100 or so) seeds into a ziploc bag and threw them into the refrigerator. I didn't put a damp paper towel or anything. I actually totally forgot about them. When I went to plant some apple seeds, I saw the pepper seeds, and decided to plant them. I figured that the germination rates would be very low (didn't do any research at all). I threw about 100 seeds into two clear plastic cups, and just HOPING for 1 plant. I don't use a heating pad, but rather just put them on top of the refrigerator.

Well, I grew a chia-pet. Seems like it was nearly 100% germination rates! I carefully separated them into individual containers, gave the rest to my friend, and away I go!!

We are still getting frost (and occasional snow!) here, and some of my plants have 7 and 8 leaves on them. So far, so good. I will be hardening them prior to putting them outside. Will be having around 30 or so plants (I have a really big garden here) so hopefully I will get a good crop. I have heard that some people grow them in my city (Calgary) and they get good results, so I am hopeful :)

I just did the same with some Thai peppers, and will be going to the supermarket and trying jalapenos and habaneros as well. Will probably plant some outside if I manage to sprout some early enough, but for the most part they will go into containers.

Growing them from the grocery store (farmers market, actually) is how I got started in the peppers, and now I am pretty hooked! Next year (if I manage to do well) I will be ordering some different seeds for some 'exotics' that I am eager to try, but I will see how I do with the Thai peppers first (at least 1 container, to practice over-wintering, etc). Looking at indoor hydroponics for the window now, LED lights, etc. :)

Thanks for everyone's activity in this forum - I have never posted before, but I sure have been reading!

Also... sorry for the long post :) Hope I didn't give anyone a headache!!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 1:06AM
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I've got a couple of sweet pepper sprouts from a grocery store pepper going right now. Not sure what they are, the bag is just labeled as "mini Sweet peppers" (sic) from Pero Family Farms. Sweet peppers about as long as your finger, shaped like a poblano. Pods in the package are red, yellow, and orange.

Planted out some of the yellow pod seeds, they sprouted real quick. No clue if these things are hybrids or what, but they'll be my fun peppers for the year.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 10:50AM
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uncle_t(Z6 Ontario CAN)

For the past three seasons all my hot ones initially came from store-bought produce: Asian Long Hot(finger), Jalapeno and and some sort of Italian "hot 'n sweet" cherry type (great for sauce). Yields and taste have been great, without any disease problems.

I've never had a problem with germination, but I "cheat" and soak the seeds in warm rooting hormone water for 12 hours. Works for me.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 1:40AM
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I harvested some seeds from a particularly delicious orange habanero last summer from an organic farmstand. So far the seeds have almost all sprouted and I look forward to enjoying some tasty pods in a couple of months.
In a related story, I am a special ed teacher, and my class is doing a recycled container planting project. We are growing beans, peas and flowers. My assistant brought in a bag of Goya soup mix beans and we picked out some good looking pintos. We planted them and I'm glad to say they are our biggest and most productive plants. It never hurts to experiment!

Here is a link that might be useful: Check out PEPPERMEISTER for chile recipes, tips and gardening info.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:33PM
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esox07 (4b)

Yep, I just pulled seeds out of some mini bell type sweet peppers. I got some from each of the yellow, red, and orange ones. I will grow them next year but I do also have an Orange Bell that I started a while back with seed from a store bought pepper. I hope I have enough time to get some fruit off it. It actually is out growing my other mild and hot peppers so I am hopeful.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 10:25PM
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