Can Hot Peppers cross pollinate Sweet Peppers?

nokiMay 21, 2006

Can Hot Peppers cross pollinate Sweet Peppers, and make them hot, if planted in the same garden? Easily?

My grandfather and usually ignorant father say this can happen easily. I think they probably just got confused about what they planted where one time.

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john47_johnf(Maine z4/5)

They can cross but the fruit of the current plant will not be affected only the seeds.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 8:39PM
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noki

Thanks... I guess it was a stupid question but I couldn't find any confirming info. I thought that they were confused but they won't listen to me, they still say that you can't plant hot peppers and sweet peppers in the same garden.

My father also thinks there three main types of peppers... green, red, and yellow (the unripe "green" stage like a Banana Pepper before it turns) ... argh!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 10:33PM
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organic_nut

hot peppers definitely cross with bell peppers. the peppers are not affected by the cross. but now you take the seeds and grow them out and you will get hot bell peppers. or some kind of cross.

I remember eating some fresh bell peppers and hit a hot spot. wow. the farmer laughed. he said you get them sometimes. haha. I was living on an organic farm at the time. I think that was the first time I really ate hot peppers and I liked them. I think I ate 4 of them one after the other. searching for the hot spots. it was fun. I wanted more. I still do and that was about 40 years ago. haha.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 1:43AM
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John__ShowMe__USA(5/6)

There is a nice chart in the FAQ that is helpful. Say your sweet peppers are all annuums and go from there.

Here is a link that might be useful: FAQ

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 2:25AM
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opqdan(z5 NE OH)

This is probably the most common vegetable myth that I come across. I think it is humorous because people pass it one without even really thinking about it. All one would have to do is grow sweet peppers, and then grow both sweet and hot. Noticing no difference between the sometimes hotness of the sweets, they would come to the obvious conclusion that it does not matter.

Now, if the seeds were grown out, anything could happen.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 10:03AM
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barrie2m_

If the cross occurs the seeds of the fruit as well as the placental tissue around the seeds will be hot the year that the cross occurs. The same is going to be the case when a mildly hot crosses with a compatable strongly hot type. The reason I mention the later is because more people tend to clean out the seeds prior to consuming a sweet pepper but tend to bite into hot peppers, eating seeds along with the flesh.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 3:30PM
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opqdan(z5 NE OH)

Seeds produce no capsaicinoids (the stuff that make peppers hot). The only reason that they are hot is due to their close proximity to the placenta, they absorb some of the capsaicin. Capsaicin is produced in the placental tissue, usually concentrated where the ribs meet the wall. When people remove the seeds, they also tend to remove this material which leads to the false presumption that the seeds are the cause of the heat.

The placental tissue only contains maternal tissue. The same as the pepper walls, etc.

The reason people clean out the seeds is that
1) they are bitter
2) they are not fun to chew
3) they are not fun to look at

Sweet peppers also tend to be easier to clean that hot peppers, due to the size (sweet tend to be larger) and the danger of handling them. They tend to have more pronounced placental tissue (once again due to fruit size). This tissue is rubbery when consumed and contains no taste benefits. In hot peppers, it is beneficial to keep it as that is where the capsacinoids are produced.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 4:54PM
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John__ShowMe__USA(5/6)

> If the cross occurs the seeds of the fruit as well as the placental tissue around the seeds will be hot the year that the cross occurs.

I might not be interpreting your statement correctly... but, this is contrary to what I have thought up to this point.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 5:34PM
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john47_johnf(Maine z4/5)

I agree with jt

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 6:08PM
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wayright

I dont know about the scientific part, but from personal expierience..I save all my seeds, and only about maybe 1 percent cross...Ive made purple cayennes etc... but it is a VERY small percent that crosses.and you can just cull those plants!
---Kevin

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 9:37PM
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pkapeckopickldpepprz(z9 a/b FL)

Kevin, so do all the seeds of that Purple Cayenne remain true to their parent or do stranger things happen the next generation?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 1:29AM
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organic_nut

the native Mexican traditionally allow their peppers to cross by our definition. but to them they are all the same. maybe we are too fussy in our definition of variety sometimes.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 9:35AM
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John__ShowMe__USA(5/6)

> ...but to them they are all the same.

Seems rather unlikely to me. I think historically capsicums have been carefully selected and cultivated for individual characteristics.

And to me maintaining a pure line of say 'True Jamaican Scotch Bonnets' is important. Lots of fun crossing with something else to see what happens, but keep at least some of the parent line pure by isolating.

JMO

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 10:59AM
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svalli(4)

I have a theory where the beliefs of hot peppers turning sweet ones hot has started. People must have had crossed or mislabeled seeds or plants and thought that the too short distance between hots and sweets, caused the plants to grow something else than planned.

Last year I purchased Giant Aconcagua seeds and started six plants. Three of the plants grew really hot large cherry type peppers. I had no cherry pepper seeds, so I can be sure that I did not mix my plants. The seeds must have been mixed where they were packed or the seed saver's Aconcagua had crossed with a hot pepper. I had hot peppers growing in the same bed, so someone could without proper knowledge to thought that the Aconcagua plants were crossed by the hot ones during that growing season.

Now I am growing the large cherry peppers from the saved seeds. It will be interesting to see, if the second generation will look the same.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 12:41PM
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wayright

Pkapeck,
Im not sure really,grew some saved cayyenne one year and one came up and had purple peppers. I never tryed to grow it again,and it didnt taste good"neither did the firecracker"That I think crossed it!
I also agree with john about a "pure line"I rotate somewhat the peppers I grow and order a few new seeds every year ,hopefully they are true!
---Kevin

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 9:39PM
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