Chiltepin in Pennsylvania

redtailforester(6)May 17, 2010

I've been growing various species of hot peppers in Central Pennsylvania for many years now. This year, I'm trying my hand at chiltepin (if I can get over seed dormancy). I was wondering if anyone else in northern climates have had luck with this species and if they have any helpful hints. :)

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I raise tepins in upstate NY with success.

Helpful hint: Patience
Tepins are pretty much wild plants that don't need a lot of attention or fertilizer.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 9:37AM
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@Willard3 - How did you go about breaking the seed dormancy tendency of the tepin?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 1:45PM
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I'm right outside of Boston and have two plants that have done pretty well growing in containers. The oldest one is two years old and is exclusively indoors just because it always has been and on account of limited outdoor space. The yoounger one moves back and forth with the seasons, but it hasn't produced as much as its indoor counterpart, even though they were grown from the same seeds. Neither flowers much and hardly ever produces fruit during the colder months, but starting about april the big one really takes off and has about fifteen to twenty peppers at once when it gets going. They really are best left to themselves, and I've found cutting them back a bit during the winter to be good as well.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 6:28PM
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Peppers don't have a dormant stage for seeds.
If conditions are right they germinate.
Tepins,Pequins-bird peppers aren't any harder to germinate most of the time for me.
Some do like to get watered then almost dry out then get watered before they will germinate.
I have several wild pepper varieties outside now that didn't take any longer to pop up than the rest I put in the sprouter at the same time.
Though a couple did take their time comming up but they might have been a little deeper too.
Maybe your seeds aren't fresh or something.
I know people have problems germinating seeds from store baught dried pods.
They aren't stored to protect them for growing.
Are you using a heat mat?
I set mine between 80 and 85 degrees.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 10:26PM
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genoprizebull(6 Akron NY)

Willard where about do you live ? I live in the Akron area

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 11:11PM
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reyna1(Zone 8)

For me, seems like May humid weather is perfect for germinating - I just put my seeds in a small styrofoam cup on top of the soil and then water it and sprinkle some dirt on top. The temps of 90 in may basically have nearly everything pop up. I also put all the seeds in one cup and worry about separating afterward when they get strong enough to transplant.

So far the only ones that have not come up for me have been the wilds that I put in the cups around 04/05 I believe. I'll keep them out until mid june before I call it quits though :)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 11:57PM
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It is an urban myth that tepins are particularly hard to germinate. Chile seeds in general take a while to germinate. I live in Albany.

Make the right conditions and they will germinate.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 11:11AM
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I have a self-watering seedling starter that I got for Christmas last year. Now that it has warmed up, I have been placing the container on my front porch for the day. Normally when I get home, there is condensation all over the inside of the cover which I then distribute across the cells. I dug around a little to check on my tepin seeds, but no luck yet. Does that sound like the "right conditions" or should I be doing something different?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 5:19PM
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P.S. Do you think I steam cooked my seeds???

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 7:17PM
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You should measure the temperature in your starter. If it gets to 100-105F, you'll cook the seeds.

Don't guess the temperature, measure the temperature with a good thermometer.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 8:29AM
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Well, I had a couple serrano sprouts that are still alive and kicking. If they made it, do you think seeds buried 1/8 - 1/4" under the soil survived? Don't worry, I won't hold ya' to it. . .

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 5:57PM
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Well, my serranos finally passed out and died. I'm re-starting all my seeds...

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 12:47PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Too much heat could be the problem. You might be keeping the soil too wet. Once they have sprouted let the soil dry out some before watering.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 5:10AM
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Well, I'm pretty sure I steam cooked all the seeds in my starting flat. Either way, I started a new batch of seeds and am already seeing tap roots emerging. If I can get the chiltepins to break, I'll be happy but I have just order some plants...

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 4:45PM
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UPDATE: I now have a couple tepin seedlings. The plants I have outside are less than phenomenal... Is this normal or should I give them a shot of fertilizer?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 5:56PM
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I'm trying to grow Chiltepins for the first time. I read quite a bit about germination being difficult for these peppers. I decided to try a couple of seeds the first time since I only have a few dried pods that I received from a friend. I broke open one pod and got 13 seeds. One of them dropped on the floor and wasn't found (probably found by the dog). I put them in a wet paper towel with most of the water squeezed out and folded it. I kept it in a quart sized freezer bag in the fridge for 4 days. Afterwards I added a couple of drops of water to the surface of the paper towel then zipped the baggie shut and put it in a warm place. I just put it on top of my cable box since it was the only place I could think of that would stay warm and undisturbed.
I did what most people say to do and forgot about them for the most part. I checked them about three weeks later and found that 4 seeds had roots sticking out by 1/8 inch or more. I planted these four seeds and then left the rest to keep warm. Two days later 5 more seeds had germinated by a mm or so. I also planted these. The remaining seeds were fat and looked like they would germinate any time so I planted them too. I planted them in peat pellets. One of the seeds is dark brown in the center and is most likely bad. I had 12 spots for peat pellets on the grow tray so I planted this seed anyway, but I don't think it will grow. I'm now almost at the end of week 5 of my project and this morning I saw that one of the seedlings is about 1/4 inch above the soil.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 7:23PM
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Do not, I repeat, do not give new sprouts any fertilizer.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 9:06AM
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I just have them under a power compact flourescent light for about 12 hrs a day. I am watering sparingly. I now have 8 seedlings. How long should I wait until I give them a mild dose of fertilizer?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 6:34PM
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Do I need any fertilzer for my tepin plants? I have two tepin plants one is looking really good just in compost but the fruit have absolutely no heat but the fruit are actually bigger than my second plant. The second one have normal sized fruit and they are in a pot with some compost from a couple of years ago. They have produced about 15 or 20 tepins this season are nice and hot but, the plant is starting to wilt and the leaves are yellowing. I have only watered when the compost gets really dry. Thank you

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 10:55PM
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Try adding some garden lime. That should green it up. Just a 1/2of a hand full and work into soil. Takes a couple weeks to start greening up. If that doesn't work try a liquid fertilizer. It will work much faster.Cheap 15 30 15 miracle grow works well. Do 1/2 the recomended amount evry other week.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 3:47PM
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