When are peppers ripe enough for seed collection?

jungleexplorerNovember 11, 2011

I want to save seeds from my pepper plant to grow new plants. When are the peppers ripe enough to start collecting their seeds. Some have said that I should wait until the peppers naturally fall off the plant. Is this correct?

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nc_crn

Ideally, you want to leave them on the plant as long as possible, but once the pod has turned color fully they're ready.

Realistically, there's viable seed in older green peppers (before the color changes), it's just less of a percentage vs. ripe peppers. Once the pod fully changes color almost all the seed inside is viable.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 2:41PM
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PEPPERMEISTER1(6)

nc-crn is spot on. The riper the better, and the bigger the better. The stronger and more uniform the pepper looks, the better chance its offspring will inherit similar traits.
I recently published an article on my hot pepper blog about this very subject.

Here is a link that might be useful: Check out PEPPERMEISTER'S seed saving tips

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 4:13PM
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esox07

Hey PEPPERMEISTER1:
in your blog, you state: Don't save seeds from a hybrid since the plants won't be the same. But if you get seeds from the "farmers market" or even harvest your own, are those not possibly hybrids since they could very well have been fertilized from other strains of peppers nearby?
Bruce

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 6:02PM
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tsheets(5)

Yes, it's a crapshoot. If you don't mind the adventure of not knowing whether the pepper will grow true to the parent you harvested it from, no harm no foul.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 6:47PM
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jungleexplorer

Thanks for all the great advice. As a follow up question; after collecting them, is necessary to dry them before planting them, or can they be planted straight out of the pepper?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 8:05PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

I'm sure Peppermeister will be around to explain this better than I can, but there IS a difference between seeds from a hybrid pepper and an open pollinated one. An open pollinated seed will produce a plant just like the parent, unless it was cross pollinated. A seed from a hybrid pepper may revert to one of "grandparents", the two varieties that were crossed to create the hybrid. So even if it was not cross pollinated, you still may not end up with a pepper that is the same as the parent.

Hope this explanation makes sense : )

Bonnie

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 8:06PM
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jungleexplorer

Yes it does make sense. My plants are from probably the most pure, non-crossbred peppers in the world. I have grown them entirely indoors and they are the only plants in my house of any kind. I hand pollinated each flower, so I pretty sure they are pure bred (if that is the correct term). These are very special pepper plants and I do not want them mixing with any other types of peppers.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 8:39PM
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simsedward

What kind of peppers are they?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 6:29AM
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jungleexplorer

That is the million dollar question. I know where they come from but I don't know their name. I have a whole other thread going trying to determine the answer to this question. They come from South America. A friend of mine brought some seeds back with him last year when he went on a Peacock bass fishing trip to the Amazon. He gave me fifty seeds to try to grow. I have looked at thousands of pictures of different peppers on the web and cannot find any that even look similar to these peppers. My plants are five feet tall with leaves up to 9" long and 5" wide. I have never seen anything like these.

If I could find out what they are called then I might find out that I can buy seeds down at wal-mart and stop stressing out about trying to save seeds from my plants.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 11:13AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Post a picture.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 12:27PM
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PEPPERMEISTER1(6)

For the record, you can plant seeds from hybrid peppers but, as highalttransplant stated: A seed from a hybrid pepper may revert to one of "grandparents".
Open-pollination is always a concern but I try to take proper precaustions to avoid that from taking place.
On my blog, I always discourage the saving of hybrid seeds because I try to steer people towards the highest odds for success. All this being said, I will be saving seeds from my Kung Pao Hybrid year and I will report the results next season. It's always worth a try, at least for experiment sake.

Here is a link that might be useful: new Recipe at PEPPERMEISTER for Suprisingly Easy Dried Pepper Flakes!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 12:57PM
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austinnhanasmom(5 CO)

I had to save seeds from green fruits and what I did was dump the seeds into water.

The seeds that floated were tossed and the ones that sank will be saved for next year. I have never done this, so I have no idea if the seeds that sunk will be viable...

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 6:00PM
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jungleexplorer

Here are some pictures of the plant.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 8:34PM
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jungleexplorer

"Save every seed you can from the red ones"

That is my intention Peppermaster1. However, I don't know how many seeds each will have. I let my wife eat one of the runt pepper that did not look good for seed (genetically), it only had four seeds in it. Since it took all of the 50 seeds I had to get these two plants to germinate, I am worried about getting new plants. Both plants have only produced 30 pods combined so far after 6 months of hand pollination of each flower and the best care I knew how to give them (never done anything like this before). Once I get this process down to where I know I will be able to grow new plants, I would be glad to trade with you, especially if you have some Malagueta or Bode seeds.

Yeay! I think I just found out what kind of pepper they are. I was looking for the correct spelling of the Bode pepper and struck an ebay page selling four types of Brazilian peppers. One of the peppers in the picture looked similar in shape to my pepper, but it was yellow, not red like mine. I did a google image search with the name of the pepper (Cheiro)off the ebay page and found the Cheiro pepper is a extremely tasty aromatic sweet pepper like the Bell pepper. But my peppers are really hot. The one my wife ate was about 90% as hot as a Habanero. After looking through hundreds of thumbnails on google image search I found a picture that looked like mine (http://www.pbase.com/chiles400/image/103079070). There is no other information with the picture, but the photographer called the pepper, "Cheiro Laranja" (Laranga means orange). Mine are red and not orange, but that is pretty close.

Now the word "Cheiro" is a Portuguese word that means "Aroma" or smell (Positive sense only). There is no doubt that my peppers are related to the Cheiro, because they have such powerfully delicious aroma. I have actually eaten this pepper for years in a dried powder form that I brought back with me from the Amazon five years ago. Every single person that has ever tasted my pepper powder has declared it to be the best smelling tasting pepper they have ever tried in their lives. All my friends (and family) have all but exhausted my supply of powder(both my arms are broken from the twisting. LOL!)and it was because of this that my friend went looking for some seeds when he went to Brazil. He also brought me back some more powder (whew!).

Anyway, I am now fairly certain that my peppers are some type of Cheiro pepper. The reason I think this is because when I first bought some powder at a farmers market in Manaus, Brazil five years ago, I bought two bottles from different native farmers. One bottle was yellow powder and the other was red powder. Both powders were unbelievably delicious, but the yellow was the better of the two. From what I know about my peppers, they are not commercially grown anywhere in Brazil like the Malagueta, Bode and Cheiro. In fact, the pepper powder is only produced by native amazonian (Indians). It was from an Indian that my friend got the seeds. So my uneducated guess about what type of pepper mine are is this. Either the Cheiro pepper came from the pepper variety I have, or the peppers I have came from the Cheiro. I think the former to more likely though.

Oh by the way, I bought every seed that guy on ebay was selling; 120 total, 30 of each variety, Malagueta, Bode, Cheiro and Dedo de Mo�o. Luck strike for me. All the pepper seeds I wanted on one place.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 3:24PM
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esox07

jungleexplorer: I hope you have good luck with the Ebay guy, but if you check some of the posts on this forum, you will find many complaints by buyers of seeds from Ebay vendors. Many just harvest any old pepper seed and then advertise them of some of the most popular and rare seeds. The biggest problem is that the season is basically over with by the time you realize you have been had. Not saying you won't have good results but just a word or warning. There are several online vendors that get good reviews in the forums. I would list a couple but I don't want you to think I am advertising or anything. I am sure a few others will provide some of their favorite and trusted online vendors, many of which carry seeds from dozens/hundreds of varieties.
Bruce

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 6:28PM
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jungleexplorer

esox07, now you got me worried. I checked out the sellers rating and they had 6 negative feedback in the last 12 months. All were about package and mail problems. None were related to incorrect pepper seeds. Here's hoping I did not get burned.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 2:46AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Great sleuth work, man!
Your research will no doubt help others, and will also help to get this pepper into circulation.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 11:10AM
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jungleexplorer

Thanks greenman. I did a lot more research since my last post and have uncovered even more information. I am now almost certain that my peppers are of the Capsicum Chinense variety.

I was up until 3:00am looking through thousands of pictures. After enough research to have discovered life on another planet, I think I am getting close to what type of pepper I have. I am trying to match 7 criteria; Shape, Size, Color, Flower, Plant, Taste and Region. I have found many peppers of all most identical shape and size. They all belong to Capsicum Chinense. I have found one pepper that matches 5 of the seven criteria (shape, size, color, taste and region) and that is the "CGN 16994 Long" (http://www.semillas.de/cgi-bin/shop_en/shop.cgi shop=&product=Peppers%20BC&cart_id=8368530.3812). But the CGN 16994 Long has very different flowers then mine (see pictures below). The flowers on my plant are white petals with a light yellow center. The flowers of the CGN 16994 Long have white petals with a dark purple center. The pods of the CGN 16994 Long also start out a purple color, where as the pods on my plant start out light green. The Peminta De Cheiro (Aroma Pepper) is also of the Capsicum Chinense, but they are a sweet pepper with very little heat, where as my peppers are almost as hot as a Habanero. But I also found that the term Peminta de Cheiro, is basically a catch-all term that locals call any native pepper that is not a Malagueta, Bode, or Dedo de Moca pepper.

Flower and young pod of the CGN 16994 Long

Flower of my plants

Brand new pod on my plants.

Young pod next to ripe pod on my plant. Finger is for size comparison.

This is the predominate shape of the ripe pods on my plants.

Ripe CGN 16994 Long pods.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 3:19PM
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ottawapepper

In addition to esox07's (Bruce's) Ebay cautions I offer the following based on eBay comments from members a year or so ago...

jungleexplorer, you said complaints were all were about package and mail problems. The reason you only see package and mail problems on eBay complaints is because the buyer complaint window closes long before your pepper seeds produce fruit. So, you buy x hot pepper seed and it turns out to be a Bell Pepper or a tomato. You can't lodge a complaint or post a negative review 6-7 months after the transaction.

Just a caution for any eBay buyers, it's sad but it's a crap shoot.

Bill

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 7:09PM
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jungleexplorer

That makes sense Bill. I did not think of that. Oh well, chock it up to experience. The pepper I am growing right now is the only one I am really serious about. If all the seeds I bought off of ebay turn out to be Jalapeno, I will have lost a few bucks. I am sure if I am successful with my seed harvest I could always trade with someone for the seeds I want. Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 2:14AM
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