Germination and seed case

chilliwin(EU DK 7)December 31, 2012

How to remove these seed cases, any idea?

Should I wait or cut the seed cases a bit? Any help will be appreciated.


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The enzymes in saliva will help to soften them. Put a little spit on the end of your finger and wet them.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 8:18PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

Or leave them alone. Plants were breeding long before man evolved to "help" them.

You really need to learn to keep your hands off. I know it's hard, but do it anyway.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 11:27PM
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sometimes i notice that they are on, but really loose. Give it a gentle pull. It may just come off nicely.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 4:50AM
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u have a problem - this is like a premature child - may die -
the seedcase is now dry, and the plant will not be able to shake it off.
to prevent this: when i germinate (i just did this three days ago) i make sure my pepper seeds are deep enough, and i mist the seeds twice a day, to keep the case constantly wet, and deep enough so that when it germinates to soil will hang onto the case, and the embryo-baby pepper can be born properly and "mature". u have a problem. paul m.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 6:10AM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Thank you for all the advice.

Robeb, saliva may work I think it has some scientific explanation.

"Saliva is a watery substance located in the mouths of organisms, secreted by the salivary glands. Human saliva is composed of 99.5% water, while the other 0.5% consists of electrolytes, mucus,glycoproteins, enzymes, and antibacterial compounds such as secretory IgA and lysozyme.[1] The enzymes found in saliva are essential in beginning the process of digestion of dietary starches and fats. These enzymes also play a role in breaking down food particles entrapped within dental crevices, protecting teeth from bacterial decay.[2] Furthermore, saliva serves a lubricative function, wetting food and permitting the initiation of swallowing, and protecting the mucosal surfaces of the oral cavity from desiccation." (source Widipedia)

I keep trying applied saliva and it is very interesting idea.

DMForcier, natural laws are wonderful I agreed, I do not do anything physically on this plant now.

Gysensei, seedcase is not loose, so it is not a good idea to pull it off. If the cotyledon is partially showed then it will be a bit easier.

The deepness of the seeds in the soil and misting are important I agreed with you Paul, you explained very well, thank you. Your soil mixed and the plant looks very nice.

In this case the soil I used is very light so it may not be able to hold the seedcase to free the cotyledon I think. Probably the seeds might not get enough moisture when it started germination too.

I use paper towel and zip lock bag to germinate my seeds. When the seeds were germinated I transferred to small containers, I use tooth pick and tweezers in this process. I had this problem before but only a few seeds. I used peat moss and organic compost for germinating seeds before, this batch of seeds I used mixed soil of peat moss, compost, perlite, vermiculite and pine bark it is very light and coarse. So it is possible the seeds may not get proper soil contact and caused the seedcase getting dried.

Now I changed the seed nursery soil peat moss, compost and a little bit perlite I think it may prevent the problem in the future.

Two of my Rocoto De Seda seeds were germinated and I transferred it to the small containers and I use small piece of synthetic kitchen towel to hold the moisture a bit longer. I have done it before and it was very successful. I wish these two seeds do not have problems of seedcase. Rocoto are a bit difficult to germinate and took longer time than the others seeds for me.

Are these seeds too early to transfer to small containers?


This post was edited by chilliwin on Tue, Jan 1, 13 at 12:50

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 7:20AM
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Leave them alone and keep them moist, they will come off

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 9:15AM
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I usually leave them alone. Even if they don't come off, it's fine. I should have taken photos, but I've had plants where they stay on, the plant continues to grow normally, and you have a plant that looks like it's got it's got it's hands tied.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 9:25AM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Thank you willard and Pam for the advice.

I like your 2nd picture method,Willard, thank you for sharing your knowledge. I will try it.

Pam I have to wait for a few days, then according to the developing condition of the plants I will do another option such as to cut the seedcase a little bit.

I like very much this method.


This post was edited by chilliwin on Tue, Jan 1, 13 at 11:02

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 9:43AM
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i only soak my seeds for 2 days, they don't even have a root at that point. i am very confident with the seeds i buy and how i handle them, so i put one seed per pot - and i actually use a 1 quart sized pot. i use a mix of compost + bark + "pro-mix" which is peat moss and vermiculite and perlite. i add osmocote to my seedling mixture (which is different from usual germination) because i am starting the seed in a 1 quart pot, and it will grow there for a while.

I just had another seed come up looking half-way like yours, so I used a pointed curved knife called a "birds beak paring knife" and gently squeezed the case with my fingers and gradually teased the case off using the point of the knife to gradually pull it along while I squeezed the case to try to widen it out. so "emergency surgery" is possible! However in my case, the cotyledons were almost half out already, so there was something there to work with.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 5:27PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Thank you overdrive for sharing your experiences.

I would like to wait for a few days and then according to the condition of the plant, I have to cut the seedcase a little bit.

Usually I soaked the seeds in tap water for a few hours.


This post was edited by chilliwin on Tue, Jan 1, 13 at 18:11

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 5:47PM
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rdback(Z6 VA)

As others suggest, I'd leave it alone. The seedling has a better chance of surviving and growing on its' own versus you ripping its head off lol.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 12:50PM
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