I planted two varieties of the sweet habaneros that Jeff Nekola sent me. So far they're disappointing. After 11 days, only three of one type germinated, and none of the other.
I've been told (thank you, Melody) that habaneros take longer to germinate than other peppers. Wanted to check what other people's experiences have been.
So, if you've grown habaneros (or _any_ C. chinense) and would like to share what you know, I'd appreciate it.
I planted two varieties of the sweet habaneros that Jeff Nekola sent me. So far they're disappointing. After 11 days, only three of one type germinated, and none of the other.
Thanks for the encouragement, Geoff.
What I don't understand is why they started out behaving like C. annuum. I planted the seed on April 2. By the 8th, three of the Sweet Scotch Bonnet had sprouted. But no more of them have come up, and none of the Tobago Yellow Seasoning.
Obviously, I'll give them more time. But it's very puzzling. I had no idea C. chinense grew so differently from other pepper.
I would isolate the earlybirds and see if they show any other differences. It may be that there is some other genetic material in these seeds. Highly unlikely considering the source.But you may want to take note and see if all seeds grow true to type.
Hopefully you'll get some more springing up before long.I hope you didn't get a bad batch of seed.
If you use the soak in weak tea.
Overnight in the fridge
start on heat mat.
The following are up in 5 to 7 day's
Good to know!
I'll put some in right now with this method and see what happens.
I tend to agree with your suggestion to tag the earliest ones up.
And I don't think Jeff as the source has anything to do with it. Having a "sweet" habanero variety is kind of an oxymoron and there must be some DNA contributed from some other source to make it "sweet", whatever that means for a hab. LOL.
Carolyn, who still hasn't started her JC-10's, Choco habs, etc. I keep getting diverted. LOL But if I don't get some of my own heirloom peppers going this year I'm going to lose them. May have to do a potassium nitrate soak which will further delay things.
This message was edited Saturday, Apr 14th 9:14 PM
The Jerry Baker method of using the second cup of tea from the same tea bag let the seeds sit in fridge overnight works much better that the Potassium Nitrate method.. Try it yourself. Germination rate is higher too.
With Chiletepins, its 2 to 4 weeks difference.
There is a habanero variety called Venezualean Sweet, Almost no heat with the apricot taste and smell of a habanero.
The only source I know of is Sue Beyers AKA Chilewmn@Bluemarble.com Plants only I am afraid
If you go there tell her I sent you.
Brook and Byron,
I will try the tea method. Most of the time I run very fast in the opposite direction when even hearing the name Jerry Baker, but if others have found something better than a plain old water soaking or potassium nitrate if water doesn't work, I sure will try it.
I can't do comparative experiments this year because I'm just too late. So will see how it goes with just double sowing to start with since I have plenty of seeds of the heirloom types I'm trying to keep going. Actually most of them are sweet pepper types.
Maybe "sweet habanero" is an oxymoron. I can't say, because I've not grown any C. chinense until this year. Certainly we usually associate habaneros with high heat.
What I have, from Jeff, are six different varieties of C. chinense that have the shape of habaneros, and the distinctive smokey, tropical fruit flavor, but with no heat.
According to Jeff, these sweet types are grown all over the Carribean basin. In most of the English speaking areas, they are identified by the word "seasoning" in the name. Thus, Yellow Seasoning pepper. Apparently, there are sweet C. chinense found elsewhere, because one of the varieties he sent me originally came from Nigeria.
I'm attempting to grow out two of the ones he sent, and I sent Melody two others to try. Both of us, of course, got seed planted later than we'd have preferred (all my other peppers could be transplanted, already, if the weather was right). But I didn't get the seed from Jeff until April 2.
If anybody is interested, I'll certainly post results of what happens.
FWIW I think this tea method is a reprinted "Hand-me-Down"
I have talked to some old timers that never heard of Jerry Baker, but use weak tea to help germinate seeds.
One gal, guessing late 50's, who worked at our local Agway store, said her Grandmother used this method.
It's definately not a Baker original..
Did you make a trip to Lindt...
Been thinking about your comment that there must have been DNA contributed from another source to make it sweet. I'm wondering if that's necessarily true.
Bullnose pepper comes to mind as an example of a hot pepper that was changed strictly through physical means. In 1796 Amelia Simmons talks about Bullnose as a small pepper, with some heat (especially in the ribs). They were used primarily to make mangoes.
By the middle of the 19th century, Bullnose was a very popular sweet bell pepper, of fairly large size. This had been accomplished strictly by selecting for size and sweetness through the years. Near as I can determine (Joe Cavanaugh was the primary source of this info), other pepers had not been crossed to achieve the sweetness and size.
What I'm guessing, based on the number of varieties and their geographic diversity, is that the sweet habaneros Jeff has been collecting are relatively pure strains grown for their non-hot properties.
Bullnose is a C. annuum, and perhaps this makes a difference? I don't know enough about C. chinense to hold an opinion on what can or can not be selected for.
This message was edited Sunday, Apr 15th 10:49 AM
If you are going to get into cross breeding peppers here are a few crossing items that you shourd be aware of.
Data from Dave Dewitt & Paul Bosland
Cross breeding from Dave Dewitt, "The Pepper Garden"
The most popular peppers fall in one of the following 5 plant species c = capsicum. These are the most popular.
Other 3 that I know of a tough to obtain and very little data available.
c.annum crosses prolifically with chinese, sporaticaly with baccatum and
frutescens and not at all with pubescens
c. baccatum Crosses sporadically with annum, chinese and frutescens and not at all with pubescens
c. chinese crosses profically with annum, sporadically frutescens and baccatum and not at all with pubescens.
c. frutescens crosses sporadically with annum, baccatum and chinese. Not at all with c. pubescens
c. pubescens Does not cross with any other species
Cross pollination Notes..
RE "High Rates of Cross Pollination in Chile Pepper"
Hort Science 19(no 4):580
By Steven Tanksley of NMSU
Says they had a 42% cross pollinations rate.
RE "A Study of the Natraul Crossing in Peppers'
Proceedings of the American Society of Horticultral Science
by M.L. Odland and A.M. Porter UCONN 1938
Shows that at that time a crossing of 16.5% of standard varieties and 36.8% Ornamentals.
Thanks for the data but I'm not a new pepper grower/seed saver and am well aware of the crossing problems between peppers of the same species and also interspecies problems.
Actually I gave up offering pepper seed thru SSE becasue of the high X rates and my inability to cage or bag blossoms because I was always too busy with my tomatoes. LOL
You probably don't know that I've grown a huge number of heirloom veggies thru the years. No reason for me to talk about it and ruin the perception that I'm a tomato specialist only. LOL
Just look at the SESE catalog and you'll see some of the peppers I've contributed to the public, although not all the varieties I sent to SESE that are offered have my name IDed as the contributor.
Tomatoes can have X pollination rates from zero up to about 30 % but peppers are far worse in having rates known to be as high as 70%. I don't want to deal with that in terms of SSE listings or sharing with others.
There are just too many facotrs that can affect X pollination rates of both peppers and tomatoes and isolation distances are just one of the many factors to be considered. I can deal with the tomatoes but not with the peppers unless I bag or cage. And I don't want to...it's as simple as that. LOL
I'm posting backwards because I didn't realize there were other posts above Byron's that were new. LOL I flip to CTL/End and sometimes miss some.
I think the sitution is becoming clearer to me now for I am familiar with "seasoning" peppers. But quite frankly I've never heard of same re habs.
A couple of years ago I was doing an article for National Gardening and ended up talking to a couple of hybridizers from Petoseed about some issues and peppers jumped into the chat. The one hybridizer was talking about current work being done on seasoning type peppers and the localization of "hotness" but not yet shown to be capsaicin related, in the ribs. I've always wondered what they came up with. He was of the opinion that natural "hotness" was inherent in many "sweet" pepper varieties, but confined to the ribs.
And interesting that you mentioned Bull Nose peppers becasue quite recently I had to do some research on same. While I haven't grown them myself I found almost every description to mention hotness in the ribs and so haven't seen any referecnes to completely sweet Bull Nose peppers.
And yes, I've also known Joe Cavanaugh for years; way before he started the Garden State dealie. LOL Sent him slews of tomato seed way back when. LOL He also used to subscribe to Off The Vine, that newsletter on heirloom tomtoes I was involved with for several years.
I think one of the most interesting habs I ever grew came from a student of mine who came from Cameroon. She didn't tell me it was a hab and it was and I didn't think it would mature, but it did. I've always wondered about the trek that pepper must have taken to end up in Cameroon, Africa. Of course there are several explanantions re same ranging from S America to Caribbean back to Africa with returning slave ships and also from SA to the Mediterranean thence to Africa, etc.
If only some of my heirloom veggies could talk to me I'm sure they'd have some intereting tales to tell. LOL
I can't speak first hand about the Bull Nose peppers. I had tried growing them out two season ago, but had a crop failure. So my information about full sweetness comes from Joe. I was interested in them because of a colonial kitchen garden project I was interested in at the time.
You said: "I am familiar with seasoning peppers. But, quite frankly, I've never heard the same re habs."
This raises another question for me. What, exactly, is a habanero? Is there a taxonomic key one uses? Is hotness an inherent part of defining them?
This whole conversation seems to revolve around whether or not a hab can be sweet. That, say, a sweet Scotch Bonnet is not really a Scotch Bonnet?
Jeff says these are sweet habaneros, and I accepted that based on his pepper growing expertise (he grows as many as 150 varieties/year). And Byron says there is a Venezualean Sweet that fits the same criterium Jeff seems to be using.
As noted before, I have no opinion because I don't know much about C. chinense. But I'm trying to learn.
Suggest 2 books for starters
both by Dave Dewitt and Paul Bosland.
"The Pepper Garden"
And "Peppers of the World"
Dewitt explains that most of the heat is in the placenta
of the pod, No heat in the seeds.
Good explaintions of different types mentioned above along with flower color and numbers per node.
For varieties and several hundred recipies try
More recipies at www.pepperfool.com
also check the ones out by Doug Irving, a 60 year Master chile cook.
Smoking and stuffing methods are included at both locations.
All Habanero's are C.Chinese
Sorry thought your prime interest was tomatoes...
The above was my first clue.. Smile
I've got The Pepper Garden, Byron.
To me it was kind of superficial, especially the info on anything that is not C. annuum. And there were some gross errors; I mean even I picked them up, and I don't know a whole lot about peppers.
Maybe Peppers of the World is better? I'll try and find a copy.
The other site is better for plants. It is also the #1 Suite 101 choice for Chile info.
Pepperfool has a lot of good chile recipies, I should have suggested that,
I do disagree with a lot of the plant tech stuff also..
If you think you are going to get into chiles, both books are very good sources. I thinks the other one also has some history. The is a lot of data that is not common to both..
Dewitt is also Editor and Major writer for Firey Foods Magazine.
If you really want to get it to it, there are over 3,000 varieties, Almost all are OP's.
Do observe cautions for handling, the Hunan Hand is not pleasent..
Well, thanks a bunch, Byron.
I just spent a couple of hours over at the UK Chile Heads site, and still have a lot more to cover.
The information is good. But, my God, there's so much of it.Haven't even begun to look at the recipes.
From my point of view there's only one problem. If you go into the database and at other locations on the site, there is some general discussion about C. chinense, and then they focus on habaneros. Which sort of puts me back where I started.
For instance, I had always been under the impression that Scotch Bonnet was merely the Jamaican English name for habanero---or at least for the type of habs grown there. The site identifies them as similar, but doesn't really explain the differences.
Ah, well. Maybe I'll just go back to enjoying the taste. :-)
There are very few chiles that fit the c.chinese that are not habanero's. The Aji Habanero is the only one I know that fits C.Chinese except for pod style.
The best list would probably be at the USDA GRIN site in GA.
The Scotch Bonnets were named that because the top's of the pods are similar to the Scotish style hats..
(sorry having Sr moment, I have forgotten the name of that style)
Habanero translated means "from Havana..."
NMSU has a division for Chiles and has several thousand acres under cultivation for various types of studies and new breeding..IE False Alarm Jal's, no heat..
I think chiles are getting to be the #2 crop with home growers.
>There are very few chiles that fit the C. chinese that are not habaneros<
So that brings us back to the very beginning. As Jeff has identified them, they are therefore habaneros with no heat: hence, sweet habaneros.
Or am I still missing something.
BTW, Byron, you keep perpetrating a typo. The species is C. chinense; not chinese.
An update on the sweet habs that I put down last week.
I planted 8 each of the Atarodo and Tobago Blocky Seasoning on Thursday,8 days ago. 1 of the Atarodo is up.
Of the seeds that I soaked in the tea, per Byron.I have 5 of the Atarodo up and none of the Tobago Blocky Seasoning so far.
These were put down on Monday night the 16th. 8 each,again.
I know that Brook and Horseshoe are both growing out some of these and thought the info might be useful.
I was thinking about planting some habanero seeds for a fall crop of peppers. I sure am glad I read this read about the germination time. Thanks, guys. :)
Update as of Tuesday the 24th.
2 of the Atadoro control group up and 6 of the tea soaked ones.
2 of the Tobago Blocky up and 5 of the tea soaked.
All seem to be healthy and strong.I see no differences other than the germination rates and percentages.
Unless you live on the southern tip of Fla. odds are a fall
crop of Habs won't work.
Plan on about 8 weeks from germination to tranplant size.
A min of 80 days (some take 120 days) from transplant to first ripe. This needs to be done with soil temps at 60F and above.
Sure it will work, Byron. I'll be growing them in containers which can be moved into my greenhouse.
Keeping the soil temp above 60F at 2 AM is going to cost some $$
Byron, when I said a fall crop, I meant a crop picked in the fall. I normally have very warm temps in the fall. I've worn a t-shirt on many occasions in December. That of course doesn't do much to get you in the mood for Christmas and Santa Claus! LOL!!!
Boy, you really had me going for a while on those habaneros! LOL I thought you had actually grown them in your garden until I saw that soil temp and the rules for them producing. ROFL!!!
Guess what? I've got _itsy bitsy_ baby habaneros on my plants! Yippee! My mouth is already on fire! LOL
As soon as I get a chance, I'll take a picture and post them. I'm a _proud_ momma! :)
I do grow habanero's
Not following USDA instuctions, I start 12 weeks early,
Last 6 weeks my plants are in an 8 in pot..
Really? When I read that 60 degree minimum you posted, I thought you hadn't actually grown them. Sorry about that. That temp info for peppers to produce is not correct...not in my garden anyway. It sounds good in the books but in real life it just doesn't work that way. Look at the temps for my area and you'll see what I mean. Like I said, I've got itsy bitsy habaneros and jalapenos and I'm already picking banana and green peppers.
Date/Maximum Temp/Minimum Temp
Mar 15, 2001 75.9/ 49.6
Mar 16, 2001 82.2/ 48.7
Mar 17, 2001 67.3/ 43.3
Mar 18, 2001 55.6/ 43.0
Mar 19, 2001 54.7/ 46.9
Mar 20, 2001 71.4/ 48.7
Mar 21, 2001 54.3/ 39.9
Mar 22, 2001 71.2/ 38.1
Mar 23, 2001 71.2/ 41.4
Mar 24, 2001 77.4/ 37.4
Mar 25, 2001 60.6/ 44.8
Mar 26, 2001 61.9/ 32.7
Mar 27, 2001 60.8/ 30.7
Mar 28, 2001 58.1/ 31.6
Mar 29, 2001 73.0/ 47.5
Mar 30, 2001 71.6/ 55.6
Mar 31, 2001 75.0/ 48.7
Apr 1, 2001 69.4/ 38.7
Apr 2, 2001 70.3/ 31.5
Apr 3, 2001 68.5/ 40.6
Apr 4, 2001 70.7/ 52.2
Apr 5, 2001 67.3/ 51.6
Apr 6, 2001 80.4/ 49.1
Apr 7, 2001 84.7/ 55.2
Apr 8, 2001 87.8/ 55.4
Apr 9, 2001 88.5/ 56.7
Apr 10, 2001 89.8/ 54.9
Apr 11, 2001 86.0/ 59.4
Apr 12, 2001 88.2/ 62.4
Apr 13, 2001 91.4/ 59.9
Apr 14, 2001 82.2/ 57.0
Apr 15, 2001 81.3/ 57.0
Apr 16, 2001 77.5/ 48.4
Apr 17, 2001 70.9/ 41.2
Apr 18, 2001 64.8/ 30.6
Apr 19, 2001 70.7/ 31.6
Apr 20, 2001 76.8/ 38.8
Apr 21, 2001 77.0/ 50.7
Apr 22, 2001 78.4/ 48.4
Apr 23, 2001 79.5/ 49.6
Apr 24, 2001 84.0/ 55.4
Apr 25, 2001 69.4/ 52.2
Apr 26, 2001 70.5/ 42.4
Apr 27, 2001 77.7/ 38.3
Apr 28, 2001 82.8/ 44.1
Apr 29, 2001 76.1/ 50.0
Apr 30, 2001 73.6/ 52.0
May 1, 2001 76.6/ 49.8
May 2, 2001 77.0/ 50.5
May 3, 2001 77.9/ 50.9
May 4, 2001 79.7/ 51.4
May 5, 2001 82.8/ 52.9
May 6, 2001 84.9/ 51.3
I don't plant out till about June 10th.
I harvest about 60 to 80 full size pods per plant.
120 plants, thats enough.
The reason your Habs are so small is because of the temp.
There is another thing in hot peppers..
The heat of a hot pepper will be less when the ambient temps are cool also..
My first trial with hot peppers, my first, off the vine Jals
were almost no heat.
Byron, you don't plant the habaneros in your garden till June? Where do you have them until then a heated greenhouse?
About the 1st of May, they go into a manure heated "Box" within my greenhouse.
I guess I'm lucky in that I have a long growing season. How long is your growing season up in NH?
Are you able to grow peppers that require a longer growing season by placing them in your greenhouse?
I think my Habaneros are small because they are just brand new baby peppers not because of the temp.