Why are my seedlings stalled?

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

Bhut Jolokias. The one on the left emerged 10 days ago, the others 5 days ago. They're bottom watered and in Pro-Mix with full spectrum lights a few inches above the leaves. Soil temp is 78-82; air 68 or so. Hit the first one with 50% Miracle Grow 4 days ago to no apparent effect. Is this normal for the cultivar or is there something I should be doing?

Thumbnail by David_Paul
Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

david - i wouldn't get to nervous. here are two of my bhut jolokia's our of about 6 that i started n february 22nd. these two germinated on march 4th. still wiating on the others.

Thumbnail by HERBIE43
Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

They're in a fairly large pot, so I'm guessing they're putting a lot of energy and time into root growth. I can see "true leaves" starting to form on all, so I wouldn't worry. No need for any fertilizer, though -- they look green & healthy.

I haven't tried this particular peppers, but one of the reasons I like to start seeds in shallow seedlings trays and then up-pot is so there isn't so much extra space around the roots... I don't know if that makes top growth happen faster or not, but it does lessen the chance that I'll over-water (too much moisture in the mix, not enough roots to take it up, and you can end up with damping off and other fungal problems).

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

Herbie & Critter....thanks for the reassurance! Haven't started many peppers before. I'm used to tomatoes which can fill flats and get out of hand pretty quick.Considering how slow the Jolokias are, I'm thinking maybe I should start Nardello, Santaka, Fish and Gypsy this week (sounds like a Rock 'n Roll band, doesn't it?). Set out date here is mid to late May.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I start my peppers about 10 weeks ahead, give or take a week... so go ahead and get them started, and you'll have sturdy seedlings to set out!

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Years ago I transplanted some Tom Thumb tomatoes into gallon milk jugs. You could see in the sides of course. The tops didn't start doing anything until the roots were all against the sides of the jug. Needless to say, they had a great root system.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

LOL I imagine you got a little impatient with them! I'll bet they really took off once they got started.

Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7b)

Hi Everyone:

What's the average germination time for peppers? Mine seem to be moving along very slowly. Seems slower than last year.

BB

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

My are not germinating at all this season either....SO SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW...

Dacula, GA(Zone 7b)

Some of mine have taken over 20 days. Bull Nose Large bell and Carmen are 2 of those. I also had some sprout at about 14 days, but they died cause I forgot to water them. Numex Big Jim was one of those. Starting over with them. I am having the same problem with tomatos. Some haven't sprouted in 14 days. Usually all my tomatos sprout in 10 or less. Must be global warming!!!

Helena, MT

FYI...I too have struggled with starting hot peppers from seed. Last year was so bad I had to resort to purchased peppers from a local green house. Unfortunately hot peppers are not a hot item in my neck of the woods. This year I gathered as much information from DGers on starting hot pepper seeds and decided on sort of a hybrid germination method from all the advice given. Results so far has been good.

Since my house thermostat is set on 58 degrees F a heat pad is a must. I selected three six foot long heat pads (w/o thermostat) from Gardeners Supply. I use standard seed trays with the removable inserts and clear plastic domes to start the seeds. However, this year I used 4-inch peat pots instead planting directly to the flats. I place as many as 30 seeds of one variety to a peat pot and place 16 peat pots into a single planting tray (around 10 seeds works best). Seed germination varied from six days to two weeks. It was easy to remove the peat pots which had germinated seed and move them to another seed tray with an insert and a taller (7-inch) clear dome. And so far everything is working to my satisfaction.

The only problem is the seedling stems were still in codoledon stage and about 2 to 3 inches tall because of placement of the overhead 4-bulb florscent fixture. So instead of waiting for a set of true leaves to fully form I potting up the seedlings to individual 4-inch peat pots. But no harm done...they are doing well and I have moved the potted up seedlings to the top shelf with heat pad and sunlight from a large bay window to the south. I now have six high domed flats of hot pepper seeds (108 hot pepper plants).

Tomatoes seeds next and the same procedure!

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

Dovid - do you have an update for us?

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

I am still waiting for my peppers, too. But, then, seems like I Always wait for peppers. Tomatoes seem to be about three times faster than peppers. They grow much slower, too. I think a heat mat is a great aide in germinating them. Mine is in the basement. This year I have them in expandable peat pots in one of those plastic trays with a lid. I made a list of what is in each row. Then, each day I peek to see what has germinated. If something has come up in the hot pepper row, I remove it and take it to the greenhouse where a small pot with label awaits it. I add more soil around the sides and then hope for the best. Where I live peppers need lots of pampering, especially outside in the summer. I usually don't put them out until about July. By then they could be in gallon cans. Just depends on the summer.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I get a kick out of zones. You are in zone 9 & can't grow peppers decent. I am in zone 4. I plant out in the garden about June 1, & they grow like crazy! I should start a business of selling the hot peppers to people in the higher zones. Like a flat rate box full. You would have enough for the whole season.LOL!

I think we are doing about 20 different ones this year. We have a couple new ones that are supposed to curl your toe nails!

To early to start seeds here yet, usually about April 15.

Bernie

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

Yeah--I agree, The zones are weird. Here we are quite mild all year. But, we do not have hot summers. And, peppers love heat. June can be Very cool with ocean breezes to add more chill. So, the greenhouse helps a ton. I just open both doors because the wind blows from the opposite direction and let the sun shine in on them. They are warm and happy.

Helena, MT

Bernie...two quick questions:

(1) You don't start planting pepper seeds intill April 1st???

(2) Do you use any type of cover over the plants once moved to the garden?

morgan

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

If we start them any earlier, they get to big by the time we set them out June 1.
No cover, but they are planted on green plastic mulch. The hot peppers are usually ready by late July, bells in mid August.
We will plant near 1000 plants in the garden.

Helena, MT

Agressive Bernie...I'm only doing about a hundred plants. If I recall correctly you market yours. What is your definition of "too big"? And green plastice mulch...why green? m

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

Sequee....I do have an update. Here are the Bhut Jolokia two weeks after the photo at the top of this thread. 3 of 5 seeds germinated. Giving them a shot of half strenght Miracle-Grow probably wasn't a good idea. It will be almost two months before I can plant them out. Have to put them in individual pots in the next day or so too.

Thumbnail by David_Paul
Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

WOW! They are lookin' good! Nice to see they are taking off. Mine STILL haven't even germinated! (I may have to swipe one of Herbie's! He dropped them off to me this morning so I can "babysit" them while he's in Philly. Think he'll notice if one is missing when I return them???)

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

Sequee...are peppers as easy to take cuttings from as tomatoes?

Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7b)

Sequee:

Pepper-napping is a federal offense. And trust me; Herbie will notice. LOL

Mine are taking FOREVER to germinate. Seems like much longer than last year and I'm doing the exact same things. Eggplant popped up without a problem.

BB

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

Eggplant's usually the worst for me, but this year even they beat te peppers. Of the 52 seeds I put out, I've got 2 babies so far - and they are not even big enough to pot-up! Herbie's look great. I will try to remember to take a few pix when I get home from work today.

Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

sequee - i will be watching you like a hawk even from far away.

here are pictures of my big bomb cherry peppers on the left and the sole surving bhut's on the right after i transplanted them into 4 inch pots

Thumbnail by HERBIE43
Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

i will save sequee the time and post this picture of my eggplants. one ones on the left on dancers and hansel is on the right

Thumbnail by HERBIE43
Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

sorry - hansels are on the left and dance on the right.

janice - i know you will take care of my little buddies for me. hope you are enjoying the little present. thanks again for your help. wshen i get back i am sure we can come to an agreement on some plants i have to spare.

Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7b)

I was starting to think my seed was bad but some of it was new. I have no idea why they are taking so long.

Herbie:

No Rosa Bianca this year?

BB

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

I'm working on my ransom demands as we "speak"!

Dang - I really screwed up! I showed you where I live!!!

PS - I cannot believe how impressive his plants are - each one is healthier than the one before. My eggplants NEVER look that good.

Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7b)

I've got 7 flats of eggplant: Dusky, Rosa Bianca, Listada de Gandia and Round Mauve.

Now I gotta find somewhere to fit them in.

How do you guys space them?

BB

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

I sowed seeds for: Apple Green (6, all up), Asian Bride (7, none up), Farmer's Long (2, none up), Brazilian Orange (6, none up), Charming (2, none up), Fairy Tale (8, 4 up), Cloud Nine (2, both up), Green Pea (2, both up), and 1 each (none up) - Black Beauty, Italian White, Casper and 1 each (up) - Calliope and Turkish Orange.

Frank and I do ours in containers, so spacing is not an issue. I either do one per pot, or 2 in one end of an eb, with an Ind Tomato on the other end.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I am sitting here watching the MN Twins & having lunch.
Asked my son, "Do you have trouble with hot peppers germinating ?" He answers "No".
I say "People on here sure have problems." He answers, "They probably bury them."

Another thing is to cover with plastic wrap to keep from drying out

Have a Great Day!
Bernie.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

The only ones I'm having trouble with (again!) are Sequee's sweet cherry peppers and a Japanese hot pepper. She has sent me fresh seed a couple of times now, and they always germinate for her just fine. And my other pepper seeds germinate for me... but not those sweet cherry peppers! They just hate me. LOL! It was a running joke with us for a couple of years, as she couldn't get my 'Sweet Pickle' seeds to germinate, either. We may have to swap seedlings one of these years...

I sowed some more pepper seeds last night and got my tomato seeds done also. :-)

Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7b)

Hi Bernie:

I sowed mine in those little clear clamshell takeout containers and just slightly mixed them into the soil. Last year I had no problem. Maybe I'm impatient :-) But it has bee a couple of weeks.

BB

Chatham, IL(Zone 5b)

I planted 4 flats of peppers, Cayenne, Red Savina, Dorset Naga, "tiny thai ornamental" Hungarian Wax, Kung Pao, and Jalapeņo among the mix... about a month ago. Everything looks great except for the Red Savina and the Dorset Naga.... the two latter have just come up, even having a heat mat and ample light and water. It seems the hotter the variety, the more stubborn the germination. Also, the Naga and Savina came up as very, very small plants, even smaller than the "tiny thai ornamental" as I have taken to calling them. I have moved the early germinators to the sun room, but I am keeping the last two HOT varieties under lights and on the heat mat. The naga seeds cost me 15$ for 5 seeds, so they are my babies. They are all being hand agitated to promote vigor and are getting rootblast as soon as they get their third set of leaves.. then I am moving them to larger pots and babying them until it is ok to set them outside. If the plants in the sunroom fail I could care less, but I will be the best of caretakers when it comes to the Dorset Nagas, as I paid a lot to purchase the hope of a sturdy plant. I just had an ant crawl across my screen here in the basement, so planting time here in central Illinois cannot be far off. I have so many seeds and so few places to plant them.

Much luck on your hot pepper endeavors!
Mike

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

So many varieties - so little space... I think that's the theme for so many of us. I can still (vaguely) remember when a few peppers, a few tomatoes, a couple of eggplants, some basil and parsley were plety. What the h*** happened here? I'm still only one person!!! Now I feel "cheated" if I can't find room for 50 tomatoes and a dozen each hot peppers, bells, and eggplant. And we won't even discuss the onions, shallots, beans, peas, okra, cukes, squash, potatoes, carrots, and several hundred radishes. And I don't know why I cannot grow melons or cole crops, though the good Lord knows I try them each and every year!

Helena, MT

Bernie...how old is your son? Give him a big ataboy! It took me quite a while to figure that one out. Seems like everything I tried the last several years failed. Considered a variety of methods and finially decided on planting a group of seeds in 3-inch square peat pots. I took all my old seed and some saved from nursery plants I purchase last year and planted up a flat of eighteen varieties of hot peppers. As mentioned above the Habs were the last to sprout. I didn't wait for true leaves to form before individually transferring them to separate peat pots (18/tray). I now have seven trays of individual plants and they are doing well. I am using two heat mats purchased from Grower's Supply w/o thermostat. Six flats can fit on a single heat mat. I also purchased the 7-inch tall plastic covers for the flats with two vents in the top. At night my house temperature is set at 58 degrees F, so I keep the flats covered. In the day time I uncover the flats and set them on a stand near a south window. I continue to use the heat pad during the day as well as a small fan. So far results good.
And yes, I planted the seeds shallow...just enough germination mix to cover.
Thank You DGers!

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

He will be 34 in June.
He's been the head grower here since he was about 15.
He watches lots of TV & reads a lot. Self taught on everything, including the cabinet making. Learned all that from watching Norm on this old house.
He planted about 600 hot peppers last night. We want them for the garden about June 1.

Have a great day!
Bernie

Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7b)

I think that may have been my problem to. Although I planted shallow, I think when I watered, it carried them to the bottom.

Thanks

Dacula, GA(Zone 7b)

I think I'll start some more and just cover with vermiculite and see if that works. My Bull Nose finally did germinate (a couple anyway) after 21 days.

Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7b)

Hi Beclu!!!!

I'll have tons of tomatoes at the RU. Peppers are slow to get on board. LOL.

BB

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