Starting peppers from store-bought dried chilis

Central Valley, CA(Zone 9a)

I am experiementing quite a bit in the garden this year. One thing I would like to try is growing a few peppers from store-bought dried chilis. Bought some chiles from the Dollar Tree and had a few extra packages around the house. So, I figured why not.

Has anyone ever successfully done this before? I assume that at least some of the peppers are hybrids. So, I am not expecting consistency in what I grow. Do you know if at least some of the seed will be viable. I know that they generally let chiles dry on the plant prior to harvest. So, the seeds should have had enough time to develop. Right?

Danville, IN(Zone 5b)

I have heard (and we all know how reliable that can be) that peppers that are commercially dried are processed at such a high heat that it kills the seeds. I'll be curious to see what others think. If I were you, I'd still try some .. you never know ... even if what I've heard is true, there might be a few seeds that are viable. Good luck.

Central Valley, CA(Zone 9a)

I plan on pre-sprouting them this week to see if they actually germinate. Last night, I cracked opened the peppers and tried to visually descern which ones still looked viable. I will start with those first. If they do sprout and grow plants, I will definately post some pics.

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

I think if they were sun dried they'd be viable. You can't always get the truth from labels either. When it comes to tomatoes, when they say sun dried, they usually have been done in a machine.

Another good idea since you live with a very long growing season would be to go to a market and buy one or two of whatever kind looks interesting. I'd dry the seeds for 5-7 days and plant them.

North Hills, CA

Some grow,some don't.
I find that some companies dried pods always have seeds that will germinate and others will never germinate.
I'm sure it depends on how they were dried.

I've had success growing seeds from dried Japone , Puya , New Mexico chile , California chile , Guajillo , Cascabil , chile de arbol and red chile flakes.
Red chile flakes often grow several different chile plants.
I think red chile flakes are whatever chile the company has at the time and they decided to use for their product at the time.
Dried Halapenos have never grown so far.
Seeds from fresh red Jalapenos , Serrano (and some green) , Habaneros , fresno , wax peppers , chilaca and Manzanos have always grown too.

Rutland , MA(Zone 5b)

do you mean that the red pepper flakes i buy inthe store and add to my soups can be used to start plants??

Central Valley, CA(Zone 9a)

The ones I have are New Mexico, Guajillo, Arbol and Japanese chiles. I think I would like to try grow some from red pepper flake seeds. It will be fun seeing what comes up. I think I will try to get some seeds from fresh peppers also. There are some really sweet peppers I just love. They are probably hybrids. But, maybe I can stablize them overtime. I am trying to figure out how to do stablize hybrids this year. It is like cracking a code.

I know this is not related, but I a thinking about planting some ginger from roots in the store. It worked very well for me several years ago. Very pretty plants. I have also successfully grown horseradish this way, too.

Central Valley, CA(Zone 9a)

Do you know if they are hybrids or not? I have been trying to find selected varieties through UC extension and other websites. It seems that only a few like jalepeno are hybrids. Does that sound right?

North Hills, CA

I'd guess it depends where the seeds were grown.
In the U.S. the crops are probably most likely Hybrids for mass production and disease resistance.
I think most of the dried peppers from some countries are sun dried and they probably just use some seeds from the last crop to grow next years crop.Not Hybrids.
Probably depends on the variety.
I think most Anahiems,Jalapenos,Poblanos,Serranos ,wax ,Habanero and similar common varieties are hybrids.
I live in California so a lot of the dried pods I get are from Mexico.Sun dried and then baught by packing Co. to package as dried peppers-several growers/several strains of the pepper variety.
They were probably grown from seeds from the last crop.Might be Hybrids but stable ones-at least for a few generations.
You have to watch out more for companies using different peppers called the same named more than Hybrids in my opinion than Hybrids-especially for dried crushed red pepper flakes.
Sometimes from red pepper flakes I get a Puya type pepper plant other times I get a pendulant ornamental type poded plant etc..
Too many times they use a generic name for the product sold in stores.
For me dried Puya,Japone,Guajillo,New Mex,Cal. Cascabel and negro have grown true from dried pods seed.
Your Milage may vary. :)

Central Valley, CA(Zone 9a)

I live in CA, too. I'm using peppers from El Guapo brand. They were probably grown in Mexico or California. The only thing I am concerned about is the outside chance one is a GMO. It seems that no peppers grown right now are genetically modified. From what I understand, pretty much all fresh veggies are either hybrids or OP not GMO. Should I be concerned about this?

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

I had good luck starting Chile de Arbol peppers from the dried peppers from the grocery store. I'd say close to 100% germination. Of course, I haven't grown them out yet, but the seedlings look good.


Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

dbailey...have you had germination yet? When did you start them?

Central Valley, CA(Zone 9a)

No, not yet. Too much going on. I plant to start them sometime next week. It is way too late to start them indoors. So, I will sprout them on a heat mat to see if they germinate. Those that do will be sow directly in the garden under some row covers. As you know, it is suppose to be in the 70s next week. This should be warm enough for them to get going.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)


I don't know about it being in the 70's here, as it is a bit colder at 3500' elevation, but if it is, I will surely welcome it! After it rained all day yesterday, then it snowed overnight.

I thought peppers were sensitive to cold night time temperatures. I have constructed, and I use that word loosely, a makeshift coldframe, as I put some floating row cover over some leftover fencing, to put some things in to acclimate to cooler weather and bright sunshine, as well a couple of Gerbera I picked up at Lowe's when I was in Folsom last week. I will not be buying much as I have been starting a lot of flowers and veggies from seed. I haven't got jugs for W/S'ing but I will put out some seeded flats and cell-packs on shelves out on the back porch, as well I have been starting some on heat & lights indoors, but just with limited space.

If you get a GM, will Monsanto be at your door? Heh, heh....

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Kind of funny, the only GMO vegetable on the market is from Syngenta and I never see the snide remarks about them.

Central Valley, CA(Zone 9a)

They are discussing this an another thread. I have my methods. They work well for me. I've direct seeded my tomatoes and peppers for the last two years. This has produced better yields for less work than starting them indoors. There are a few theories I have why this is true based on academic articles I have read. I won't go into detail here.

My soil has been 60-65 underneath the row cover for the last month. By the end, the soil should be at least 70. So, sowing them now should not be a big problem.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

It really sounds like an excellent idea as seeds in the ground do not have to recover from the incessant transplanting that we take such care about....

Actually, I did plant an experimental GM tomato, with blueberry genes! I got it from a member here on DG a few years back and I just got around to planting it, and I must say it is really healthy and strong-looking....from Oregon State University. I am really excited about it. It will not look like a blueberry or taste like one, but sweet and with anti-oxidant properties of the she said, as this will be the first year...

Central Valley, CA(Zone 9a)

That is one of the reason I think it works. Most plants have sensitive roots. They don't like to be distrubed by constantly being transplanted from starting flat to individual pots to the ground. We also don't provide them with the varience in soil temp and light that they would experience outside. Instead, we start them in unreal and constant temps of 70-80 degrees with 8-12 hours of direct light. Then they are give a short time to adjust to the real world. There they experience 45 degree nights, 90+ days, cold winds and drying heat. Poor things.

The cooler temps are no problem for tomatoes. They start sprouting at anything above 50. At 60, the pop up in 7-10 days Peppers are fine as long the soil averages above 65. It takes about 2 weeks for them at this temp. Eggplant is the same. Except they have a lower germination rate, as always. Last year, I had a problem with slugs. They eat the eggplant first and then the peppers. For some reason, they don't like tomatoes.

Peppers also seem to do better when overwintered. The plants are bigger and flower more. The yield is at least double that of the year before. Eggplant has about the same amount of flowers the second year. Tomatoes give nada the next year.

I'm suprised you were allowed to grow a GM crop. No problems with cross polinization or patents? Did you have to sign a wavier? Or was this all under the table? ;) Are you allowed to save seeds?

Personally, I am not into GM crops.

So, you live NW of Folsom. That is colder than us. I want to construct a coldframe, too. Maybe next year. Then I can plant my warm season crops about a month earlier.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

No, I live NE of Folsom...Southeast of Placerville, at 3500' in elevation. The snow from yesterday has melted and it is supposed to be above 60 degrees all week! Yeah!

Spring is here, well at least for this week. We usually have cold weather off and on during spring, so anything is possible, but if it is supposed to be warm all week, I will be outside! A lot of weeds and work to do before planting and sowing outside. I will sow more peas and a lot more. Lettuce, broccoli, radishes, Swiss chard..the peppers are sown inside and on heat waiting for germination. The tomatoes are growing nicely.

Oh, the GM seeds were given to me by a DG member in a trade...normally I would not even touch anything like that, but I cannot turn down anything blueberry. I am really excited about this one. It was grown by Oregon State University.

Central Valley, CA(Zone 9a)

Direct seeded them in the garden yesterday. There were a few tomato seeds I planted last Friday that weren't buried that well. They were already sending out roots. Should start to have tomato seedlings by the end of the week. Perhaps, some peppers by the end of the month. It is so exciting. I did plant the pepper seeds with tomatoes and eggplant. Figure that if one doesn't come up and make it in that spot another will. Will see what happens in the next few weeks. I will try to post pics of the progress.

Central Valley, CA(Zone 9a)

Still waiting for the peppers (and eggplant) to sprout. Most of my tomatoes, despite being knocked around a bit, and all of the marigolds, borage, lettuce, carrots and green onions in the bed have come up. The weather turned a bit colder this week. The soil temp is now averaging 70-72 degrees instead of 76-78. Expecting them to come up sometime next week.

Central Valley, CA(Zone 9a)

They're popping up. This picture is a little out of focus. Will take better ones tomorrow. This is the Arbol.

Thumbnail by dlbailey

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