Germinating Habaneros

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

What is the secret to getting Habaneros to sprout? I planted mine February 26. Almost all my other peppers, both hot and sweet have germinated. So far, I have one red habanero. It sprouted 3 or 4 days ago. The pots they are in range from 80 to 84 degrees.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I have had trouble with a few seed suppliers regarding Habs and they really messed up my schedule. This is for a commercial order. The seeds I got from Baker Creek germinated in a little over a week, May I ask where you got yours? I soak them overnight (or longer, sometimes way longer) in water and H2O2. I just checked and the ones I sowed on 3-4 are just sprouting. I have found they like warm air warm everything. I keep them on a heat mat or in my GH that doesnt get below 80*.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

The Chocolate, white, and red I got from Ebay vendor Intoaurora. They are from last year. I'm running 60% to 90% on seeds from that sources except for the Habaneros and Yellow Norcera which is 28%. The orange is from Heirloom acres.
The other seed from them is running 75% to 92% with the exception of the Ancho which is 45% and the Habaneros. That seed is also from last year.

So you are saying that habaneros aren't fundamentally slower than other peppers. I really wanted at least a couple of the white ones to come up. The look like they will be very pretty. For the orange ones I'm thinking about buying a couple from the store and growing that seed.

You say soak them in water and H2O2. What mix.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

You may want to check out heirloom acres on DG Watchdog. I wont buy on ebay. But that being said the White Habs I sowed on 3-4 started sprouting on 3-14. Dont even ask about the Anchos :(. I dont know the dilution on the H2O and H2O2. A little H2O2 and much more H20. I will say that when I start hot peppers the Habs are usually the last to germinate, but not a lot later. Sorry I cant be more help.

I did sow some Jamacian Hot Choc and on 1-17 and they are already potted up and gone. The Brown and White were slow and/or erratic with germination. The Choc and White that I got from Baker Creek germinated in a timely manner.

Did you have different results last year?

This message was edited Mar 17, 2012 8:37 PM

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

It got too late before I had a chance to get the seed started so I passed on the Habaneros. I'm aware of the negative feed back the Heirloom acres has. Almost all of it is about how slow they are and how uncoordinated they are. I've ordered from them twice. Both times they were as slow as I expected. I ordered some marrow fat beans from them last year because they where the only place that had them in stock at a reasonable price. The rest of the seed was just to fill in the order. Except for the Habaneros I haven't been unhappy with the their seed.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

If I were you I would keep trying with them. I growing a wholesale order and the client supplied some of the seeds. There were 3 different types of Habs. The Jamacian Hot Choc germinated perfectly and is gone the While and Brown wouldnt germinate so I reseeded 2 more times (I miss typed above). I also sowed my White and Choc. a month or so later eventually the original Brown Habs and White Habs did germinate. Not many of them and they were slow BUT they did germinate. Im thinking the seeds were old. I dont think seeds are old at I yr.

Thank you for clearing that up about heirloom acres.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

Thank you Lisa. I have one white one that has sprouted but looks kind of weak. I'll see how it goes. I'm going to replant some more as I still have seed. I usually don't plant all the seed I have at once so that I have back up, but if it is already marginal then it's time to use it up. I'll try soaking them for awhile before I plant them. I think I'll try a few with a wet paper towel in a plastic bag also. For the orange ones, I stopped at the store last night and bought four habanero peppers for 20 cents took the seeds from one and planted them.

Durham, NC(Zone 7b)

My habs were slow to get started this year also. The scotch bonnets took an extra week to germinate from the rest of the peppers and the chocolate hab took another week after that. These seeds were a year old and the germination rates was 50% for the scotch bonnets and 25% for the chocolate hab.

(seeds came from Pepper Joe)


Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

It has been a strange yr for them and Im not sure of the exact reason. I know that my seeds germinated faster (they are a year old) but maybe that had to do with starting them later...Even tho the conditions were the same at least to my knowledge.

Highland Acres, DE

They reseeded? I went out today to prep my planter that had housed my habs last year, and to my shock, I found 7 or 8 habs had fallen off of the plant that I allowed to die, and had a cluster of sprouts. I know this may sound really dense, but if I just cover them up with 1/2" of soil and let her rip - will they come back?

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

How big are they. You'll need to protect them from frost. I assume the cotyledons are out. I wouldn't bury the leaves. I'd let them grow a little until the leaves got big enough to grab a hold off so that you can transplant them.

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

I had no success last year growing Habaneros but this year I was able to get two plants started from seed. They definitely took a long time to germinate, maybe a week later than the other peppers (poblano, bell). I have the room at 75F during day and at night it gets to a min of 65F. I have other plants in there so I don't want it too hot. The Habs seem to be doing fine and are growing nicely.

Like some others have said, I usually start pepper seeds in a wet paper towel in a plastic baggy. They seem to germinate much faster this way.


Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I germinate my peppers at about 85* 24/7. They are usually up in a week maybe 2. I never have trouble with Tepins either and I've heard horror stores about getting those to germinate. I just soak them and keep them at about 80-85*.

Jake, are those the temps you keep your seeds at to germinate?

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

The problem I was having was with the seed. It's been 5to 6 weeks now and nothing showed. Another member here was kind enough to send me some seed. The orange ones germinated in 7 to 9 days. The only one that was significantly longer has been the large chocolate one. Out of 3 seeds one took 12 and another took 14 days.

Urbanveggie I think your temperatures are too cool. I'd expect 2 to 3 weeks at least at those temperature with a much lower germination rate. Getting my seed in the 75 to 85 range helped a lot. I enclosed a shelf with paper and put a string of those small Christmas lights clothes pinned to the bottom of the shelf.

This message was edited Apr 10, 2012 5:18 PM

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

Sorry I mixed up some things I said. I germinated some pepper seeds using a heat mat and some just in a moist paper towel. The heat mat was at 75F all day/night and the room is at 75F day/65F night. They all germinated except for my expired Jalapeno and Yellow Bell peppers from 2010.


Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

I'm surprised you had problems with seed from 2010. My 2010 seed actually has a slightly better germination rate than that from 2011. However if I factor out the 4 different kinds of habaneros that didn't sprout then it is as you'd expect. I have some fall off between this years pepper seedd and last years seed, but not more for 2010. However when you get to pepper seed bought in 2007 it has fallen to 30% with some varieties not coming up at all.

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 6a)

Yea it is odd how some seeds germinate after multiple years but some don't after one year even when stored in the same conditions.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

I suspect that some of the seed we get is older than others.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

The date on the package may not be as correct as we would hope. Most pepper seeds that are over 2-3 yrs old I soak in H2O2 and H2O, at least overnight, maybe longer. Still have good germination rates.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

They packages are always marked packet for and a date not grown for.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

What? I'm sorry I'm not sure what your saying.

North Hills, CA

The date on the package is when they were packaged.
The seeds could be from any seasons crop.
Some seed companies stock pile seeds to package for other seasons at a later date.
Packaging date is just that-the year it was packaged.

It probably depends on the seller as far as how old the seeds are in a pack.
If something didn't sell and wasn't packaged it'll be packaged for another year.

It is generally accepted that seeds last for about 5 yrs before they lose it.
I'm sure it depends on storage and variety.
I personally like buying this years packaged seeds for cheaper at seasons end for next years garden.
At the same time,I have year old seeds that don't sprout and 5yr old seeds that do...

This message was edited Apr 10, 2012 9:01 PM

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

OK,thats what I meant. lol That the seeds may be different ages. I guess I buy mostly from companies that package newer seeds because I rarely have a problem. TGS doesnt put any date on the packets, I didnt realize it wasnt required, even tho it might not mean much.

Helena, MT

Seed package date is not necessarily the date of the seed!!! Very Interesting. I purchased a package of Lipstick peppers which was something entirely different. I was wondering how that could happen, but I have noticed in the last several years none of the stores which supply seed keep them around and discount them later in the season. Apparently they are sending them back to the company they were purchased from. Which means that possibly they are repackaging the seed with a new package date. So what smokemaster is saying makes sense and obviously this would affect germination rates if the seed age is not the same as the package date.

I purchase some seeds in bulk sizes like corn and green beans. A bulk purchase green beans this year was a bust. This variety selected after five attempts at planting yielded only ten plants. Lesson learned...Do Not put all your eggs in one basket, i.e., purchase seeds from more than one source and don't believe what the packages say about germinate rates. I plan to purchase green beans in packages only next year and from different sources. Maybe this is more expensive initially, but I can't afford to have a complete crop failure like this year.

Option two is save the seeds from heirlooms and OP which I have done with my several of my hot pepper varieties. My favorite hot pepper is cayenne and I grow quite a few plants from saved seed. I have always had much better luck germinating saved seed than from some purchased seeds, so it now makes sense to me. I recently watched a U-Tube video on making hot sauce with cayenne peppers. The chef used a pound of peppers and cut off the stem with about a half inch of the pepper fruit which contained dozens of large seed. He recommended drying these seeds on a sheet of paper towel in a sunny window. Cayenne peppers are the radish of the hot pepper plants...I think just about anyone can grow these from saved seed.

I too use a 1:32 solution of H2O2 in water to soak my hot pepper seeds over night. I even use this solution to sprits the seedlings after sprouting. The week hydrogen peroxide solution is a great way to hold down mold and prevent dampening off if you maintain a plastic dome over your newly germinated plants. Another idea from Carolyn was to soak tomato seeds in a diluted solution of MG.

In reading several recent postings about container plantings of hot peppers in raise beds which is what I like to do, I have decided to try starting several of the more difficult to grow hot pepper plants in a larger container indoors, and transfer the fully grown plant outside later in the late spring. I have tried the reverse idea of bring immature potted hot pepper plants indoors in the fall only to have them succumb to aphids.

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