Bell Pepper seeds not germinating

Oologah, OK

All of my other seeds have sprouted- lettuce,basil,tomatoes,zuchinni, etc., bt the pepper seeds have not sprouted at all. Its been about 14 days now. the peat discs I used on all of them. have light and by a sunny window, covered flat w/ plastic with holes for air,, have removed the cover on all but the peppers section. Any ideas why these did not sprout? All seed packets were new and purchased at same time, and all used th peat pellets, with tray and bottom watering. also misted with Chammoile tea water as well. should I just put some new seeds in those plumped up peat mounds you think? and try again?

Mesilla Park, NM

Last year I soaked the seeds for a couple of weeks and they even started sprouting in the water. (changed the water daily) then sowed in a flat with peat pellets. They did okay, But seemed stunted, finally I resorted to buying some plants.

This year, not one has sprouted in the water and look blackish, so I am of no help here. Hopefully someone will come along and give us some help.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I don't grow peppers, but for some reason I have it in my mind that at least some types of peppers germinate better with bottom heat. Sometimes things that like bottom heat will germinate eventually without it, but it'll take longer.

Greenville, IN(Zone 6a)

I soaked my seeds in some H202 in a little shot glass on top of the cable box where it was warm and they started to sprout, they were in the soak for 24 hrs. I put them on a heat mat but they haven't started to shoot up yet that was Sat., they like heat if you can set them in something and set them somewhere it's warm like on top of your fridge/cable box lol Seems like it takes a little longer for peppers to sprout than tomatoes.

Whitby, ON(Zone 6a)

Peppers can be slow to germinate, I wouldn't give up on them for another week. By the it could be because the seed was old when you bought it, the seeds are duds, etc. I have grown different peppers and some germinate better than others. I've never used bottom heat, just planted them in soiless mix at the depth recommened on the package and I usually have the number of seedlings I need.

Oologah, OK

thanks to you all, I think I will go shopping for heat pad for bottom of flats. I have some seed left also, maybe replant some in water like others have started. whats funny is the whole reason I got started with the veggies, is I was annoyed at how high the cost of green and red bell peppers are at the grocery store..LOL maybe they are just not as easy of some of the other vegetables. I will keep trying :)

Mesilla Park, NM

Last year Harbor Freight had the dome, seedtray and heat mat for 19.00. It wasn't the thick plastic type, but was one that looks like a medical heatpad type, but longer.. I don't know if they have them this year, I really like their trays and used those this year although I did not use the heatmats yet. I ordered them via internet, give them a call, they may have them in their local stores, they didn't have them here in NM. You could basically get two for the price of one in regular stores, but I don't know how long they will last. I'm waiting for my older ones to give out before I use the newer ones.

Greenville, IN(Zone 6a)

You know shubbard, I'm amaized at how much the peppers are in the stores too and I used to sell plants and people would fuss because I would sell them for $1.25 a plant, I felt like telling them then go to the store and pay $1.40 for one pepper :) Everything is so high anymore if I had enough good sun at my place I'd grow a big ole garden but my sun here just isn't good enough for a nice garden I manage to grow a few pepper plants and 5 or six tomatoes but that's about it and they always start to die about the middle of the summer with watering and feeding too, the sun just isn't good here.

Mesilla Park, NM

I found the link, but did not know they were still on sale,

Berkeley, CA(Zone 9a)

I shop at Costco and so many items come in plastic rectangle packaging, with tops. I always save these. I either poke holes in the bottom for drainage or use them as compact containers to put my peat pots in.

Mesilla Park, NM

I've been using the meat trays from Wally world. They come in handy when I water the tomatoes from below.

Marianna, FL(Zone 8b)

Shubbard, I can't be much help because I'm having the same problem, so don't feel badly. I just threw some little peat pellets in the flower garden I'm working on that I planted with bell peppers on Feb. 17. Their time was up. I only found one that looked as if it would germinate. I, also, love the yellow and red bell peppers sold in stores, but refuse to pay $2 for a single pepper, so I thought I would grow my own when I saw Burpee's Carnival mix on the shelf. I may have drowned them, as I had never used those little peat pellets before. All my flower seeds and some of the tomatoes are doing great. So, I hope the Gypsy seeds I got from Critter will do well. I probably won't try regular bells again. Mine never got very big on the plants anyway and I've read a lot of threads where other people said that as well. Good luck.

Greenville, IN(Zone 6a)

Sharkey, try the whopper bell peppers, either from Burpee's or Gurney's I had some extra seed from mine last year but I think I traded them all can't even find the ones I was saving for me lol But I never could grow bell peppers to be nice and large until I got those, this year it will be the regular bells again :( Who ever it was that had them had th whopper banana peppers too and they were nice!

Seale, AL(Zone 8b)

I start my pepers in seed trays fo rhow many I want, pu the trays in a gallon baggy, use little pices of plastic to keep th eplastic of the top of the soil and put on kitchen table under lights 24/7. I don't use any bottom heat, and never soak mine and usually have em sproutign in about 7 days.

I could be totally wrogn on this but don't think it so much a heat thign wiht peppers as it is a daylength thing. Even though the seeds are covered, that light still filtering down on them through the dirt.

North Augusta, SC

Thanks starlight, I'm going to try it, like others here have stated, the price of peppers in the store is 'too spendy' - as the tv commercial says.

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

I had some peppers that took nearly a month to germinate, so don't give up hope! If you don't have a heat mat, stick them on top of the water heater or fridge.

Out of the same packet of seeds, I have a pepper that is 5 inches tall, and one that is JUST germinating, and every stage in between.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Heat has definitely made a difference for me, although peppers eventually germinate without it. Here's an article on heat mats & alternatives:

And here's a post describing what I do when I start peppers... I don't think I've really changed my methods much since writing this up.

Hope you find something helpful in there...

I don't think I'd recommend leaving them in water, but you can use the baggie method with peppers... moisten a paper towel with water (wring it out; you want it moist, not dripping wet), place the pepper seeds on it and fold it over (a paper coffee filter works even better). Put it into a plastic baggie, add a little puff of air (may not be necessary, but that's what I do), and seal it. You should be able to hold it up to the light and see the seeds to check for germination -- as soon as you see little "tails" they're ready to be planted.

Mesilla Park, NM

Yeah, mine haven't done a thing and rotted in water.. I have another package that I can try.

Thanks for the information critter... I finally got my flues in... for my herbs.

Joey in Conroe, TX(Zone 8b)

I used the rope light method this year. I have 3 of them inside and built a table top warming nursery outside with them. I bought several Sterlite gift wrap boxes (on sale after Christmas Yay!) that are about 3 feet long, and was able to use a 12 foot rope in each. It's the best luck I've ever had with seeds. They just sprouted up everywhere! LOL except for my Bells, I had one little plant germinate. I moved it to the lights and started new trays of other stuff for the heat boxes, just shoving the flats over with the bells over every time. One day *about 3 WEEKS* later there were my little California Wonders all awake and wondering what the fuss was about. Just late bloomers I guess, Jalapeno, Habaneros, Cayennes, and Fish peppers were all on time.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Good to know the rope lights worked so well! I thought that was a pretty neat method. Maybe the CA Wonder seeds were just a little older, and that's why they needed extra time to wake up.

Rangely, CO(Zone 4a)

I'm returning to startingmy own peppers and matoes this year. I've had trouble with just one variety in years past. I plant 8-10 varieties of bells and hot peppers and had everything come up except my traditional favorite bell, Northstar. Not sure if it's my source, Totally Tomatoes, or the variety. All the others worked!?!?!

My all time favorite starting method was to put my trays, styrofoam egg carton tops in a bread sack, on a sheet cake pan, under the covers in my waterbed. It was the best!!! Stuff always sprouted ahead of schedule by at least 2 days. The second they'd poke their head out of the soil, they went in an old windowmount refreigerated A/C box where I'd installed 4 60W regular light bulbs. I had to be very vigilant in the light box or I'd bake the little guys. By the time I'd put them in 2" newspaper pots (PotMaker) they could live in a cold frame at least during the day.

I gave up my waterbed a few years ago and have never been nearly as successful in my greenhouse with heat mats (waterbed heaters at yard sales).

Good Luck all!!

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I like the idea of building a lightbox and wiring in a thermostatic switch to maintain a constant temperature... but I admit, I like my "no fuss" seedling heat mats and thermostat a lot! :-)

Mackinaw, IL(Zone 5a)

Trying to get my nerve up to start my peppers, and wondering what the "Rope Light" method is. I've having a hard time convincing my DH that we need to spend money on heat mats and shop lights, so we can start from seed and "save money." I keep telling him that it is a one-time expense, that we can re-use the mats and lights for years, and he just scoffs and says, "Yeah, right. One time. Until you think of 3 more things you have to have for all your seeds."

Joey in Conroe, TX(Zone 8b)

Here is the link to the rope light box.
It's really very inexpensive to put together.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

That link and some other ideas are also in the article I mentioned above, on heat mats and alternatives. :-)

Oologah, OK

Wow! thanks so much everyone. Ok now I dont feel so bad,, it seems the CA Bell peppers can be a little tricky, this is my first try at al this. I still have one or two of originals i think, but I am going to start a new packet of different brand and seed company. My DH loves Harbour Frieght, so it wont be hard to get him to go look with me there!and meat trays from walmart! would've not thought of that one!and looking into the rope lites too! You all have the best ideas! good thing, cuz the point is to save money right?! LOL Sorry to hear about light problem Debug! yep, I am so irritated with food prices, and I have always loved flower gardening, so I am giving the veggies a shot too! We have an acre, lots of space, and all full sun- east-west I am putting in Lasagna garden this year. Sounds perfect for me, as herniated discs in lower back make it impossible to dig,hoe, etc. I hope the lasgna method works out, maybe not somuch work for my DH. and to Critteroligist- I printed out your article too, and have the plans too to make stands. Thanks so much for the articles! I am using laundry room and dining room till I can get DH to build me the stands. I am determined to keep trying! LOL I even bought more seeds to sow directly in April outiside- added mild red pepper, and watermelon! DH loves watermelon. LOL with 1/2 acre of flat land, with nothing planted except around fence line, I am having all kinds of fun laying out new gardens and designing for Spring! Only drawback here is its constantly windy. If I can get these seedlings to make it, I will be very busy this spring/summer!

Smyrna, DE(Zone 7a)

I've grown all my peppers (both edible and ornamental) from seed for the past several years. They take forever (or so it seems) to sprout- sometimes up to 21 days. Peppers don't like to be cold and they don't like wet roots. Be patient and they will grow!

Wilkes Barre, PA

Peppers require warm temperatures to germinate. Under heat of 100 degrees F is best.
10 to 20 days is average. After that time I dig up some seeds and check for them starting to germinate. I plant them in a peat mix cover the seeds to up to 1/4 inch of loose peat mix soil. Water them with a house hold type sprayer until water runs out of bottom. Let drain and place in a plastic bag, place on source of under heat. I just use the florescent lights I use for grow lights. I place a tray upside down between them and the top of the light to keep them from getting to hot. With peppers new seed is essential. They don't keep well. When they start to peek up remove the plastic and place 1 inch from bulbs of standard florescent bulbs. Spray water them when soil starts to get dry on surface until all seeds are up.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I've heard that temps much over 85'F can be fatal for seeds, so I generally shoot for about 80 degrees with my heat mat (on a controller). Most of them germinate in a week or less at that temperature... in fact, they get big enough to transplant within the same 2 week period that my peppers needed just to germinate before I started using bottom heat.

Wilkes Barre, PA

I have @90% germination on my peppers and tomatoes. However I use plug flats so the surface temperature may be cooler. I also did some field trials and noted that volunteer tomatoes won't germinate well until field soil temperatures go above 95 degrees F the same as a lot of summer weeds. I have measured field surface temperatures as high as 125 degrees and the weeds still germinate. I grow mostly costly hybrid seeds and learned how to get the most to germinate. I am an organic farmer in north east Pennsylvania and need to get the best yield to survive.

Hester, LA(Zone 9a)

Get an 18 cell tray, 1 bag of miracle grow or other non-peat (for peppers) seed starter, thouroughly wet the soil, but don't make slop, & mix it the day day before you plant seeds. Fill cells to the inner rim of the cell & pat down even but don't squish & compact. Make 3 rows of 3 holes evenly spaced about 1/4" or half the shaved part of a pencil. Stick an ID name & just drop seeds in & lightly pat soil back down over 'em. You can plant up to 18 different varieties of 9 each, or 18 or 27 of 1, etc. etc. All your ID sticks will effectively hold a kitchen-size garbage bag around the whole tray but leave a small amount of air get in. Bonus is... you can remove varieties as they sprout while leaving the others in longer - also, the bigger cells I never water whatsoever before sprouting and they'll stay the perfect moisture even for weeks to sprout habaneros, while they stay humid but not moldy. Exactly when it's time to put into bigger pots, the roots and leaves have just enough room not to be tangled or all block out each others light. I drown the seedlings almost the night before I repot & at the same time wet the soil I will repot into the next day & have no transplant shock, then I drown 'em almost before planting those in the field before it rains and they don't get shocked again.

You can order the trays how many you want and what size along with the bottom part at a nursery that won't rip you of for 10 cents & under for variety sticks & a couple bucks for both trays which you can reuse. I get whole boxes & hundreds of trays. I've got about 5,000 seeds started for less than the cost of 2 of those setups from the store. If you leave 'em about 70 in the house they'll take around 2 weeks at about 85%, if you've got a small room with a little temperature programmable heater or a window unit heater & keep it 80-85, you'll get very near 100% germ in less than a week to 10 days for bell, 2 weeks, give or take for some others and some hot peppers. Some of the hot peppers germ a litlle better in 48 count trays with 2 seeds staggered because they get a little hotter and the soil dries a LITTLE faster which a lot of the non capsicum annum hot pepprs seem to like in my experience.

Hester, LA(Zone 9a)

Strangely, all the volunteers in the field come up the day after a frost - all the solanae.

Alameda, CA(Zone 9b)

I germinate peppers like critterologist does; damp coffee filter inside of a ziplock, with a bit of air, on top of the fridge. They germinate quickly and well this way. I leave them until they have gotten their seed leaves and then pot them up into 6 packs. This method works really well for me. Here are my records for this year, so you'll get an idea. -As you can see, the only pepper that did poorly was the Anaheim. Those seeds were from a trade, so maybe they were really old or something.

Thumbnail by Susan_C
Kailua Kona, HI(Zone 11)

I used jiffy pots/ pellets about five years ago only half of my seeds germinated.after talking it up to some old gardeners they said never use jiffy pots to germinate peppers of anykind.i started using the square pressed jiffy pots filled them with good starter soil , ferry morse is the brand.filled to 1/2" from the top.set my seeds on top,wet a jiffy pellet for an hour. removed insides used to cover seeds,covered seeds to the right depth. get 100 % germ.keep damp not wet. place on top of heat mat set stat to 80 degrees put on humidity dome leave alone until leaves start on all.remove dome.some peppers take upto 25 day to come up give them time.also i set stat on heat to 75 degrees

Providence, KY

I went very low tech, a cardboard egg carton, potting soil, and a piece of loose plastic wrap. Put it in a sunny location in a warm room and had sprouts in around two weeks to 2 1/2 weeks and growing nicely. Keep soil damp but not overly wet till sprouts appear, then discard plastic covering. The seeds, saved from a pepper out of my garden last summer and air dried and stored in a ziplock with paper toweling.

West Warren, MA

Hi, am going to try growing peppers from seeds. I bought orange and yellow peppers, dried the seed and will plant soon.
Anyone have any luck from seeds fo peppers they bought??

Hester, LA(Zone 9a)

I did for practice before I started doing this for a living - usually were good. There are more hybrid peppers than they use to be, but way less than tomatoes.

West Warren, MA

Thanks Luzian, will plant them and see what I get!!

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