Picture of How to Grow Peppers! Propagating Peppers!
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This is a Step-by-Step Instructable on how to grow bell or chili peppers from your favorite store bought varieties! And regardless of colour, flavor, or size, all peppers are grown pretty much the same way making this is a very fun, cheap, and easy to do project that I'm sure anyone of any age would enjoy doing!

So read on and learn how to grow some of these for yourself!

PS, i know the intro image is awful, no need to remind me xD
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
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(I used for this instructable but they're not necessary)

+Peppers or Pepper Seeds
- Any variaty of pepper will work
- If getting seeds, i wouldn't recommend getting hybrids, they are very simple to grow and are very resilient and strong, but seeds harvested from these peppers will likely be inferior to the origional plant. They will lack the "vigor" they had before.

All of these are optional.

+ A seed germination set-up
+ Soil (Sphagnum Moss, Cheap Soil, Quality Soil --mixed)
+ Plastic Baggies
+ Brown Paper Bag
+ and some Pots!
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kstsells.6 days ago

How can you know if a pepper - or any other store bought veggie - is a hybrid? Well, a hybrid seed cannot reproduce. I learned this the hard way last year by using seeds I harvested from some Gurney hybrid jalapenos and sweet mini peppers I planted the year before. I started dozens of them with none of them coming up. I repeated the process 3 time (I'm a slow learner!) and not one of them grew. A quick google search revealed the problem, hybrids cannot reproduce duh! I should have known this. Hybrid animals such as mules - a cross between a donkey and horse - cannot reproduce. However I LOVE my hybrid peppers so much because of the quality and size of the fruit that I will continue to order and pay Gurney's high prices and ridiculous shipping costs.

Also hybrid is not the same thing as heirloom.

AndreeAlx8 months ago

You really should avoid using Peat Compost Soil. Peat-bogs are carbon sinks storing huge amount of carbon accumulated in thousands or tens of thousands of years! Using them as same as using fossil fuels. I would recommend a more sustainable alternative.

Canada has more peat than anyone can use for a very long time, and they would very much love your business. :)

Sustainability is an issue with UK-sourced peat, though, yes.

I love growing peppers, this is a great tutorial! I've been working on a fun side project trying to list all the peppers in the world along with info on each of them and their SHU ratings. It's taking a long time but definitely fun. Let me know if I missed any or you have any cool pepper pics to add, many of the pics are from my garden :) Here it is

10351578_1631651347060649_2066151497520358413_n (1).jpg
CapnChkn1 year ago

Freshly harvested Pepper seeds should be put in a jar, screw the top on, and shaker up gude! When the seeds stop twirling around, the ones that sink are the good ones.

If the seed is old and dried out, you should soak them for a long while and shake it then. Viability decreases with age. after a few years there's no chance of the seed germinating. Stored in an airtight container and kept in the freezer will keep the dried seed for longer. Allow the container to reach room temperature with the lid on to avoid condensation on dried materials.

Dry the seed in front of a fan, stirring occasionally. If the seed comes from really hot peppers, you should add a little dish liquid to the water and dissolve the oil which contains the capsaicinoids, and you may keep your head while processing further. Dried seed should be separated from chaff by threshing.


Ranie-K1 year ago
Just wondered if these hotboxes tricks would help. On of the other chili pepper plants I put outside unprotected was half eaten two days after I planted it, so I hope these stop the thieves (I suspect a cat) and maybe raise temperature to perfection.

The round planter has a "Trinidad Scorpion Butch T" and in the long one I just threw in some packets of crushed chili from a fast food vendor as an experiment. I understand these packets are usually from Cayenne. Has anyone tried this before with any luck? If they're radiated when processed, I suspect they're all dead and will not sprout.

I have several more 1 inch tall "Trinidad Scorpion Butch T" plants growing inside that I plan on growing in a "Topsy Turvy® Hot Pepper Planter" when they get a little bigger.
Retrospecs1 year ago
I was speaking to a Master Gardener at the University of New Hampshire and he suggested also adding a tablespoon of epsom salts or Milk of Magnesia. He said the area of the world peppers originated in was high in Magnesium content. I have tried this for about 4 seasons and have gotten consistantly amazing results. Bigger plants, larger and more plentiful fruiting.
altainta2 years ago
good guide
ACgarden2 years ago
Good job. I will give it a shot from seeds. I most often buy seedlings that have grown tall and strong with lots of buds but the peppers have turned out small and bitter.
angel birch2 years ago
Thank you for a brilliant post, I live in a really cold area at this time of the year but will be starting some peppers inside after watching your project.
happy gardening and post again
angel x
Omaha6 years ago
Thanks for the great instructable! I have a couple questions and concerns though before I try it. First, you mentioned not using hybrids, which always makes sense because the plant reverts to its base type (usually as you mentioned, not good). But, when you get the seeds from fruit at the store, then how do you know whether they are hybrids or not? I have propagated heirloom tomatoes in a similar manner, and one of the primary issue with this approach of growing multiple varieties from seeds is cross pollination. For tomatoes you need to make sure that other varieties, including hybrids are separated by at least 50 yards to make sure that you end up with what you expected. My concern about peppers is related mostly to the crossing of hot and sweet pepper varieties, Since you have used different color varieties, have you seen strange color results? Do you manually pollinate the plants or do you count on bees doing the job? The whole pollination issue was not discussed in your instructable. Is this an oversight or for peppers is pollination not an issue? As I said your instructable is great. I intend to try it, but I want to make sure that I do it right so that it works correctly the first time. Thanks!!!!
thenear1send (author)  Omaha6 years ago
Your first question... Knowing whether the peppers are hybrids or not from groceries and stuff... I don't know really, BUT if you purchase some peppers, save the stickers on them with company name, and do some research about the company, or even, get the companies phone number and ask them personally whether they are hybrids or not. Because of the expense of growing plants to get hybrid seeds-- to grow other hybridized plants-- i couldn't imagine how they could afford to mass produce hybridized produce. And your second group of questions, Yes i know i didn't write about cross pollination, primary reason being, i am not an expert on pollination. Also, i have never seed saved from peppers i have grown, i usually have tons of pepper seeds stored from harvesting otherwise. But, if you were to get serious into growing peppers, hand pollination would be a good idea, ive never gotten the technique down so i usually don't bother much with it. And if you are growing hot peppers and bell / sweet peppers, there is nothing to worry about if they do cross pollinate ONLY IF you do not seed save and grow from those. But another thing to not worry about when growing hots and sweets, is that many, but NOT ALL, hot peppers are of a different species than the bells and sweets, (i don't know their Latin names). And if your paranoid about them crossing, building physical barriers between the two species is a good option, and by physical barriers, i mean nets to keep bees from pollinating the two species simultaneously. And another note, i'm not sure whether you know this already or not, but, cross pollination does NOT affect the FRUIT of the current plant growing the fruit. Cross pollination WILL affect the fruit if the seeds were seed SAVED and planted again. Those fruits would be of the mixed-ness. Hope that helped! Next spring im planning on growing lots of varieties of peppers and will do some experiments then, but as of now, i dont know a lot about the whole pollination deal. Well, i hope you start planing 'em soon -thenear1send
I believe that almost all industrially farmed food is hybrid. Farmers are in the business of growing food, not seeds. The seed companies are in the business of growing seeds. Most farmers will buy all their seeds, year after year, from the same few large seed companies. The extra yield, as well as the disease resistance of hybrids, greatly outweighs the extra seed cost.

You might have more luck with this technique with fruits from a farmer's market. It would also be much easier to get in contact with the farmer to find out about varietal information.

Have you gotten any fruit from your plants yet? How did they turn out? Did you get lucky?
The hot pepper gene is dominant over the sweet so some people who have limited space use spun covers and uncover their pepper plants of one type then recover and then uncover the other type. I purchased some "sweet" peppers that were slightly hot right from the first peppers. The guy buys his seed and planted sweet and hot in his garden with no other precautions. I am figuring that the seed was not tainted from a seed company. I asked a few other gardeners also who told me that if your a seed collector you need to grow one type or have them covered.
Peale Omaha5 years ago
Peppers are one of the few plants that are "self pollenating."  You can still crossbreed them if you mix pollen from two different plants, but you can get your plants to produce fruit if you gently touch the flowers with your finger.
vrkelley6 years ago
I've got mine growing under 2 Red "flowering" grow lights. They flower but the flowers fall off when I try to cross polinate them. The 4 plants seem happy otherwise. I got one pepper the size of a marble, it fell off too. Any suggestions for getting the fruit to set on indoor plants (without bumping off the flower)?
try using a steralized feather... from a bird or hobby shop... only use the feather for the type of plant you are using... and to steralize the feather about 15-20 seconds in the microwave should do it... other wise you problem could be a lack of nutrition or the lack of volume of soil for root/nutriton uptake. Hope this helps. ps be very light when touching the flowers with the feathers.. this stimulates the type of interaction that bees have with the flower.
My only thought is to also add Blue "growing" lights as well, or just put them near a window.
creshawn3 years ago
My peppers are turning black on the stem and fruit and not sure why. Please help
naveedasif3 years ago
Its too good to see this Instructable. i am a plants and gardening lover and i love to learn this. i will try this as soon as possible. God Bless you.
Hey, I see you have a palm tree next to your garden bed. What zone are you in?
I love peppers but they never do well in my garden, unless I feed them so much stuff that I may as well get store bought. Then they are never as big. I am in zone 6.
majjuss3 years ago
Hi! thanks for your Instructable!
I just bought Habanero seeds that were freakin' expensive... I hope that I can save the money next year by propagating them!

Pizzapie5004 years ago
I have a question: when can you put compost onto them?
Silence4 years ago
As a note. This step is crucial before storage. Make sure your seeds have dried completely before packing them away. I put mine with dry instant rice a little too soon and lost 2 batches of seeds due to mold. Fortunately I have a couple plants that have started to sprout so I should be able to recover my losses without spending more money.
jester19666 years ago
Green and red bell peppers are acutally the same plant. The green ones are just the unripe variant. So I guess that seeds from red peppers might grow better because they are from the ripe fruit. Good article otherwise! :)
thenear1send (author)  jester19666 years ago
Green and red bell peppers are definitely different plants. The green bell peppers you see in stores are in fact ripe green varieties, not unripe reds or others. But thats not saying that colored bell peppers, like reds, don't start out green when they are first being produced (which most do). But your mistaken in the idea that they are the same plant. Correctly, they are the same species, but also different varieties, so it is possible that they can cross-pollinate.
Let a green bell sit around for a bit and you'll note the color start to change.
Yes, but an unripe red pepper does not have the same texture/flavor as a green pepper.  An unripe red pepper is just that - unripe and not ready to be picked.

Yes,  green pepper will turn red, but a red pepper has a very different taste.
That's because the pepper hasn't had the time to develop the sugars and other compounds that gives it their flavour when it ripens. 
I was always wondering about that, thanks.
J@50n5 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Good pic dude except for the, um... the "n" in growing, there should only be one, that's the way god intended it to be spelled :)
Ya, thats embarissing (sp, i know).... im gunna delete this!
licon5 years ago
 Its interesting and explained nicely. I may in future follow your method. Paul
granzolas5 years ago
can yu grow them like beans
Scatcat5 years ago
My grand parents always used paper envelopes to store there seeds and they always had good luck with them.
rosewood5135 years ago
I've been gardening for about 40 years, you really did a great job!!
I usually buy organic veggies when I try to extract seeds for drying.
Not a guarantee but I usually get the good ones.
Nice peppers,
Mine are not always as nice, peppers are a small challenge.  8)
awang86 years ago
My peppers aren't germinating! It's been like 3 weeks and nothing's growing!!! What's happening? I got the seeds from a non-hybrid organic green bell pepper.
Javin007 awang85 years ago
Did you chill your seeds? It sounds like they need to be chilled for a length of time to be "activated."
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