The Q&A Archives: Seed Starting

Question: I have a habanero pepper plant that has recently produced one fruit in the 2+ years it has been growing since I started it from a seed. I would like to use this fruit to make more pepper plants. How do I go about this?
I'm planning on drying the pepper then planting some of the seeds that come out of it. Also, How many seeds can I expect to come out of the pepper?

Answer: As long as you air-dry the pepper, the seeds will remain viable. If you use heat to dry it, you may kill the little embryos inside the seeds. Habanero peppers have variable numbers of seeds; it's a smallish pepper so you'll probably only find a half-dozen inside. After the seeds are completely dry, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark location. Start your seeds 8-10 weeks before you plan to set them outdoors. Capsicum seeds need light and warmth to germinate. Sow them on the surface of moistened seed starting mix, cover flats or trays with plastic wrap to help retain moisture, and put them in a warm area, or on top of propagating mats. The seeds will germinate in 21-60 days if kept at 70F - 75F degrees. After the seeds sprout remove the plastic wrap and place them under a source of bright light. When your seedlings have developed two sets of leaves, transplant them into individual containers. Keep the artificial light source about 6" above the foliage, moving it as the plants grow. Set your pepper plants outside in mid-spring, when the air and soil temperatures are warm.

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