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Tips on sprouting Reaper seeds?

Discussion in 'Peppers' started by burmser, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. burmser

    burmser Newbie

    I've grown many different peppers but never the super hots. Recently, I got a few Carolina Reaper seeds and am trying to sprout them. I know super hots can take longer to sprout, but this is ridiculous. It's been over four weeks. I keep them in a moist paper towel, in a ziplock bag, in a baby wipe warmer. I check them ever other day and they still look fresh. I've had no problem sprouting habaneros and other hot peppers this way. Does anyone have any experience with sprouting super hots?
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Over 4 weeks and still nothing...sounds like immature or infertile seeds, but unless the use of your warmer has given consistent results in the past it may be too warm. Room temperature such as placed on a counter-top should be adequate to sprout most seeds. Also, continuously being very wet may cause mold spores to colonize on the seeds. Mold can be difficult to see with the naked eye until it has basically taken-over the subject. Have you tried just soaking them for 6-8 hours, then draining with a towel/cheesecloth (do not pat dry) and holding in a small glass or plastic container, not covered tightly to allow it to breath, and keeping on the counter-top? It can be a dark location, or in a container that does not allow light transmission, as sunlight is not required for sprouting.

    I haven't done any sprouting for a very long time (haven't been that interested in it) but have recently been studying seed sprouts as a food source, and it seems that the universal recommendations are to soak, drain, allow them to breath and always keep at room temp. Harder or larger seeds take longer soak times and many seeds may do much better with a rinse/drain once daily or more often. The repeated rinse/drain aids in re-hydration and helps remove mold spores that may have accumulated on the seeds. It's a double-edged sword when sprouting...you need moisture to wake-up the seeds and mold thrives in moist environments, so with rinsing you are reducing the population of mold spores on the seeds, hopefully enough to prevent it from colonizing and propagating.

    Just some thoughts...not saying the methods I mentioned are 100% the best way, or that what you're doing is all-out wrong, only that maybe a few changes in your process will get those reaper seeds going with consistent results.

    Anyone else have some ideas or proven methods?

  3. burmser

    burmser Newbie

    I didn't even think of immature or infertile seed. That's probably the issue. 

    Yes, I've used the warmer to sprout before. I'm not sure if it's faster or better. It's just what I've always done with pepper seeds. I seem to get less  to no mold on the seeds that take a couple of weeks to pop. Actually, I'm surprised these seed don't have any mold on them at all yet.

    Thanks for the help. I'm going to leave them in there until they rot or pop, and throw in a couple of pumpkin habaneros next to them. Hab's are easy and tasty.

    Thanks again.

  4. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The bag needs to be opened daily to allow oxygen in or they may not sprout.... I found that out with pole beans... laid them on a wet paper towel and covered with saran to stop the water evaporating... NOTHING after 7 days... Same pack of seeds under wet PT, no saran, 2 days they sprouted....

    If you can inflate the zip bag and seal with air inside that will work... replace the air inside a couple times / week....
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Dave, never thought of that, but it makes perfect sense.

  6. burmser

    burmser Newbie

    I never thought of that either. 

    I will say that because of the length of time they've been in the bag I've neglected opening it frequently. I'll start opening the bag every couple of days and see how they do. Thanks.

  7. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Also, some pepper seeds can take up to 3 months to germinate... I guess it has to do with survival in drier climates ... Darned if I know... but with about a 90 degree heat pad under them and damp conditions they should make it...

    But if you are experimenting with the really hot pepper varieties, such as the Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper), it could take up to four months, says the Trade Winds Fruit website:
    "Chinense species (e.g. Habanero's) generally take longer to germinate than most common peppers. Keep soil warm to very warm (75-90F) for better germination. Do not use acidic soil. Some Chinense peppers, in particular Bhut Jolokia, Naga Morich and related peppers are very slow to germinate, averaging 1-4 months germination time."
  8. burmser

    burmser Newbie

    I knew the super hots took a little longer, but I didn't know they may take three months or more. Maybe they still have a chance. I'll keep y'all informed of their progress.
  9. wudy

    wudy Fire Starter

    I started some Trinidad scorpions this spring from seeds and put them in these jiffy pods and they sprouted in about two weeks. That was in March. They here in my garage under a light to keep them warm.. About 80* They are just turning ripe now.
  10. I start planting my super Hots in Late February.  I use peat pots, a dollar store potting mix and a couple of seed heating trays I own.  They usually sprout in a couple of weeks, and I leave them on the tray until 4 leaves appear, then onto a table in the basement, with a fan in the room, moving, pointed at the peppers.  I move this fan daily.  This makes them very strong.  As soon as the temp gets above 50 degrees outside, and I have 2 indoor/outdoor and 2 outdoor thermometers to tell me when, they start spending time out in shade, increasing day by day, until they are spending 6 to 7 outdoors, then I start moving them into the sun, increasingly more, day after day.  By time I get to about 6 hours a day, the frost risk has passed and in to my garden they go.
  11. airmec

    airmec Fire Starter

    Try putting the seeds in the refrigerator where they won't freeze for at least a few weeks then try and sprout them. Supers need to think that they have gone through winter before they sprout. I always get good results this way.