mustard habanero

Chile Pepper Seeds

It’s been quite cool here in South Florida during January, and now we’re set to get more near-freezing weather this week — it doesn’t bode well for chile peppers!  I’ve got one out in the garden already — Thai Hot — but none of my other chile seeds (except for Pretty Purple Pepper) have germinated.  My sweet peppers, on the other hand, have pretty much all germinated fine.

Hmm.

The Need for Heat

Thinking that warmth may be the issue (it’s been awfully cool inside the house as well), I decided to spring for a new [nmslink:seedling heat, seed germination heating pad].  If you’re not familiar with them, they provide a gentle heat to the bottom of the seed tray.  Think of these as heating pads for seeds!

Note:  you cannot use a regular “people” heating pad to warm your seeds — they are not designed to operate 24/7 and the seed germination pads are.  If you use a regular heating pad, you risk starting a fire (or at the very least developing hot spots and give too much heat to the little seeds).

Now my new one is about 20″ x 10″ in size, and I can put two of my 8″ x 8″ trays on it with room to spare.  I generally like only only do smaller trays, in cycles.  That way, while one tray is sprouted and enjoying the grow lights, I can be starting another set.

Today’s Chile Pepper Seeds

Some of today’s seeds are new (I just bought them recently) and some are from 10 years ago — treasured seeds that I can’t help but try and grow again.

The new seeds are:  Cambuci Hot, Jalapeno M, [nmslink:mustard habanero seed, Mustard Habanero], [nmslink:peter pepper seed, Peter Pepper] and [nmslink:bhut jolokia, Bhut Jolokia].

The older seeds are:  Tam Jalapeno, Jaloro, Hot-Banero and Brazillian Rainbow.  The last two especially, since they were both from saved seed in my garden.  Hot-Banero was the absolute hottest pepper I have ever grown and Brazillian Rainbow is rare.  I’d love to see how my Hot-Banero stacks up against Mustard Habanero and Bhut Jolokia!

Unfortunately, it’s going to be awhile before I really can expect any “action” from my plantings.  Chile seeds seem to take quite a bit longer than sweet peppers, so I’m thinking it will be around Valentine’s Day before I see the first of the chiles popping their heads above ground.

Germinating pepper seeds isn’t really hard, except for the waiting part.  But given my weather of late, I’d have to wait to plant them even if they were already sprouted and grown enough.

Pepper Plants and Seeds

Pepper plants and seeds are fun to work with (as you probably already know).  So today is an update on the peppers and chiles that I have on deck — plants and seeds.

Bell Pepper, Yellow

This is a plant that I bought, with hopes of getting some more bells.  As you’ll remember in some of my growing peppers in Florida posts, I traditionally have a hard time with bell peppers.  This time I decided to just buy a plant and hope for the best.

It’s doing fairly well, and some blossoms are getting ready to appear — at least six so far.  I’d have liked the plant to be a little larger, but I’ll see what happens.  The size may have something to do with the fact that it’s been cooler than normal these last few weeks — days in the 60’s to low 70’s, nights in the 40’s.

Sweet Banana Peppers

The next on deck and growing well are the Park’s Whopper Sweet Banana icon peppers.  I love the sweet bananas, and the Park’s produces some nice big peppers.  Too bad they are hybrids, so I can’t save the seeds.  But then again, one pack has enough seeds to last me several growing seasons, so I can’t complain.  They are still a way from planting out in the garden, but they’ve been doing well, in spite of the cooler weather (I have them outdoors in a protected location).

Redskin Bell

Redskinicon, a bell with a “weeping” habit, is doing well.  I figured I’d try another kind of bell, and grow it out on the screened patio in a pot, see what happens.

Purira Chile Pepper

I love growing the hot peppers that look like Christmas trees, with candles of all kinds of colors.  Purira is a pretty hot pepper with tons and tons of cone-shaped fruits.  Colors vary between ivory, yellow, purple, orange and red, with all colors appearing at any given time.  Oranmental, but drop one small ripe pepper in a pot of chile and watch out!

Pretty Purple Pepper (Hot)

This one is another of the ornamental but hot peppers.  The leaves and stems are mostly purple, and the peppers are purple, ripening to red hot red.  Put one or two in your chili for a nice heat.

Sweet Pickle

Name notwithstanding, I like to eat these Sweet Pickle peppers fresh.  Kind of remind me of the Purira chile, with a Christmas tree appearance.  These are great sliced up in salads, soups and salsa.  Not hot at all — just sweet.  One of these days I’ll have to try pickling them.

The Really Hot Chiles

My [nmslink:bhut jolokia pepper seed, bhut jolokia] has arrived, and I’m waiting for the [nmslink:mustard habanero seed, mustard habaneros] to show up.  Thai hot, peter pepper, [nmslink:datil pepper seed, datil] and hot-banero are also waiting in the wings.  Hot-banero is the hottest habanero I’ve ever grown (my own strain), and I want to see how it stacks up against jolokia and the mustard habanero.

I’m not in a super-hurry for the really hot peppers; they like the warmth and it’s still pretty cool.  In my experience, the hotter the pepper, the warmer the soil it needs to germinate, and the longer it takes to germinate.  I don’t plan on putting any of the really hot chiles out in the garden until maybe the beginning of  March.

But I will very shortly be germinating some jalapeno seeds — Jalapeno M variety.  Debating on trying the Jaloro as well; those are some of my legacy (i.e. 10-year-old) seeds.  Germination for the older seeds has been kind of low, but we’ll see what happens.  Jaloro is a yellow jalapeno, instead of the usual green.  But I like to use it red, which gives it a really nice kick.