Seed Swaps

How long do pepper seeds take to sprout?

18 Mar 2008

One concern: almost all of my pepper seeds remain unsprouted (or at least underground). Only one pepper variety has sprouted beautifully – the purple plum peppers. The rest are silent. The seeds were planted about 10ish days ago. Is this normal? Anyone have any thoughts about peppers? I can’t believe that I would have gotten 3 batches of bad seeds…




Caveat: I haven’t started peppers from seeds before, but I’m doing it this year, and here’s what comes to mind from the research I did.
I read a lot about them having to be warm to sprout – like 75 degrees warm. Heating pads were recommended. Maybe the one that did sprout is a cooler climate variety?
Also, I think 10 days is a bit quick. I don’t think two weeks was out of the norm.
You could try pre-sprouting the seeds on some damp paper towels (like you did with beans as a kid). If they sprout, you’ll know the seed’s good, and can cut up the paper towel and plant the sprouts.

Posted on 24 Mar 08 (about 10 years ago)

This is my 2nd year starting peppers from seed – and I agree with Planting Oaks. A nice warm spot like seed starting mats or other sources of warmth – 80 degrees F seems to be perfect to get those babies sprouting. This year I had one tray on an old waterbed heater and another sat about 2 inches above a food dehydrator. The seeds on the mat must have had a more consistent warmth – they started germinating at 6 days, but many were still sprouting at day 16. And those over the dehydrator started about day 7, and continued through about the 18th day. So don’t get discouraged just yet! I haven’t tried other warmth sources, but I’ve read of people using the top of their fridge, the top of the water heater, even inside a gas oven with just the pilot light on.

Posted on 24 Mar 08 (about 10 years ago)

Even if you have an electric oven, the big incandescent light plus the small draft-less area makes it reasonably warm. It’s a common way to raise bread among other things.

Posted on 25 Mar 08 (about 10 years ago)


Folia Helper


I started my peppers on a south-facing window sill, above a radiator, and they sprouted quite quickly, they also continue to grow well on that same windowsill. Before they sprouted, I kept the pots covered with a piece of clear plastic. I took that off as soon as they sprouted.
I don’t like to use heated propagators, I prefer to use the energy already needed to heat the house (central heating radiators, sunny window sill), and so far that has been enough, though I understand not everyone has those same options…

Posted on 27 Mar 08 (about 10 years ago)


Folia Helper

United States5b

When I lived in SoCal, I would just stick a pepper in a pot and throw it outside in February and it would sprout in a few days. Now that I’m in upstate New York, I have resorted to putting seeds in a pot on a radiator. They came up in about a week. Not only that, but I had pepper volunteers (probably from worm castings) show up in lots of my houseplants, which weren’t necessarily near radiators or reliable light sources.

I agree that it’s hard to blame bad seeds with so many batches, but it’s possible. It’s also possible that you’ve done something systematically bad, like planting them too deep. You might try planting too many seeds and count on thinning them later.

Posted on 01 May 08 (almost 10 years ago)

UPDATE: i am crazy. and a bad labeler of pots. the “purple plum peppers” that supposedly came up in 10 days and made me impatient? well, those are RADISHES, people, not peppers. i’m just crazy. the rest of the peppers came up beautifully and are bearing fruit now. geez.

Posted on 24 Jun 08 (almost 10 years ago)

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