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How To Grow Bell Peppers From Scraps
You can grow bell peppers from scraps left over from you cutting a bell pepper by simply taking the seeds and putting them into a container of potting soil, covering them with soil, watering them in, and allowing them to sit for a few days until they sprout. Once the seeds have sprouted, you can separate the plants into their own containers where you will take care of them until they start putting out their own bell pepper flowers and fruit.
If you have ever wondered if you can grow bell peppers from scraps and successfully get peppers – I am going to go into depth about this very question and give you some tips to help you succeed.
How To Plant Fresh Bell Pepper Seeds Video
Where do I start?
The first thing you need is to decide what type of pepper you want to use for this experiment. I say experiment because it is always fun to think about it like that.
I remember in school when the teacher would give you a cup of potting soil and a bean to grow for science class. It was so fun to see the seed sprout and reach for the light.
Now, back to growing fresh pepper seeds. You can essentially use any kind of pepper you want. In the video above I used a red bell pepper because that is what I already had on hand.
So, the sky is the limit here. You can go for those incredible-looking bell peppers or those super spicy habaneros at your local market.
Tips to remember when choosing a pepper:
- Always pick a good-looking pepper. You want to make sure that the pepper you choose is a good specimen of the variety that you want to grow.
- Use ripe peppers. The seeds in peppers are only mature when the pepper is ripe. Using ripe peppers for this will ensure that you are planting seeds that will sprout.
- Pick a type of pepper you like to eat.
How do you plant bell pepper seeds from fresh bell peppers?
It is really easy to get started with growing peppers from the seeds in fresh bell peppers. You just need some potting mix, some sort of containers to plant your seeds into, and the seeds themselves.
The first thing you need to get is the containers in that you plan on growing your pepper seedlings in. These containers should be sturdy, big enough for your plant to grow in for a while, and should have drainage holes in the bottom so that the excess water can drain out.
These containers can be anything from used yogurt containers, red solo cups, seed trays, or even peat pots. The most important thing is that they have drainage. I have personally used all four with great success.
Fill your containers
Next, fill up your containers with a good quality potting mix such as Pro-Mix. Put your potting mix into your containers and gently press down to get out any air pockets that might be in there. Be careful not to pack the soil down in the container too much.
Plant your seeds
Once you have your soil in your containers and lightly tamped down, next you will want to put your seeds into the potting mix. It is very important to only put the seeds a quarter-inch into the potting mix and then lightly cover them with the potting mix.
Water them in
Make sure to give them a good misting of water to moisten the soil. I use a misting bottle to mist the top of the potting mix so that the seeds won’t get moved around by a stream of water.
Using a hose or a watering can could splash the soil or push the seeds further down in the container which will hinder their germination.
Keep them moist over the course of the first few days and you should see the seeds start to sprout within 3-7 days. The germination time can vary based on pepper variety as some varieties can take up to 30 days. So, be patient.
After your seeds have sprouted you need to get them underneath some lights to help them grow.
How Far Should Grow Light Be From Pepper Seedlings?
You should place your pepper seedlings between 2-4 inches from the lights depending on the actual light. This will ensure that they get the light they need to prevent legginess. Giving them enough light is absolutely imperative to growing good strong seedlings.
If the seedlings cannot get enough light they will begin to stretch for the light and grow too tall. This is commonly referred to as “legginess”. Essentially, this is where the plant grows super tall but lacks the strength to really support its own weight.
If you end up with leggy plants, it is better to just start over instead of trying to correct the issue. It will save you time and frustration to just start some additional seeds as the time you use to try and fix the tall plants can be used to start seeds and grow healthy plants.
How Much Light Do Pepper Seedlings Need
Pepper seedlings that are grown indoors need between 12-16 hours of light a day to grow into big healthy plants. This helps simulate the peak growing season when the amount of daylight in a day is at its max. This would include a period of 12-16 hours with the lights on and a period of between 8-12 hours a day where the light is off.
Do Pepper Seedlings Need Darkness?
Yes, pepper seedlings need a period of darkness during their day. This is important as everything needs sleep and a resting period in order to be healthy. You can use a simple 16/8 ratio for your pepper seedlings lighting schedule. This would essentially mean that you have 16 hours with the lights on and the additional 8 hours with the lights off.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:
Can I harvest seeds from store-bought peppers?
Yes, you can harvest seeds from store-bought peppers to use in your garden. You can do this with any variety from bell peppers, jalapenos to the spiciest peppers out there like Carolina Reapers and more as long as the peppers are fully ripe. Fully ripe peppers have the most mature seeds which will have a better germination rate than a green pepper.
If you find some peppers you want to save the seed for but aren’t completely ripe you can put those peppers into a paper bag and allow them to ripen over the course of a couple of days. If you notice the pepper starting to get soft or rot just harvest the seeds as they are still good even though the pepper is bad.
If you are saving these seeds for later use make sure to dry them out completely before putting them into a plastic zip-lock bag or paper envelope to prevent molding. You can dry them out on a paper plate for a couple of days before putting them away. Make sure to label each bag with the variety of pepper, the date the seed was saved, and any other information that you might need.
Can You Grow Bell Peppers From Store Bought Peppers?
Yes, you can grow bell peppers from store-bought peppers with very little effort and end up with good results. The key when selecting which peppers to use for seed is to pick peppers that are already fully ripe or close to being ripe so that you can get started right away and the seeds will be more likely to germinate. You can cut the pepper open and plant the seeds straight away without drying them.
Can you regrow bell peppers from scraps?
Yes, you can regrow bell peppers from scraps by either planting the seeds that are leftover or by plant the entire core of the pepper. The seeds from the scraps will begin to sprout and grow into new pepper plants that will eventually produce new bell peppers for you to eat if provided with the proper care. The one pepper that you planted the initial seeds from can ultimately provide you with fresh bell peppers for as long as you have seed.
How long does it take to grow bell peppers from seed?
It takes anywhere from 60-90 days to grow bell peppers from seed as it depends on the particular variety of bell pepper you are growing. There are literally hundreds of different varieties of bell peppers each varying slightly in growing times. You can start your pepper seeds indoors 6-10 weeks before your last frost to get a jump on the season which will help get peppers sooner.
Related: Seed Starting Tips
What is the fastest way to germinate bell pepper seeds?
The fast way to germinate pepper seeds is the paper towel method which usually takes between 3-10 days depending on the pepper variety. This involves placing the seeds onto a pre-moistened paper towel, folding and placing it into a zip lock bag. You then need to check the seeds and the paper towel every couple of days to see if the towel is still moist. Once a seed sprouts you can transplant it into a cup of potting mix or directly into a hydroponic net cup.
Can I grow peppers from the seeds inside them?
Yes, you can grow peppers from the seeds inside of any pepper as long as you only plant seeds from ripe peppers. Only the seeds from ripe peppers are mature enough to sprout and grow into a new pepper plant.
Yes, you can grow bell peppers from scraps left over from your last shopping trip. It just takes a little bit of potting soil and some seeds to grow new pepper plants that you can harvest fresh peppers from.
If you like this article on how to grow bell peppers from scraps, please share it on social media and with friends.
Also, check out our article on How to Grow a Carolina Reaper Plant or How to prepare your herb bed for winter!
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