How to Save Pepper Seeds

Think saving pepper seed is difficult?

Think again.

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Green jalapeno – not ready for saving seed from
Fully ripe Jalapeno Pepper
Fully ripe Jalapeno Pepper

Saving pepper seed is really easy. The most important step is the first – leave the pepper on the plant until it gets very ripe. This will mean the pepper will turn color from the standard green to its final hue, either red (like the above jalapeno) or yellow or orange or whatever. The fruit will feel a little soft when squeezed.

Important note:  If the pepper plant is a hybrid (aka F1),  it was a cross between 2 different varieties and your saved seed may not produce the same fruit as its parent.  Also, there is a small chance your pepper was cross pollinated with other nearby peppers, so again, your results may vary.  Ah, plant sex.

SnarkyJalapenoCut

Once it’s ready, pick your pepper Peter Piper style and cut it up.  You will want to have something the seeds can be stored in for drying, like this medicine bottle cap.  Be careful not to slice through the center of the pepper as that’s where all the seedy goodness is.  If you cut up peppers on a regular basis for cooking, it’s the same, except you keep the seeds instead of tossing them.    Remove all the seeds from the pepper and membrane, and put them in your drying vessel.  Then cut up the pepper for use now or bag it up and freeze for later (peppers freeze really well).

Warning:  If you are saving hot pepper seeds, be careful with burning your skin.  You will want to wear gloves if you can.  And if you’re like the Snarky Gardener, you won’t and then you’ll need to use dish soap, rubbing alcohol, milk, or yogurt to wash away the hot irritating oil.

SnarkyJalapenoSeeds1

Leave the seeds out to dry for about a week or two, shaking them back and forth every couple of days. Now they will be ready for storing or planting.

SnarkyJalapenoSeeds2
Pepper Seed – the final dried product
SnarkyJalapenoPlant
Snarky Jalapeno Peppers – the next generation

Good luck and happy gardening

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