The Cheats guide to Germinating Chillies and Pepper Seeds.

The Cheats guide to Germinating Chillies and Pepper Seeds.

Do you think that you haven't got the necessary propagation setup to germinate chilli and pepper seeds successfully? May be you've tried in previous years and failed. Well think again, our seed packets and a nice warm spot are all you need.

What you need:

  • One packet of our chilli seeds - you can reseal them, and they are foil lined did you know!
  • One piece of kitchen roll.
  • A splash of water.
  • A bit of heat.

Then check out our guide below:

SimplySeed Recommends these Chilli Seed Varieties..

22nd January - 'Germinating' the Chilli and Pepper Seeds

Take the seed packet and empty out the seeds, than the piece of kitchen roll and fold it to the size that will fit in to seed packet when folded in half. The seeds will be placed on kitchen roll between the two folded sides. Wet the kitchen roll with water and place the seeds on the tissue.

Fold the Kitchen roll in half and place in the empty seed packet, reseal the packet and place somewhere warm, in our case we have a kerosene boiler that heats the house and the top is always a nice warm place, we're pretty sure you'll have somewhere similar in your house if you look. Then leave!

25th January - 3 days after sowing

Ok! So we couldn't leave them and had to take a peek to see what was happening, you see the seeds have absorbed water and start to fill out. Back they went into the packet and back on the boiler top!

1st February - 10 days after sowing!

Success! The seeds have started to germinate, with Chilli Apache that we have here, you'll find they will be spaced over about a 5 days, they won't all come together. We decide to pop them back in the pack overnight.

2nd February - 11 days after sowing!

Planting the Germinated Seeds

Finally time to sow! we've used a good quality compost and a cell tray with cells around 2cm x 2cm here.

Cover them over with either compost or vermiculite, and water in.

Now place back in a warm space - you will start to see the shoots come through over the next 7 days, make sure the compost doesn't dry out, but do not over water. As the seedlings start coming through move the tray to somewhere in the light to stop them stretching.

10th February - We have seedlings!

We have seedlings, and the first true leaves are starting to show. Keep in a light and warm place to grow on.




First Published 2017.

Updated 2023. We will follow it to final cropping this year!

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Simon B
13 January 2017  |  11:07

That looks exciting, will start my peppers like that and see how it goes.

Helen P
13 January 2017  |  11:18

How hot is your heater? warm or very hot? any idea of temperature range? I don't want to boil them.

13 January 2017  |  11:21

Hi Helen,

The top of the heater is just warm, not too hot. You can easily put your hand on it and hold it there.

Like you say you don't want to cook the seeds, but they are ok in temperatures up to 25C.

Terry C
13 January 2017  |  11:19

Super tip, thank you.

Terry B
13 January 2017  |  12:22

This looks good, I am keen to get started I have a frost free greenhouse and proprietor, which chillies and capsicum do you recommend

13 January 2017  |  12:32

Hi Terry,

It all depends on the heat you like with the chillies, but for most people we recommend growing in pots then they can be moved around and outside during the summer if warm enough.

Chilli wise - You won't go wrong with Apache, Cheyenne, Super Chilli and Gusto Purple.

Pepper wise - we like Diablo and Phoebus ourselves.

Barbara S
13 January 2017  |  12:49

Excellent, cost effective.tip, have you tried it with any other seeds?

13 January 2017  |  14:34

Hi Barbara,

We do this with quite a few other varieties, sometimes 1000's seeds at a time. However with the timings being different, i think we'll list them in a separate blog post in the future.

Deanna N
13 January 2017  |  13:13

I have something similar for years with both chilli and tomato seeds.

Carol V
13 January 2017  |  17:16

I've done something similar with small clear plastic pots with lids, water only no tissue, spaced out. Very successful for canna and geranium seeds. Stops wasting pots, soil and time on seeds that fail to germinate.

Brian G
18 January 2017  |  9:37

sowed 18 seeds of 3 varietys of sweet peppers all have swollen,and 3 have shoots after 5 days, kept on sideboard 1ft from central heating radiator, seeds at temperature 21 degrees c

Brilliant Guide

Brian Gillard
04 February 2017  |  14:37

sown 13th Jan see my 18th January post,all but 4 seeds came up by 4th Feb.

Mary Clemoes
02 February 2017  |  14:20

I have followed the instructions and now have 13 little seedlings on my living room window sill. I bring them in the room at night so they are not behind the curtains. What next?

Jeannette Wild
12 February 2017  |  18:40

Great, my chilli seeds are coming on a treat. I can't wait for your follow up article.

Vanessa Bennett
10 April 2020  |  5:27

Excellent! I used to start parsnips that way in hot airing cupboard. Never grown chillies before but with your advice and clear pictures am going to set to!

Allan Fyfe
21 May 2020  |  14:07

Having not had much luck this year I decided to give this a try. Out of 6 seeds I have 5 germinated although I left it a bit long between the last time I checked and this time as they have spouted and have a decent length of root too.

I'd be really interested in the follow up article mentioned above about other seeds that can be germinated this way as its worked really well for me and you can see what has and what hasn't germinated without waiting extra weeks

Mike Dascombe
13 March 2023  |  9:31

I've used an empty foil coffee bag to germinate jalapeņo seeds. 8 days for the first ones to send out a root. I'm sure foil rice bags would work as well.

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