Are you frustrated because your chilli seeds aren’t germinating? As a chilli pepper lover, you know how rewarding it can be to grow your own chillies. However, sometimes the seeds don’t cooperate, and it can be seriously frustrating. In this article, we will discuss the three main reasons why your chilli seeds aren’t germinating, and a bonus trick that can significantly increase your germination rates.
Reason number 1: Old Seeds
The first reason why your chilli seeds may not be germinating is that they are too old. Over time, chilli seeds lose their viability, especially if they are not stored properly. The seed loses its vigour or energy slowly over time, and the shell of the seed gets harder over time, making it more difficult for the seedling to emerge. To counteract this problem, soak your seeds in a tea solution for longer periods of time, especially for older seeds. You can learn more about seed starting in my seed starting video.
Reason number 2: Not Enough Moisture
The second reason why your chilli seeds may not be germinating is that they are not getting enough moisture. Chilli seeds need to be consistently moist in order to germinate. However, it’s all about balance. If the soil is too wet, the seeds can rot, and if the soil is too dry, the seeds will not germinate. To maintain the moisture level, use seed starting soil that is free draining, and add a little vermiculite to help it out. Use a humidity dome to keep the moisture level consistent, which should come with most propagators.
Reason number 3: The Temperature
The third reason why your chilli seeds may not be germinating is the temperature. Chilli seeds require a warm environment to encourage them to come out of their shells. For common varieties like Jalapeno, Cayenne, and Poblano, 20 to 24 degrees Celsius is sufficient. For spicier, chinense-type chillies like habanero, Bhut Jolokia, and the Carolina Reaper, warmer temperatures of around 26 to 30 degrees Celsius are necessary. Avoid exposing the seeds to too much heat or cold, as it can negatively impact germination rates.
Refrigerate Your Seeds If you want to give your seeds an extra edge, try refrigerating them a few days before planting. This trick works particularly well with fresh seeds from the previous season, but it can also work with older seeds. By doing this, you trick the seeds into “thinking” they have been through a winter, making them ready for spring and germination. This trick has been shown to significantly increase germination rates and speed.
In summary, to achieve great results when germinating your chilli seeds, use fresh seeds, maintain a temperature of 28 degrees Celsius, and keep the seeds consistently moist. Additionally, don’t forget to try the bonus trick of refrigerating your seeds to encourage faster and more successful germination. Happy growing and stay spicy!