Look at what I found in the produce section, today: a big beautiful gold bell pepper. I thought I was in heaven until I looked at the price…
Ouch! This pepper is almost two bucks! One pepper was priced at $1.78, plus tax (did you hear me? I said ONE pepper). That sucks! I almost left it there in the store, but then I got an idea… I could go ahead and buy the pepper now (since it’s too early in the season for peppers), enjoy the pepper in a nice meal, but then I could save the seeds and start my own little gold pepper plants. That would make the $1.78 almost worth it!
That’s exactly what I did! Just in case you’d like to get more for your $1.78, you can do this too! It’s super simple – just follow the steps below:
How to grow bell peppers from seed
First, start by coring the pepper the same as you would if you were preparing a meal, but be very careful not to cut any seeds.
Next, remove the seeds from the core. Each and every seed in this bad boy is virtually an entirely new plant that could give you 20-50+ peppers in a season. Did you here me?! There are hundreds of seeds in this one bell pepper and each of those seeds could produce up to 50 new peppers – you would never need to buy peppers again. One year, we grew so many peppers, we froze them and ate free peppers for over two years!
After you’ve collected the seeds, you’ll need containers to plant them in. You can use anything you like but I prefer to use clear eight ounce party cups. Why clear, you ask? Honestly, it’s because I’m nosey and I want to see what’s going on. I like to see that the roots are making good progress day by day. I realize the roots shouldn’t be exposed to the sun, so I’m only using these for a short time until they are ready to be transplanted directly into the ground or into a larger planter. Truthfully, the container or cup can be any color you want.
Before you add dirt to the cup, create a hole for drainage. Poke one or two holes in the bottom of the cup. I took an old busted screwdriver, heated it up on the stove so that it was super easy to poke a hole with very little effort. It went much faster for me that way.
Next, add some moistened seed starter mix (peat moss and vermiculite) to your cups. I like to moisten the seed starter mix by placing it in a bowl and then slowly adding warm water. I let that sit for about five minutes before I start filling the cups.
Plant your seeds by placing only 1-2 seeds in each cup. (It’s easy to be tempted to dump a handful of seeds in the cup, but that will just cause trouble later on when you’ll have to try to separate the plants. If you don’t separate them, they’ll suck up all of the nutrients too quickly.) Gently push seeds down into soil (1/4 inch or so) and cover seed up lightly with more soil.
Water lightly (if you’re soil is already moist, you just need a few drops).
Don’t forget to label your plants. If you don’t, you will have a nightmare when growing season starts! You won’t know what is what and that is super frustrating. Just use some light colored painter’s tape to indicate which seed you’ve planted along with a date to help you keep track of growing time.
Place them in a warm window or other warm spot and watch them sprout. They should begin sprouting within a week or less if temperatures are warm enough inside.
Important fact to consider
I’m sure horticulturists everywhere would freak out if I didn’t tell you this: When growing from seed, especially from a hybrid plant, you may or may not get the same exact fruit from the plant. These seeds that came from this beautiful gold pepper could turn out to be red peppers or some other colored pepper and other characteristics might be different also. The plant might produce peppers that aren’t as big as the original pepper or it may be a different shape. There are many variables. The only way to get the exact plant you want is to buy packaged seeds or grow from heirloom varieties.
The good news is that it will still produce a pepper and whatever pepper it produces will probably be delicious – so don’t let this scare you away from planting.
Tips for storing seeds
You’ll have tons of seeds left over for next season or to share with a friend here on Easily Grown. To store the extra seeds from your fresh bell pepper, scrape all of the seeds from the core onto a piece of newspaper. Let them dry for about 12-24 hours. Then transfer them into a paper envelope for safe keeping. Remember to label your seeds: name and date your envelope before storing.
It’s so rewarding to see things grow from unexpected sources. Any questions? Have you ever tried to grow a bell pepper from the seeds you got out of an old bell pepper? Tell us about your experience in the comments section.