Jalapeños not sprouting…

About a month ago I planted a bunch of jalapeño, Tabasco, and sweet bell pepper seeds. I’ve grown all of these with great success in my incubator before with seeds from the previous year‘s crop (for the bell peppers I just used seeds from a fresh pepper at the shop grocery store.) . However, this time the jalapeño Tabasco seeds are from five years ago (stored correctly I think). They are from two separate fully ripe fruits of each type. Almost all the Bell pepper seeds sprouted within a few days, about half the Tabasco seeds bit later. But none of the jalapeño seeds have sprouted yet, it’s been almost a month. Dirt has been kept at around 86° most of the time.
Any idea why the dismal failure on the jalapeños?

just start another batch.

One trick you can use with reluctant pepper seeds is to let the seeds and seedling soil mix dry out completely for a few days (off the heat mat), then water heavily and try again – that often breaks dormancy.

Or start a new batch and try a hydrogen peroxide treatment on the seeds before you plant them (lots of instructions online).

1 Like

Yeah that sucks. Probably they just don’t last that long. Five years is about it for peppers. I grow a chili pepper Big Jim and germination sucks, year old seeds too.
I hate to lose this one, it’s the best green chili, huge tasty, produces very well.
So I too would be interested in best practice to preserve pepper seeds. And what would cause them to not germinate?


I just dry them in the oven with lights on, out them a plastic pill pouch, I have seeds pepper and others from 10 years and they reliably sprout.

Way to speed up pepper is to moisten the seed starter cells thoroughly (I bottom water in 10x20 tray) put the seeds in a shallow dimple 1/4" deep cover with peat moss or vermiculite 1/2" thick and put them on the heat mat. This has helped me speed up germination by week and a half or more (specially hot peppers).

These seeds were started mid 1st week of April, except the front row tomatoes started last week, they are about ready to be planted out as soon as weather permits.

1 Like

I used jalapeno seed from store bought also. Not one sprout here either. Interesting.


Probably the seeds are not mature. The fruit has to ripen and best if it had started to dry on the plant.

1 Like

The thing is like the original poster we don’t have problems with 99% of pepper seeds it just one type I’m having problems with. Not sure any of the techniques would help. I’ll try some next time. I managed to get enough but I had to replant once. And still germination issues as poor. Just wondering why. U never had problems with pepper seeds be it sweet or super hot.

I used to grow about 50 plants. Done it for decades. Now I only grow about ten at the most. This years seedlings are ready to be planted out.


I’ve either used my own seeds or from seed companies. That said, if they don’t germinate I just start them again give it a try or get a start (if available). But what really helped was moistening trick, my hot peppers were germinated in 3 days, last year they took over 2 or 3 weeks.

1 Like

Something Jim Duffy (refining fire chiles) recommends on the sheets he gives whenever you buy seeds is to soak them in chamomile tea for a day. That being said I have tried seeds that are 4 years old and sometimes they just don’t germinate. It is the issue with prebuying or keeping seed around and why I cringe when I hear people talking about their seed catalogs.


Thanks for the input all. I planted 36 jalapeño seeds, and none of them sprouted. I think it may be too late in the season to try again.

Is it true that if the seeds float in water, they’re no good?

were the seeds taken from a green fruit? or ripened red fruit

As I mentioned in the OP, fully ripe fruits, and I have done this several times before with fabulous success.