Pepper starting advice

when I start peppers in seed starting mix I don’t plant them real deep and the mix is very light. A few of my peppers will emerge with the seed hull still on the seed leaves. Should I leave it alone and wait for the plant to split it open or do they need help. My rocoto de seda seems to be the worst with no seed leaf visible, just a stem with a seed on the end.

I pop the hulls off mine all the time. a wooden bamboo skewer and a gentle nudge works like a charm

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Finger nail clippers works best for me. Just clip as much of the outside edge of the seed as you can.

It is OK if you end up clipping some of the cotyledons(sp) off.

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The seed hull on that rocoto de seda was really hard so I put a drop of water on it and waited a couple of hours. I was able to use a skewer and successfully slip it off. I will try clippers on another one. I should be able to do that without soaking it.


Got it, I have a couple that are going to get surgery tonight

i’ve had a couple “helmet head” pepper plants during the last year (out of about 35 seedlings). my attempts to remove the seed coat proved to be indelicate, i.e., i decapitated the poor little bastards with the cotyledons entirely inside the seed.

that was my stage 2 screw-up. here’s how i screwed up stage 1:

after they germinated via the paper towel method, i thought i was doing the new seedlings a favor by leaving them partially exposed in potting mix. later i learned that i should have buried them a tad deeper, so that the soil-seed friction would allow the seedling to free itself of the seed case.

I believe this happens when seeds are very dry (I keep my refrigerated and a lot of them doing this). Soaking for few hours before seeding helps. At least if they still pop up in the hats, they are easier to remove. Also older seeds doing it more often than fresh for me. But anyway, removing the hat even if it damages cotyledons a bit doesn’t affect the plants much as soon as the point of growing is not affected.