Cayenne Pepper Seeds

Sow 3 to 4 seeds to a pot or across flats. Sow seed ¼ to ½ inch (7-13 mm) deep. Germination soil temperature is 75-95°F (24-35°C); the optimum soil temperature for germinating seed is 85°F (29°C). Germination takes 7 to 10 days at 85°F (29°C) or warmer. Keep the seed starting mix just moist until seedlings emerge. Clip away the weaker seedlings once the strongest seedling is about 2 inches (5 cm) tall. Seedlings started indoors should be kept in a sunny window after germination. Keep the indoor nighttime temperature above 62°F (17°C). Water to keep the seed starting mix from drying. Transfer seedlings to a larger container once they are 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) tall; be sure that seedlings have sufficient room for root growth. Transplant peppers into the garden 2 to 3 weeks after the last frost in spring when the soil temperature has risen to at least 65°F (18°C). Young peppers transplanted should be 4 to 6 inches tall. Plants started indoors should be acclimatized to outdoor temperatures before transplants. Set plants outdoors for a few hours each day before transplanting to the garden. Grow peppers in full sun. 

Hot peppers–also called chili peppers–vary in shape and color and include the bell-shaped pepper, the heart-shaped pimiento, the short and long podded yellow wax, the conical-shaped jalapeño, and the cayenne. The fruit of the cayenne pepper is high in vitamin A and also contains vitamins B6, E, C as well as riboflavin, potassium and manganese.  Growing cayenne pepper plants requires some heat. In temperate areas, chilies are grown as annuals, so when starting cayenne pepper plants from seed, it’s best to do so indoors or in a greenhouse. They are very delicate and react badly to overly hot or cold weather. Sow the seeds in light, well-drained soil medium and keep in a sunny location at a temperature of at least 65 °F (18 °C). Start seed indoors 7 to 10 weeks before the date you intend to set peppers into the garden. Don’t rush peppers into the garden. Transplant pepper seedling into the garden 2 to 3 weeks after the last frost in spring, after the soil temperature has warmed to at least 65°F (18°C). Peppers mature in 60 to 95 days depending on the variety, until the seeds sprout in 16-20 days. Plant the growing cayenne pepper seedlings into flats spaced 2-3 inches (5 – 7 cm) apart or in individual pots and allow to gradually acclimate or harden to outdoor temperatures. Generally, outdoor transplanting should occur six to eight weeks after the seeds are sown, or after all danger of frost has passed; however, if you choose to transplant before the weather is frost free, it is advisable to protect the plants with row covers, hot caps and/or transplant the peppers through black plastic. To prepare for transplanting the cayenne pepper plants, amend the soil with fertilizer or organic compound, if need be, avoiding too much nitrogen in an area of full sun to mostly full exposure. Plant your pepper babies 18-24 inches (45 – 60 cm) apart in a row. Moist soil is required in the care of cayenne peppers but take care not to overwater. Saturated soil, or overly dry soil for that matter, may cause the foliage to yellow. Keep place where pepper is planted well weeded to avoid competition. Peppers are shallow-rooted, so cultivate around peppers with care. Support pepper plants with a stake or cage; plants heavy with fruit can break or topple. Pepper branches are brittle and can easily break. High temperatures and wind can cause flowers to drop and plants not to set fruit. Peppers can be stored in a cool, moist place for 2 to 3 weeks. Peppers can be refrigerated for up to 10 days; place them in a plastic bag to avoid cold burn. Blanched peppers can be stored in the freezer for 4 to 6 months. Peppers can be dried or pickled whole or in pieces.

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Herb Seeds