Pepper Seed Germination Trials

Pepper Seed Germination Trials

Over the last couple of years, I have seen a few people saying that they germinate one way or another and that their way was the best way to germinate pepper seeds with the highest rate of germination. Well, I decided to do a trial for myself to see for myself if there truly was a best way to germinate pepper seeds. I used Sugar Rush Peach pepper seeds that I have grown for the past few years.

The methods that I chose to do are the simplest of what I have seen simply because we all like things simple and why complicate things. I have listed the methods below and if you want more information on them there are lots of sites to find about them with a simple google search.


The methods I will use are:

  • Paper towel – This process involves putting the seeds between 2 pieces of wet paper towels and placing them into a zip-lock bag near a warm location such as a radiator or heat mat.
  • Direct sow – sow directly in soil
  • Soak in tea – Soak the seeds in a chamomile tea for 8 to 12 hours before sowing in soil
  • Soak in peroxide – Soak in  peroxide for 1 minute before sowing in soil.
  • Germinate in cotton balls – similar the to the paper towel method. Use cotton balls in a clear take away container. Can also use rock wool. Put on a heat mat.

My trials were started on a Sunday and all the techniques were in the same room beside each other.  The tea-soaked seeds were started at 8am and then planted at 4 pm along with the other seeds. I tried to keep everything as similar as possible.

I looked at the seeds and kept soil moist for a week but did not do much other than eagerly anticipate for the little sprouts to appear.

One week after the seeds were planted, I have some results! I was a little bit surprised.

Paper towel method – There are 2 sprouted seeds

Direct sow – 9 sprouted seeds

Tea soaked – 9 sprouted seeds

Peroxide soak – 9 sprouted seeds

Cotton Ball – 2 sprouted seeds

Pepper Seed Planting Trays

When considering the health of the seedlings. The ones that were soaked in tea looked the healthiest followed by the direct sow in soil. The weakest seedlings were the ones soaked in peroxide. Both the paper towel and cotton ball method did not have any leaves starting just a root starting.

This has made me really think about how I will germinate my pepper seeds in the future. My experiment showed me that there is a benefit in soaking the seeds before planting. Not sure if there is a difference between using tea and just using tap water.

After the second week I had a total of 10 seedlings for the direct sown, tea soaked and peroxide trials and 3 for each of the paper towel and cotton ball methods.  The tea-soaked seeds still look the healthiest and will be a method that I use going forward. It also makes me think about doing a subsequent trial with tea soak vs water soaked and direct sown seeds. I will leave this here as this was just a germination trial.

authored by Paul Battilana

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