Seed Saving – Chillies and Peppers


Sweet peppers and chillies are both members of the same species. Pepper flowers are self pollinating, and will set fruit without any insect activity. However, they will also cross readily, and sweet peppers will happily cross with chillies.  

How to grow and save seed –

  • You need to isolate your plants by around 150 feet (50 metres) from any other peppers or chillies growing nearby.  Even if you are only growing one variety be careful about other varieties growing in adjacent gardens or allotments.
  • If you want to grow several varieties, or if your near neighbours are also growing peppers, you could make an isolation cage to cover 3 or 4 plants. You can put a cage up over plants grown in pots, growbags or directly in the ground.
  • To save the seed, take peppers on your isolated plants which have ripened fully to their final colour (usually yellow or red).  Cut the peppers open carefully, and rub the seeds gently off of the ‘core’ onto a plate.
  • Wear rubber gloves to de-seed chillies, as the chilli oil sticks to your fingers and is very hard to wash off.
  • Dry the seeds in a warm but not hot place until they snap rather than bending
  • Alternatively you can make Blossom-bags, to save seed from fruit with individual branches with flowerbuds on, from net curtain material for pure seeds.
  • Blossom-bags are 3 x 2 inch little sacks (cut 6×2 inch pieces of net curtain material, fold and handstitch two corners), place the bag over the tip of a branch with flowerbuds, close the open end with garden twine or a rubber band and only take off when the flowers inside have withered and started making tiny peppers. To aid self pollination, you can gently shake the flowers, once they have opened inside the blossom-bag.

Information from HSL, Seedy Sunday and Real Seeds

Current seed saving info see Lemon Drop Chillies (2011)


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