If I save the seeds from my grocery store peppers, can I grow a plant from them

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  1. jezebellamina profile image61
    jezebellaminaposted 11 years ago

    If I save the seeds from my grocery store peppers, can I grow a plant from them that'll bear fruit?

    I've heard that most grocery store produce is from hybrid varieties which means that planting seeds from them would produce a plant that does not bear fruit. First, is this true, and second, (if it is true) are there any that are likely not to be hybrid and how would I know??

    I miss having pepper plants and was wondering if saving and planting seeds from jalapeno and bell peppers might actually produce some yummy peppers!

  2. Farmer Rachel profile image93
    Farmer Rachelposted 11 years ago

    Hi Jezebella! Well, it all depends on the variety of pepper that you've purchased from the store. It is true that most of the peppers in the grocery store are grown from hybrid varieties. Planting seeds from hybrids will either produce plants that aren't true to the original (the one that produced the pepper you loved so much) or, the seeds are sterile and won't germinate.

    If you're buying your peppers from a speciality food store that sells heirloom varieties, they will probably be labeled as such. These seeds are what you want to save and plant.

    Unles you know the peppers you bought are heirloom, you shouldn't waste your time trying to save the seed.

    Otherwise, there are hundreds of varieties of delicious peppers, both heirloom and hybrid, that you can buy from seed companies and seed exchanges. Good luck!

    1. jezebellamina profile image61
      jezebellaminaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the great info.  I know people who grow their own tomatoes & peppers; not sure why I didn't think before to ask them for seeds (or some of their harvested fruits)!  I may try a side by side experiment just for fun - heirloom v. grocery

  3. MickS profile image60
    MickSposted 11 years ago

    They may do; however, most peppers bought from the green grocer's shop are mostly are F1 hybrids,  F1 hybrids rarely grow true from saved seed.

    1. jezebellamina profile image61
      jezebellaminaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you; I'd heard that they wouldn't bear fruit at all but I think I'll try it to see what happens. I'm ok with  a surprise variety; I just like the idea of growing my own from saved seeds. And if nothing happens, I won't be to surprised either!

  4. mvillecat profile image68
    mvillecatposted 11 years ago

    I have grown many tomato plants from store bought varieties. We toss the tomato parts we do not use into our compost pile and they grow like wildfire there. I have also grew slips from store bought sweet potatoes. I have those planted now and they are very healthy. I hope i get great potatoes off of them this fall.

    1. jezebellamina profile image61
      jezebellaminaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I toss all of my vegetable waste on the compost pile but have not noticed anything sprout there yet. It is in a very shaded spot; not much sunlight at all. Thanks for sharing; this is good to know!!

  5. RoxiM profile image60
    RoxiMposted 11 years ago

    One problem with grocery store produce is that it's often picked before it's ripe. Even red, yellow and orange peppers may have been picked green then allowed to ripen -- or gassed with ethylene gas to make them ripen faster. That means the seeds may not be mature. At least that's what I've been told. You might have better luck with heirloom varieties you get at a farmer's market. As others have mentioned, hybrids -- which includes most of the produce you buy at the grocery - won't breed true. That doesn't mean you won't get edible -- and even tasty -- fruits and veggies from the seeds. i say, if you can buy from a farmer's market or get local produce at the grocery story, you can always experiment and see what works. It costs you practically nothing since you're buying the food anyway.

    1. jezebellamina profile image61
      jezebellaminaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Great point - wouldn't have thought of that!  Thanks for your answer; I will definitely experiment - since it's really just for fun anyway (not like I'm trying to start a farm, lol!) . Farmer's market produce is tastier, so already a good start!


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