Do Peppers Cross Pollinate?

Discussion in 'Peppers' started by rabbithutch, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The wife and I were out running around today and fell onto some vegetable plants at Home Depot.  Usually, our gardening is restricted to potted plants and a few pots of herbs, but today we were moved to buy a tomato plant and several varieties of peppers . . .  hot banana, cayenne, red chilis and small sweet pepper.  I also bought some cilantro seeds (coriander) and planted a few pots of them while transplanting the pepper plants into pots.

    Knowing that these plants reproduce via pollination, it occurred to me that the peppers might cross pollinate.  Will they?  If they do, will it make any difference in the peppers produced?  If so, should I take care to spread them around at some distance from each other?  The plants are bedding plant sized - 6-8" tall and tender with no flowers or fruit, except the tomato.
  2. Hi rabbithutch,

    Peppers are self-pollinating, but are easily cross pollinated by insects.
    Any crossing won't affect the peppers produced this year, in other words, they will be what they are supposed to banana, cayenne, red chilis and small sweet pepper even if they cross pollinate.
    It's not until the next generation, F1, that they'll be different if, in fact, they have crossed.
    You don't have to worry about isolating them unless you want to save seed, which is probably more trouble than it's worth in your case because seed from all the varieties that you mentioned is pretty cheap.

    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  3. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's a good question to post! In fact, yes peppers easily cross polinate, and my experience has been that the cross-polination occurs mainly from the "sweet" pepper ( your bells and marconis) to the hot ones, and much less- unnoticeably in one generation actually- from hot to sweet. So after a while I realized why my "hot" peppers were turing out so mild!

    This was a disapointing discovery for me when I made it a long time ago and from then on, never planted my chile peppers near my bells. That has worked out okay for a long time since hot chile peppers tend to do very well in 3 or 4 gallon pots unlike the sweet kind. Hot peppers like warm soil and their roots toasty, and they get that way from the sun beating down on the sides of the planting pots. They just need often watering though, sometimes daily, depending on the weather.
  4. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey!  Thanks for the quick answers!

    I've never grown potted peppers before and don't know why the pollination question popped into my head.  I guess it was because I put all the pots in a row in the 'garden' (wall in front of house). 

    I put them all in 6" pots - because that's all I could find on hand - and will let them get a good start before re-potting into something larger in a few weeks.  Can anyone recommend a minimum pot size that will take them through the season? 

    Thanks again!

  5. 3 gallon is about the minimum, but bigger won't hurt.

  6. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Martin!
  7. viper1

    viper1 Meat Mopper

    Yes,had some sweet globe peppers planted to close to my hots. Wife couldnt eat them they were warm.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2
  8. tigerregis

    tigerregis Meat Mopper

    There was a time that I loved hot stuff. I went to visit a friend who planted a garden around his real crop. It included hots and sweets. He had harvested some and wasn't satisfied with the Scoville units. He offered some to me and I started cutting 1/4 inch sections and trying them. On the second one I gave him the tip and cut the next for me. Before he could tell me that it was hot my throat closed and I couldn't breathe and couldn't get the heat out of my mouth. Finally got some sour cream and cooled it down. Now I break out in a sweat whenever I even think of hot peppers, like right now. So, I think they do cross pollinate and wouldn't plant them close. This is only anecdotal and not meant to be didactic.
  9. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, my peppers got repotted in 5 gallon pots and have taken off pretty good. I've already harvested the first couple.

    I don't think I need to worry too much about heat migrating because all but the jalapenos are on the mild side: cubanelle, NM Big Jim, cayenne, sweet banana. All the plants have flowered and started producing multiple fruits now; so it won't be long before I should be able to harvest enough for a meal. I don't have rows of these things, only 3 or 4 plants of each variety and they are planted in clay flower pots sitting on the front wall. I've got too old and rickety to do anything that involves getting too low to the ground.

    Thanks for all the responses. I'll try to remember to post again after we've harvested -- assuming bugs or something don't get 'em afore we do.
  10. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hutch , go down to the Bluebonnett Cafe on 25th St. and get some 5gal. buckets from them , may be a dollar or so , but???

    I think Lowe's has them too.

    Have fun and don't over Capsinate.LOL

    Later , Tater...
  11. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sit down, Stan!

    Brace yourself!

    The BlueBonnet Cafe closed about 2 years ago, maybe longer. It was a very sad day. We used to eat there about once a week.

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