Chiltepin Germination Failure

Hi Dave:

Thanks for the excellent website. I tried to grow some chiltepin peppers from dried pods purchased at a local Mexican market. I planted the seeds in June. I live in San Jose, Calif. & we do get some hot summer days here. In the first batch, I fed some pods to my roommates’ parrot & planted the pooped-out seeds. In the other batch, I put the seeds in lukewarm Lipton tea for a few hours. Both seed batches were allowed to re-dry before planting.

I planted both batches in potting soil mixed with a little gravel & sand. I have kept it moist, but let the top of the soil dry out in the sun. I then re-watered the following day.  Now, it is September & still nothing whatsoever has sprouted! I know how to grow other peppers, but this is the most non-viable pepper species I’ve ever tried to grow.

Are there any secrets that actually work, when it comes to germinating this species?

Thanks for any reliable information, so I don’t fail again next year.


Hello Eric:

You did exactly the right things, except that the soaking should take days, not hours.  Also, if the tepins were furnace-dried rather that sun-dried, the seeds will not be viable.  Also, next year you can buy the live bedding plants from, saving you the trouble and frustration.