Growing Chiltepin #WithMe: Germination

One month after seeding, and there is progress to report. Yeah, not so easy to grow, that chiltepin…

With some cooler weather, conditions weren’t ideal. Placing the pots with the seeds higher up in the greenhouse gave them more warmth, but also let them dry out faster…

Not Chiltepin

The result was that Bird Ají germinated first, after some two weeks. It’s a relative to chiltepin as it is also a wild(ish) “bird pepper”, but it’s no chiltepin.

Next up, the Charapita.

Of which I’d thrown in a lot of seeds, because I was not sure it would do anything anymore.

Well, it did.

And still there was no chiltepin.

Finally, Chiltepin Germinates

After a full month, within about the last three days of it, though, we’ve had germination.

First off, though, came a seed of chiltepin amarillo which looks like it crossed with something else.

And, it’s still not the best considering I used 15 or 30 seeds of the different chiltepin, but still, at least there are quite some now:

Current Results

Now, there are…

  • 3 seedlings of chiltepin amarillo (although one of them looks like a cross/hybrid to me)
  • 4 seedlings of chiltepin cappuccino
  • 9 seedlings of Sonoran Chiltepin
    (There are all out of 30 seeds planted; the following are of 15 seeds:)
  • 2 seedlings of the “2019” chiltepin
  • 6 of the old seeds where I mixed two types
  • zero of the XS chiltepin (I think while I’m writing this, a day later, I’ve seen one start to emerge)
  • zero from the fresh pod (actually, dried pods freshly taken off the still-living plant)

Clearly, it is possible to get chiltepin to germinate without any special treatment.

Equally as clearly, it is not the easiest chilli to even just start!

4 responses

  1. Hello Gerald . Was glad to find your site . I picked up some chiltepins while visiting my daughter in Ixhuatlan , Mexico, last November . They dried out when I found them in my suitcase many days , months ….later . Seeds were like little pin heads…….I was given an “AERO GARDEN ” for my birthday in February……and after growing herbs in it ….I planted those seeds.

    Well….I have a diversity of plants now……with one “flowering”. Also lost a couple seemed to begin to whilt……lost leaves …TOO cold ? Over watering ? Well keep in touch if you have time . God bless stay safe ! Jamie , Royersford , Pennsylvania ( outside Philadelphia )

  2. Gerald

    Oooohhhh, I’d love some chiltepin from someplace in Mexico I’d never have heard about (admittedly, that’s most of Mexico…)

    I have seen people grow chiles successfully in hydroponic systems, so I’m not sure how far that truly applies, but the old story was that chiles don’t want waterlogged soil. So, an Aerogarden could mean that they are in water, the way they don’t like it – and I am quite certain that chiltepin doesn’t like it too wet (or it wouldn’t grow rather well for me, getting rather dry soil because I have a tendency to forget about my plants).

    They do also lose their leaves when they stand in colder conditions and get less light, e.g. when overwintering them. Then, I usually keep them rather cold and dry and they tend to come back. Ooops, that reminds me that I never got to the next posts – and now, we’re getting to “Moving Indoors and Overwintering” time!

    Take care, stay safe!

  3. Bobby Pawelek

    Hi Gerald,
    As you probably know, Chiltepin grows wild in the South Texas Brush Country under the shade of the pecan trees on creeks and river bottoms. When we were kids, we would harvest as much as we could but left the green peppers for the birds. Cardinals and turkeys were especially fond of them. Dad would preserve them in vinegar.
    I preferred them dried and crushed.
    One year my brother harvested a turkey down on the Nueced River where we grew up. Mom baked it for Thanksgiving. That meat was completely permeated with spice! That turkey had an obvious addiction to “chili petine,” as it is known in those parts.
    I began propagating from seed years ago. You’re right. It ain’t easy and requires a great deal of patience and TLC.
    Last year I harvested about 5 pounds! Dried and ground in a coffee grinder, which will never be used for coffee anymore! It makes a beautiful, bright orange coarse powder, a great seasoning for just about anything.
    I put a few plants in the garden hoping the would make it through the winter. Alas, as I live in Oklahoma, even though I kept them covered under plastic, I hold little hope they survived this past February’s “ice age” from two weeks of below zero weather!

  4. Gerald

    Yeah, I need to grow – and I am growing; most of the new plants survived their indoors overwintering – more chiltepines again; their powder is just too fine!

    I have little idea about the climate in Oklahoma, but they aren’t likely to have survived anything this last winter brought. Frozen ground, forget it – but you already knew that. Loved reading your story! It’s so nice to hear of other people’s experiences!

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