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So I'm growing Carolina Reapers and bell peppers in very close proximity to each other. On one of my bell pepper plants there is a strange looking pepper. It looks like a Reaper and its on one of my bell pepper plants, but it is growing very differently from how a normal bell does. I have attached images. enter image description here

  • Are these all plants you've bought this year, or did you save seed from plants you grew last year and grow from those this year? Assuming you grew bell and reaper peppers last year too, that is... – Bamboo Dec 7 '16 at 23:54
  • After saving seed I grew some "habanachis" this year; look like Mariachis, taste like Habaneros. Seed saving with peppers is even more fraught than it is with tomatoes. Instead of somewhat different looks and flavors, you get massive changes in heat. – Wayfaring Stranger Dec 8 '16 at 14:21
  • I am not very good at growing bell peppers and find that mine often turn out like the stunted one in your third picture. I suspect the cause is environmental (not enough fertilizer? inconsistent watering? wrong climate?). – michelle Dec 8 '16 at 16:40
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If you bought these plants this year, even though they're growing in close proximity, and even if the Reaper pollinates a bell pepper, it won't affect the plants or fruits - it only affects the seeds within, which will now be some sort of cross between the peppers if you grow from them next year.

If, though, you grew these yourself from seeds you saved, and you grew the two types of peppers last year, then all kinds of random crosses are possible. That bell pepper does look odd - be interesting to see what it tastes like.

  • These are from last year btw so maybe I don't think they crossed. I wonder how it will grow though! – Dave Dec 8 '16 at 12:47
  • It's my observation that plants sometimes at least seem to try to look like their neighbors, whether or not they do it on purpose (but I don't believe this is genetic); I think if they're really doing it, it's more for the sake of survival (looking like a hot pepper might make you think it's hot so you won't eat it). Catnip might try to look like strawberries so you won't pull it up as a weed (I've had that happen, in a strawberry bed). This isn't proven science, as far as I'm aware, though: it's just speculation. – Brōtsyorfuzthrāx Dec 9 '16 at 10:43
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Crossing happens only in seeds, so in future plants. So I don't think so.

Additionally I find that bell peppers have a lot of variance on fruits, also on the same plant. I still don't understand how commercial bell pepper are done. In markets they seems all similar. I think the pepper are much more sensible on environment (water, sun, temperature) then most of normal vegetables.

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