I planted some habanero seeds a week ago. Most of the websites said it need 2 weeks to 3 weeks to germinate. What is the best condition for its germination?

I am in Hong Kong and having a 29 degree Celsius temperature on average. How much water does it need? Water once a day or twice a day?

2 Answers 2


Two weeks is typical for most cultivars of Capsicum (chili pepper) and this is what I see with other species cultivars (I've never tried Habanero or any other C. chinensis cultivar). This year my germination rates were more like 3 weeks but I had an accidental dry spell during the first week.

For difficult-to-germinate varieties, many recommend soaking with Potassium Nitrate (Salt Petre) solution (1 tsp per quart is about typical, eg. here ) for a few hours before planting. It is debated as to whether it makes much of a difference, but I do it as a matter of course for all varieties that I grow from seed. Salt Petre is a component of gunpowder and many jurisdictions control larger quantities, but you only need a teaspoon. Use the left-over solution as a potassium fertilizer.

Following from other chili pepper varieties, you will want to keep you compost/soil damp, but not saturated or soaked. Too saturated and your seeds might get wilt / fungi. You don't want them dry either. I try to give them sunlight - even before the seedlings come out. They will benefit from the gentle warmth and the seedlings will respond well to sunlight as soon as they start to emerge.

Initially you will get two small pointed leaves. These are followed by proper 'adult leaves'. I wait until the plants are about 3-4in high (and at least two pairs of the adult leaves have appeared) before I pot them out into bigger pots or beds. I only pot them out once.

[Edit with answer to no. seeds]

The more seeds you plant, the more likely you will get some that will do well. But you also want to keep within the limits of your space and requirements (I've never grown habanero because we wouldn't be able to use all of the fruit - I much prefer sweet or moderate varieties)

My seed supplier sells 25 seeds/$2 so I usually buy two packets (50 seeds) of each variety (and about 5-6 varieties - but I grow a lot of peppers!). For C.annum varieties (most chile peppers) this covers me in the event of poor germination, but if they do well then I have surplus plants to give away. In contrast, this year I planted 50 Tabasco (C.frutescens) seeds and only four germinated (well maybe 5-6 but only four made it to be transplanted).


The most important things the seeds need are warmth and moisture.

What I normally do is put the seeds in-between a few sheets of wet toilet paper on a plate, and then wrap the plate in a plastic bag and tie a knot in it so that the water cant escape via evaporation. Then put the plate somewhere warm, like an airing cupboard.

The seeds usually then start to sprout in a week. After that ill pick all the seeds that have sprouted and plant them in soil.

Have a look at this site for more information.

  • if you wrap your seed between wet tissue, how do you know they sprout? Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 9:57

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