Growing Bell Peppers (How To)

Lee definitely has a green thumb, which she gets directly from her dad; the man can truly grow anything. His house is full of plants, everything from trees to cactus to fruit plants and even hot peppers (it’s to be expected, they’re Trinidadians after all).

Lee has been adding plants to our house slowly since we’ve moved in, testing different kinds, in different areas and seeing the cat’s reaction to them too (they like to eat our plants until there it nothing left of them). So when I got home from work one day and saw these on the kitchen window sill, I wasn’t too surprised.

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She explained that she saved the seeds from the orange bell pepper we had cut up and eaten for lunch and “planted” them in these clear disposable plastic cups. She simply crumpled a facial tissue in the bottom of the cup, moistened it with water and dropped the seeds in.  She used clear plastic cups to ensure the seeds would get as much sunlight as possible and set them on the kitchen window sill (which gets great exposure to the sun in the afternoon). Then every second day, she added a few drops of water, ensuring the facial tissue stayed moist.

I didn’t think the seeds would ever turn into anything given they were taken from peppers bought at the grocery store and refrigerated until we ate them. For some reason I assumed that would have prevented them for ever germinating.

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Within a couple weeks I was proven wrong when Lee excitedly showed me the first few tiny roots growing from the seeds. Fast forward a couple more weeks and our seeds had turned into baby little plants.

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Lee indicated that as long as the seed was still attached to them, the plant was taking nutrients from it (along with water from the facial tissue) but once the seed fell off, the plant had nothing more to feed on and needed to be planted in soil in order to continue growing. So when we noticed a few plants had “lost their seed”, Lee transplanted each one into it’s own clear plastic cup filled with soil.

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We crossed our fingers that the plants would continue to grow happily in their new home (sometimes transplanting can be a shock to a plant and they can have trouble adapting and/or die) but luckily they all seem to be quite happy in their new homes. We put all nine cups on a tray on the dresser in the second bedroom for now as it gets great sun exposure.

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Lee has since started the same process with yellow and red bell pepper seeds. She is hoping they will be big enough to transplant into the backyard garden we plan on creating this spring. Here’s to hoping we will get to eat some of our very own bell peppers this summer. Not bad for an absolutely free project given that we already had the potting soil and clear plastic cups on hand and that the seeds were leftovers from an everyday grocery staple.

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Have you ever tried growing something from scratch? What was it and did it work? Were you able to transplant it outside in your garden afterwards? Do you have any tips for us?

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