How to save jalapeno seeds


I am attempting to grow the best pepper plants I can indoors (grow box) so I started with jalapeno peppers.  They grow relatively small 2-3 feet and require 2-3 gallon container for growing.  While this is fine for an outdoor garden, though indoors I can only sacrifice 1 gallon container.  This summer I grew several jalapeno plants which spent half of their life in the grow box and spent our warm summer outdoors.  All of the plants produced but there was definitely a clear winner which had incredible early yields even with its small growing quarters.

I used several immature peppers (green) for salsa this year but allowed several peppers to mature (red) which I will be saving the seeds for planting this winter and next summer for future plants.  By hand selecting the best parent plants should be good old natural selection at work.

The process to collect pepper seeds is pretty simple though I must first provide this warning:

WARNING: Peppers are hot, especially the veins.  When handling peppers use caution and wash your hands well with dish soap.  Under no conditions do not rub your eyes or pick rub your nose before washing your hands or you will be regretting it for a couple hours.  Using gloves is also recommended.

That being said slice the peppers lengthwise with a sharp knife.


Use a fork or spoon to gently dislodge the seeds into a small bowl.


If you are lucky enough to have hot sunny weather still (week of rain here) lay they out in the sun for a couple days and store them in a cool dry place until you are ready to plant them.  If you are sun challenged like me set them on a windowsill for a few days.


As I have said before saving you own seeds is very easy and free and as an added bonus you can personally pick the best plant to be the donors of seeds for your future plantings.  In my case I also have the benefit of a plants that is genetically grown to following my sporadic watering and care patterns.

15 Responses to “How to save jalapeno seeds”

  1. mangocheeks Says:

    I did not get round to growing any of my own chillies this year. YOu have encouraged me to save some seeds this year, so hopefully I will have some of my own chillies to enjoy next year. Thanks.

  2. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    mangocheeks, just make sure you are saving them from mature ones 🙂 I made that mistake last year when I attempted to save some seeds from a jalapeno pepper (green) I bought at the grocery store.

  3. Jason Says:

    Important to note is that pepper plants can be inter-pollinated. The seeds that you pull from your Jalapeno my be the product of the jalapeno and a non hot pepper. the resulting plants from these seeds will not be identical to the parent prevent cross-pollination, you need to prevent bees and other bugs from reaching the flowers. One way to do this is to put a net over the bud before it opens. I read a great guide on doing this and I'll try to post it later.

  4. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Jason, that is a good point. You can also speed up the proces and beat the bees by giving your peppers (or even tomatoes) a little flick to help to ensure self polination. In my case jalapeno peppers are the only ones I grew so I let the bees help me out.

  5. karen Says:

    i wonder if you can plant seeds from dried jalapenos using the same process?

  6. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    karen, definately depends on how the pepper was dried. If it was done with heat that process may have very will sterilized the seeds. Though if happened with simple air drying they should be great assuming they were mature peppers when picked/dried.

  7. Coffeeguy Says:

    Mature peppers…definitely! It’s funny how we’ve been conditioned to think of “ripe” jalapenos as being green, yet nearly everything in the grocery stores is green. Makes sense for the growers, and they’re very usable in lots of recipes, but you also get a “grassy” taste with the green ones. I especially love the matured (red) jalapenos for smoking/roasting; and I’d definitely use a mature jalapeno for harvesting seeds!

  8. Coffeeguy Says:

    Oh, by the way, has anyone ever heard of 2 different kinds of peppers growing on the same plant? I’m guessing some kind of funky cross-pollination occurred; one of my jalapeno plants is growing “normal-looking” jalapenos this year but also has several lighter-green pods which look like banana peppers, all are about 3 inches long. I haven’t tasted one yet to see if it has more or less heat than the rest…any ideas? Both types are growing on the same plant.

  9. caffienefeen Says:

    Coffeeguy, in response to karen’s question on using dried pepper’s seeds.

    Thanks!! I have about 20 dried peppers from last year hanging from my window blinds above the kitchen sink. Gonna prepare to plant indoors after 3/15! (8 weeks inside)


  10. pierresplace Says:

    I’m wondering if the seeds from pickled or sliced peppers in jars at the supermarket will germinate?

  11. Vicki Says:

    I see that the seeds need to be dry before planting…fall is fast approaching, should I dry them and how should they be stored for spring planting? thank you for any help you can give…PS, they will be going into containers…

  12. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    I normally lay them out on a coffee filter for a couple days then put them into a paper envelope which I keep in the fridge until time to plant early spring.

  13. Alex Alleman Says:

    CVG, great site and great tips! Regarding jalapenos, I have one last pepper from my plant which is an almost mature jalapeno (half green/red). While it is not fully mature, will the seeds still work next spring? Thanks!

  14. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Odds increase more you let them ripen. If the weather is getting too cold, just bring the plant inside (garage is even fine) until it turns a good red.

  15. retiredjoe Says:

    I purchased a large Jalapeno from the grocery store and it is green and getting soft. If I keep it until the pod dried out/rots and then get the seeds and then dry them out. Will that work or do you have to get them off the plant when they are fully ripened.?
    Thanks for any advise/suggestions. I want huge jalapenos for stuffing.

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