RickRS
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Location: Northwest Florida

Turning bell peppers hot. Old wives tale?

I've never planted hot peppers and the wife wanted to add some to the garden this year. As some suggest, will cross pollination between bells and hot peppers cause the bells to turn hot? I'm planting California Wonder for bells, and the hot peppers are a mix of varieties.

rkunsaw
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Location: Clarksville,Arkansas

No the peppers you are growing will not get hot.If you save seeds then the peppers you grow from those seeds from either pepper might pick up some traits of the other.I doubt there will be a noticeable difference.
I started with nothing and still have most of it!!!

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soil
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Like said, only if you plan to save seed and don't hand pollinate them to prevent cross pollinization. As far as I know corn is the only crop that can be effected by this years pollinization. Say your neighbors dent corn crosses with you sweet corn. Chances are it won't be good eating.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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jal_ut
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Pepper flowers are self pollinating and they are not likely to cross.

Growing hot peppers next to bell peppers will not make the bells hot.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

RickRS
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Location: Northwest Florida

So, it is an old wives tale. I'm not saving seed, so there's no issue that planting the two would cause.

I'm aware of the need when planting certain sweet corns to watch for cross pollination that causes it to turn starchy. Thanks for the reminder, soil.

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Gary350
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About 30 years ago I experemented with this. Someone at work told me not to plant the hot peppers next to the bell peppers because the bell peppers would be hot.

If the bell peppers plants are 30 ft from the hot pepper plants I found no noticable difference, sweet bell peppers were sweet and hot peppers were hot.

If a sweet bell pepper and cayenne hot pepper plant are planted side by side some of the sweet bell peppers have a very slight hot flavor but most of the sweet bell peppers have no spicy flavor. It is not very hot but it is noticable if your looking for it.

If you put a cotton Q tip in the blossom of a hot pepper then stick the Q tip in the blossom of the sweet bell pepper, then mark that blossom with a string so you can find it later, when you pick that bell pepper it will be noticable spicy hot. It is not extremely hot like the hot peppers but it is hot enough to spoil the nice flavor of bell peppers.

The next year I tried the same experement with different a pepper plant not quite as hot, I experemented with jalapeno peppers. The cotton Q tip made some spicy bell peppers.

The next year I experemented with chili peppers these are not extremely hot. The Q tip experement did not produce any hot spicy bell peppers.

I determined the hot peppers have to be pretty hot to have any effect on the bell peppers.

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PunkRotten
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The way I understood it is that Peppers can only cross with their own species. For example C Annuum can only cross with C annuum, C. baccatum w/ C. baccatum, C. chinense w/ C. chinense and so on. But Peppers also self pollinate, but there is still a very tiny chance a pollinator could cross it. But I hear the fruits produced by the plants will not have the traits, only if the seeds are saved and a new plant is grown.



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