Storing chilli seeds
Save seed only from mature pods, never the green ones. Regardless of whether the seeds are produced through self-pollination or cross-pollination, they must be preserved until the next growing season or even later. On the average chilli seeds will last two years. However, by using proper techniques, you can extend the viability of pepper seeds dramatically. Seed moisture and storage temperature are the most important factors affecting seed viability, and the longest storage life is obtained at low relative humidity and low temperature.
All extraneous pod material should be removed from the seeds, and damaged, discoloured, or partial seeds should be culled. Ideally, chilli seeds should be dried to less than eight percent moisture content. This is easily accomplished by drying the seed at 38 degrees Celsius for 6 hours. Spread the seed on trays and place them in an unlit gas oven, or outside in the shade if the temperature is high and humidity is low. Or let them dry at room temperature for at least one week. Never use a microwave oven to dry seed. Generally speaking, seeds that are crunchy when they are bitten into are dry enough to store.
Any moisture proof container can be used to store chilli seeds, including sealed cans, jars, and even zip bags. Take care that the containers are properly labelled for the variety of seed and, obviously, never mix varieties in a container. Some chilli heads place the seeds in moisture proof barrier pouches with silica get and then heat and seal the pouches. The containers should be kept cool, so store the seeds in the freezer – that’s where most seed banks store their germplasm. When both seed moisture and storage temperature are low, longevity and germination are unaffected by the presence of oxygen. This technique maintains seed viability for up to twenty five years.