Should I separate these pepper seedlings?

Asked March 29, 2020, 8:44 AM EDT

Hello! I've started some red pepper seeds and they've sprouted nicely. I put two seeds in each 2" pot, to increase my odds, but now have what I guess you might say is a good problem: in several of the pots, both seeds have germinated and are now beautiful and healthy seedlings (see 3 in foreground of attached photo). I've read that I need to choose just the better of the two, cutting off the other, but I'd like to try to salvage both. Is it possible/advisable to separate them without damaging their roots? Or should I just sacrifice one plant for the sake of the other? I planted seeds on 2/29, so they are about a month old. Thanks.

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

5 Responses

Hi - Your pepper plants look very good so far. Yes, you could separate these and put them into separate pots if you wish. You can gently tip the potting medium out and carefully separate the two plants, leaving as much of the soil around the root sections as possible. Pot them up immediately and water them in well. There will be some root disturbance but they should take to the new potting medium just fine when transplanted. Since this is a new process for you and you have quite a few peppers, you could also experiment a bit. Try transplanting a few into separate posts and try clipping out a plant from one or more of the others to compare results.

Christa

Thank you very much! I'll give it a shot.
If you have a moment I have related question. If you look closely at the photo, you'll notice the stems are starting to develop tiny bumps, like their setting new roots or something.
Is this something to worry about? A sign of some stress on the plant?
What should I do about it?

Yes, those bumps are probably what are called adventitious roots, and are quite common on certain plants. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/adventitious-roots-vegetables. It is not anything to worry about and nothing needs to be done about them; if that portion of stem happens to be buried in soil, they will develop into roots.

Miri

Awesome. That's a relief. Thank you again.