How do you know when peppers are ready to be picked?
It depends on the pepper, it's good to look at the average harvest time of the pepper you are growing. Next, look at the color, most peppers go through a color change as they ripen. Many peppers turn from green to red, or other colors such as darker or light green, yellow, orange, and chocolate.
Read up on the variety you are growing to make sure you pick them at a good ripened stage. For example, our Easter Peppers start out in lavender and ripen to light yellow, maturing to a light orange. Green Chile such as Hatch Chiles start out green, and most will eventually ripen to red, though often they are picked when ripe but still green. Some varieties are meant to be picked red, and some are meant to be picked green. Red chile is usually dried (think Ristras) and often used to make red chile powder to make chile dishes all year long. Green chile is most often roasted, peeled and de-seeded to use for everything from green chile stew to pizza and burgers. Bell Peppers start out green and some are picked when ripe but still green, while others are allowed to stay longer on the plant to ripen to yellow or red. There are also Purple Bell Peppers that start out light green then change to white and then ripen to develop purple stripes that cover the whole fruit, eventually turning a brilliant purple. The purple skin contrasts beautifully with its lime green flesh.
When to Pick Peppers
Still not sure if your peppers are ripe? Our advice is to pick one and taste it, if it tastes “green” wait a few days or a week or two and try again until they taste more flavorful. Read more....
Does picking peppers make more grow?
Yes, picking peppers off your pepper plants will keep them producing more pods. We also like to pinch off the first blossoms on pepper seedlings to ensure that they put more energy into growing so they produce more pods later.
Should I use Pruners to Harvest Peppers?
While ripened pods may come up with a gentle tug, that is not always the case, so we like to use pruners to snip them off to be more gentle with the plants rather than yanking them off.
Learn more about How to Prune Pepper Plants for Maximum Yield »
Do peppers regrow after harvest?
While peppers are typically grown as annuals by most gardeners who have winters, they are actually perennials and can live for many years if in a frost-free climate or greenhouse. If you harvest your peppers and have warm weather ahead, they will rebloom and produce more pods over time. Read about How Long do Pepper Plants Live »
What month do you harvest peppers?
This depends on where you live, you can harvest peppers from a greenhouse or in the tropics year-round. In areas with winters, we typically start pepper seeds indoors in February/March/April, and transplant outside in the spring after all chance of frost has passed. Then, we start harvesting peppers in June/July/August, depending on the variety. Some peppers, like Super Hot Peppers, can take a long growing season to produce, for example, the Carolina Reaper can take 90+ days to harvest, and the Ghost Pepper can take up to 110+ days! Want faster growing peppers? Grow our Short Season Peppers so that you can harvest peppers faster!
What do you do with hot peppers after harvesting?
Enjoy them right away! Roast them, cook them, ferment them, pickle them, or just chop and use raw in all sorts of pepper recipes. Or, to store, place peppers in a sealed reusable container and put them in your refrigerator vegetable drawer, storing them at 40-45˚F. Don't wash before storing, as they could rot faster if washed.