When To Harvest Chili Peppers – The Right Time

Last Updated on August 14, 2022 by Griselda M.

Are you a new gardener and are wondering when to harvest chili peppers and what are the signs to look out for to know they are fully mature?

Chilies are an excellent vegetable to grow in your garden. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

They are also used to make sauces, soups, and curries. If you don’t grow your own chilies, you can buy them at any store. Chilies are one of the most versatile and important food crops we grow in our gardens.

You can harvest the chilies once they reach maturity, but there are several things you should watch out for so you don’t end up with under-ripe chilies or ones that won’t ripen properly.  This article will help you understand when to harvest chilies and how to tell if they are fully ripe.

When To Harvest Chili Peppers

How do you know if they are fully mature? Chilies are harvested when they are red or green in color. They should be firm and crisp in texture. It is not unusual to find small chilies that are ready to be harvested. 

When To Harvest Chilli Peppers

However, you need to keep in mind that even if the fruit seems big enough, it may still take a while to ripen. The best time to harvest is when you see the fruits starting to turn red or green. That way you can be sure that they are fully ripe.

The best color for ripe chili peppers is red, but you can harvest it when it starts to have green color before it turns fully red.  Once harvested, chili peppers continue to ripen, however, you must harvest them maturely.

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Harvesting Chili Peppers

Once you know when to harvest chili peppers, it’s time to harvest your produce.  When harvesting take care of the plant as it can easily be damaged if you pull the peppers too much.

  1. Get a pair of scissors and cut off the pepper stalk from the main plant.  This way there is no pulling or tugging of the plant. 
  2. When you have removed all of the peppers, make sure to clean them and then dry them for storage.

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How To Store Your Chilies

Did you know you can use fresh chili peppers? To make salsa, cut the peppers in half, remove the seeds and then finely chop them. You can add this mixture to a dish or drink.

You can also add chopped peppers to your favorite salad. If you want to make a soup, you can add the peppers to the soup right before serving. If you are going to use your chilies in a dish that requires cooking, it is best to remove the seeds from the first.

Store your dried chilies in a cool and dry place. The best way to dry your chilies is with a food dehydrator.  You can either hang them on a string or wrap them on paper, as the paper will keep the humidity low.

The chilies can also be stored in an airtight container. As long as they are kept dry, they will last for up to one to two years. You can use your dried chilies in many different dishes.  They can be used in sauces, soups, stews, casseroles, and many other dishes.

You can also grind them into powder. This powder is great for adding flavor to many dishes. Chili peppers can be added to many dishes.

Final Comments On When To Harvest Chili Peppers

The best time when to harvest chili peppers is when they are red or green.  Many varieties of peppers take about 70-100 days from planting to maturity.

When the fruits are fully matured, they should have a good red or green appearance with a firm texture.  The fruit should also have a strong flavor and aroma.  However, if you want to harvest them early, the fruits will have a softer texture. 

This is especially true for bell peppers. You can start harvesting bell peppers 10-14 days after the fruit begins to form.  Simply pick up the fruits with scissors or carefully with your hands, put them into a produce bag, and place them in your refrigerator.

FAQ

How do I know when my chilli peppers are ready to pick?

If you have fresh peppers, they will be pliable and feel firm. If they are older or if they are starting to dry out, they will be brittle and will feel hard. They should be red or green in color.

How long can you leave chillies on the plant?

Generally, it's not a good idea to leave chillies on the plant too long as they may start to rot. We suggest that you harvest them soon after maturity.

Can you harvest chilli peppers when they are green?

Yes, you can harvest chili peppers when they are green.

How do you pick chillies off plants?

There are a few ways to harvest your chillies. If you want to use the whole pepper, you can simply pluck it from the plant.

If you are going to harvest them by hand, simply pluck the pepper from the plant. You should pluck it off with your fingers.

Alternatively, if you are going to harvest them by hand, you can just cut the pepper from the plant. You should cut the pepper from the plant with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.

If you are going to use a tool, then you can use a pepper harvester. It is designed to hold the pepper at the top of the plant and then shake it down to harvest it. 

We recommend storing chillies in the fridge but don't wash them before storing them. Chillies will continue to ripen and change colour in the fridge. They will also stay fresher for longer. You can also store chillies in an air-tight container.