Some peppers are usually picked green - or so it seems, as
we certainly see green hot peppers in the grocery stores.
But I believe they will all eventually ripen to some other
color: unless they rot first.
Peppers (in the humid northeastern USA) tend to rot or be
attacked by insects before they really ripen - at least this
has been my experience. So I generally pick some peppers
green and leave some to ripen - hedging my bets.
If you want to pick them green, you can judge by the size -
if they seem large enough, go ahead.
If I am mistaken about this, will someone please correct me?
I talked to a Mexican guy who help the neighbor with some yard work. He saw my
Serano pepper plants (they stay green too) and he showed me how they fill out,
and lose this sort of dull green color. They get plump and really shiny when
they are ready to go.
My advice is to pick them too early rather than too late. If you keep them on
the plant too long, they stop fruiting.
The jalepenos and habeneros are a lot easier, they turn from green to orange or
I understand the peppers are hotter when FULLY ripe, but if I pick the Seranos
a little unripe, they are still PLENTY hot for me, and make sure the plants
keep flowering and setting fruit. And pat is right. They also like to rot, or
get so heavy they start to tear limbs off the plants.
what kind of hots do you grow? You might look it up and see what ripe ones
There are some good sites, one, i think, is called " chilihead.com " or
something like that.
You didn't mention the varieties, but IMHO chiles are of culinary use
at almost any stage of growth. They pretty much all start out green
and change color (yellow, orange, red) as they mature/"ripen". You can
do your own research by picking some now, and leaving others to sample
later. If you leave them long enough, they will rot and decay on the
plant. Ex: New Mexico (or Anaheim) chiles are picked and used green
for many purposes; they are also picked and used and dried when they
become red for yet more uses.
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