The Q&A Archives: Hot Pepper Harvesting

Question: I have a mix of hot peppers in my garden.. I read that you should pick some types when still green (habeneros). If I do this, will they turn color off the vine?

Answer: Most green peppers (hot or not) mature to red or orange but can be used while green. They get hotter or more flavorful as they age, so many people prefer to use them green. Also, some recipes specify the color. In my experience, a pepper picked very green may rot before it ripens and colors up, but a pepper picked at the last stage of green will go ahead and color somewhat after picking. One other point -- if you plan to dry them, they should be left to ripen on the plant. Keep in mind that most pepper fans develop their own preferences and opinions, so experiment and see what works (and tastes) best for you. Enjoy your peppers!

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