When To Pick Banana Peppers From Plant? Getting It Spicy Or Sweet

banana peppers

A lot of people love to eat and grow banana peppers. This amazing pepper can provide you with a lot of flavors and nutrition when used as topping for pizza or cooked into various savory dishes. Banana peppers are also fun and easy to grow and they can give you a bountiful harvest.

Harvesting the banana pepper however, can sometimes be confusing. There are people who think that they have harvested ripe ones when in fact, they picked ones that are still unripe. This is why if you are growing them, you need to know how a mature banana pepper looks when it is ready for harvest.

How Can You Tell If The Banana Peppers Are Ripe?

green banana pepper

For starters, you should know that these peppers will mature in 70-75 days. But depending on how good the soil is, they can actually mature much earlier. You can also tell when to harvest them by picking and tasting. Ripe ones are known to have a sweet, tangy taste while unripe ones do not taste good at all.

Another way for you to tell whether the peppers are ripe is by taking a look at the color. The ripe peppers will have a bright yellow color when it is fully ripe. Unripe ones will have a green color, while overly ripe ones will have an orange or red color with a very soft texture.

Some people end up picking the peppers prematurely because some of them already look big enough to eat. Depending on what type of banana pepper you are growing, you should wait until they have reached 4-8 inches long before they can be picked. Small peppers are unripe and have a bitter taste.

When To Pick The Banana Peppers?

banana pepper branch

Banana peppers are considered mild peppers, they can actually provide you with some heat or a lot of sweetness depending on when you pick them. Peppers that have bright yellow colors contain a lot of capsaicin, this is what gives the pepper its heat. The capsaicin decreases as the peppers ripen further.

If you pick banana peppers that have turned to orange or red, they will no longer be as hot, but they will be sweeter since they now contain more sugar. However, you need to keep in mind that you should not wait too long to pick them up as the ones that are overripe are mushy and they also taste rotten.

banana pepper tree

To get the best tasting banana peppers, you should look for ones that are yellow to orange in color. Avoid ones that still have a bit of green color on their skin as these peppers will need a few more days on the plant until they can have the correct flavor and texture.

Some banana peppers will grow very big, but you need to be patient and allow it to change its color properly. Some will also take on a yellowish color but experienced growers will say that though it looks ripe, you should wait a few more days so you can allow the peppers to get a richer and sweeter flavor.

How To Pick The Banana Peppers?

unripe banana pepper

Picking the ripe banana peppers will actually require a bit of finesse. If you want to do it properly, you will need to be very careful as it can be very easy to damage the plant or knock-off the unripe peppers. To pick them up, you should first gently expose the ripe peppers by moving aside the leaves.

You should also consider using clippers or shears so you will not damage the stem of the plants. Make sure that you leave behind a bit of stem when cutting the peppers and you should also make sure that you do not twist the stem or fray it. This will allow the plant to produce more peppers later on.

banana pepper in basket

Cutting off the peppers must be done carefully and they should also be done properly. Take your time when removing them and make sure that your tools are sharp so you can easily remove the pepper in one clean cut. When picking the banana peppers, avoid bruising it or breaking other branches.

Cutting the peppers properly and not damaging the branches will allow the plant to thrive. Bruising the peppers on the other hand will make them rot faster, decreasing their storage time. Damaging the branches might also stop the plant from producing more peppers in the future.



Banana peppers are not just delicious, they can be used in many ways especially when it comes to enhancing the flavor of savory dishes. Growing them is fun especially when the time comes for you to harvest the fruits of your labor. But before the harvest, you should be able to tell which ones are ripe.

You need to understand that you can actually pick the level of heat that you want when it comes to harvesting banana peppers. Try to pick ones that are yellow if you want it to be spicy, and pick ones that are orange to red if you want them to have mild heat and a lot of sweetness.

When harvesting the peppers make sure that you use a sharp garden shear, cut the pepper off cleanly and leave behind some stem to encourage the plant to produce more peppers for your enjoyment. Avoid damaging the branches, knocking off the unripe peppers or bruising the ripe ones that you have.

Do you grow banana peppers in your garden? Tell us more about when you think the harvest should be done in the comment section.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

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1 comment
Steve Ingle says Aug. 2018

This is my first year growing banana peppers. They are suppose to turn bright yellow when ripe. Mine seem to always have a greenish ting. If I leave them on longer they begin to get soft. What am I doing wrong?

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