When Are My Bell Peppers Ripe?
- The type of bell pepper determines the majority of indicators for ripeness. Certain bell pepper plants are bred to produce a specific color of pepper or a particular size of pepper. Miniature pepper plants will not produce fruit that is as large as a regular bell pepper plant. Similarly, the color of your pepper as an indication of ripeness depends largely on the type of bell pepper plant you have. Depending on the variety of pepper, it can take 65 to 75 days from date of transplant before the peppers are ready for harvest. The majority of bell pepper plants are ready for harvest about 70 days after being transplanted. If starting peppers from seed, it can take an additional three or four weeks after germination for the peppers to be ready for harvesting.
- Mini bell peppers are fully grown when they are around 2 inches in size. There can be slight variation between pepper plants and colors of peppers. Full-size bell pepper plants can produce fruit that is anywhere from 3 to 6 inches in diameter. Once harvested, bell peppers will not continue growing larger. Check the specifics for the type of bell pepper plant you have to determine the average size of the fruit. Growing conditions can affect the size of the fruit, so be aware that your bell pepper may not be as large as you may expect.
- The color of your bell pepper will be one of the strongest indicators of ripeness. Colored bell pepper plants will change color as they ripen and grow larger and firmer to the touch. For example, red bell peppers start off green and turn red as they ripen. When your bell pepper is completely the correct color, it is likely that the pepper is ripe. Peppers picked before they have completely changed color will continue to change color after harvest. Peppers ready to be harvested are easily removed from the plant and do not require significant harvesting effort.
- Over time, cracking can appear on bell pepper plants. This can be the result of many factors, including irregular irrigation or excessively quick growth. However, when a bell pepper has been left to overripen on the plant, it will eventually develop crack marks. If your bell pepper has cracks along the side and appears to be mostly ripe, then it is likely that your bell pepper is fully ripened and ready for harvest.