When To Harvest Banana Peppers



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When To Harvest Banana Peppers

If you’re curious about gardening, you must know the best time to grow and harvest your crops. However, all plants grow differently, so some crops will be suitable for harvesting earlier than others.

When to harvest banana peppers depends on numerous factors discussed in this helpful guide, but as a rule of thumb, they can generally be harvested 70 to 85 days from when they were first planted.

Banana peppers are a tasty vegetable that looks amazing in your backyard. They come in many different varieties, making it tricky to work out when you should harvest them.

You’ll learn more about banana pepper harvest time in this post, including the difference between sweet and spicy types, the best time to collect them, and how to harvest them. 

Different Kinds Of Banana Peppers

Banana peppers come in several varieties with different harvesting requirements, depending on your chosen type.

It’s important to know what kind of banana pepper plant you have so you can harvest at the correct time (want to know how many peppers you can expect to yield? Read here).

Banana pepper plants come in two main varieties: spicy and sweet.

Harvesting Spicy Banana Peppers

There are many different spicy banana peppers, all with comparable harvesting times. 

Spicy banana peppers become spicier the longer they are left to grow. If you want your banana peppers to be particularly spicy, give them more time to mature and develop. 

If you’re not a fan of spice, collect the peppers sooner. They’ll have a little kick without being overwhelming. 

Harvesting Sweet Banana Peppers 

Sweet banana peppers are completely different from spicy peppers. You won’t need to wait a while for these, as sweet banana peppers are best picked before fully grown.

They can be harvested when you first notice them turning yellow. 

If you want the peppers to ripen after harvesting, you can pick them before they turn yellow.

Ensure you don’t let the banana peppers turn red, as they won’t taste as sweet, losing their unique flavor.

Remember These Things When Harvesting Banana Peppers 

Here are some things to help you know when to harvest banana peppers.

When You Planted Them

Generally speaking, banana peppers can be harvested 70 to 85 days from when they were first planted. If you began the peppers inside and transplanted them outdoors later, this remains the case.

Still, time isn’t the only factor determining when to pick banana peppers. How often they were watered, your location, and climate can affect whether the peppers take less or more time to grow fully.

It’s best to use the 70 to 85 days as a typical guide of when to harvest the peppers.


Color is one of the best signs to tell you when banana peppers are ripe (want to know more about banana peppers? Read Here). 

The peppers will be green when they first begin to grow. They’ll remain green as the season continues until days 65 – 70 when they gradually mature.

You should be prepared to pick them once they begin to turn yellow. 

If your banana peppers are of the sweet variety, they can be collected at any point after they turn yellow. The earlier they are harvested, the crisper and sweeter they’ll be. 

If your banana peppers are spicy, they’ll become spicier the later they are picked. If you want the peppers to be particularly spicy, wait until they turn red.

When To Harvest Banana Peppers


Though their size can vary between years, banana peppers generally remain similar regarding how long and large they get.

Hot banana peppers are six to eight inches long, while sweet banana peppers turn four to six inches long. 

Despite this, as each subset of plants contains different kinds, you should look into the particular kind of pepper you’re planting. 

Some of these may only be two to four inches long, which you should remember, as peppers can spoil if they aren’t harvested in time.

You may wait for the peppers to become longer, but they won’t exceed a certain length, rotting on the vine as you wait. 

Consistency & Feel

If you’re new to gardening, you may find distinguishing between an immature banana pepper and a fully grown one difficult.

More experienced gardeners can tell if they are ready for harvesting depending on the plant’s soft or toughness. 

Banana peppers usually turn soft when suitable for harvesting, though they’ll remain firm if they’re not entirely ripe.

If the peppers are particularly soft, they’ve spoiled as you’ve not harvested them in time. 

Time Of Year And Day

You can know when to pick banana peppers by knowing when they should be planted later in the year. 

If planting your peppers outside, wait until the season’s final frost. 

You can also start planting the peppers inside and moving them outdoors in the spring, ensuring they are ready in early summer. 

When to pick sweet banana peppers and find the optimum time to harvest banana peppers varies in different locations. Collecting banana peppers is an intense job, so if you live in a hot area, pick the peppers in the early morning.

Do not harvest banana peppers in wet conditions. If you live in a location that experiences heavy morning dew, like the Midwest, wait until early afternoon or mid-morning to pick the peppers.

Steps To Harvest Banana Peppers

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to harvest banana peppers:

  • Ensure that the peppers are ready for collection, looking at the plant’s size, color, and texture. Use 75 to 90 days as a guideline for spicy peppers and 65 to 75 days for sweet ones.
  • Allow any morning dew to dry off so the peppers aren’t wet. Collecting wet peppers can lead to mold, mildew, or pathogens spreading between the fruit.
  • You can pick the peppers by hand or using pruning shears.
  • If you use pruning shears, cut the pepper near the center of the stalk. The stalk links the pepper’s body to the main plant, so aim to leave a quarter of an inch of stalk remaining on the plant.
  • Pick the peppers by gripping the pepper at the bottom of the stalk, which links to the pepper.
  • Grip the plant securely with your other hand.
  • The pepper should come away from the stem with a quick pull.
  • It’s best to pick banana peppers by hand if they are spicy and use pruning shears when the peppers are sweet.

Frequently asked questions on When To Harvest Banana Peppers

Q: When to pick banana peppers?

A: Banana peppers should be picked when they reach 6-8 inches long and turn bright yellow. The peppers are ready for harvest when they are firm and have a glossy appearance.

Q: When are hot banana peppers ripe?

A: Hot banana peppers typically ripen in gardens between 70-85 days after transplanting. To identify ripeness, look for a yellow color and firm texture.

When to pick hot banana peppers and how best to harvest them at their peak ensures a spicy flavor and vibrant taste in your culinary creations.

Q: What types of banana peppers?

A: Banana peppers, also known as yellow wax peppers, come in various types in English. The most common varieties are sweet banana peppers with a mild taste and hot banana peppers with a spicy punch.

Other types include Hungarian wax and Cubanelle peppers with unique flavors and heat levels.

Final Thoughts on When To Harvest Banana Peppers

Now you know more about harvesting banana peppers! This process involves many essential steps, but your success relies on understanding when they should be harvested. 

The peppers’ color, texture, type, and size can tell you when they should be harvested throughout the season.

Please see our article on the best pepper fertilizers, where we did an in-depth analysis and guide on the best fertilizers to use for your peppers.

Our Top 3 Pepper Fertilizers

Top Pick

Greenway Biotech Pepper Fertilizer

Greenway Biotech

Quality Ingredients Hydroponics and Soil Use Improves Soil Quality 100% Natural

Tracy’s Choice

Big A Pepper Fertilizer

Big A Peppers

Organic Proprietary Blend Suitable For All Peppers High-solubility Formula ECO Friendly.

Best Value

Miracle Gro Shake n Feed Fertilizer

Miracle-Gro S&F

Natural Ingredients Specially Formulated For Use In the Ground and Containers.

Further Recommendations:

Video: Harvesting Banana Peppers

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