do sweet peppers need to ripen?

njitgradJuly 18, 2013

I grew four Burpee Carnival Mix pepper plants. A green one popped up about 4 days ago and a purple one popped in two days ago. I picked the purple one today because it grew faster however it's pretty green on the inside. It's about the size of a small apple. Is it okay to eat? Should I have waited?

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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

Yeah, you can eat it. You just picked the purple one when it was still under ripe, think of it as a regular green pepper. If you want them to be sweet then you need to let them ripen on the plant. Your bell peppers will change colors when ripe (even the purple ones change to a different color).

Rodney

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 12:39PM
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njitgrad

I only picked it because I was concerned about them not growing much more due to all sorts of issues in my garden. Will wait on the next one.

How do you know when its time to pick one? They're not like tomatoes.

What color will the purple ones change to? And does each plant only produce one type of color?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 12:42PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Each plant produces various shades of only one color. But they can be picked and eaten at any stage. They are all considered sweet peppers regardless of the color but the deeper, darker the color the sweeter they get.

Problem is if you leave too many on the plant too long to get really ripe then the plant begins to shut down and sun scorch and bugs become an issue. So keep picking them at various stages of color to keep the plants producing.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 12:48PM
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farmerdill

The purple peppers become red peppers when ripe. Sweet peppers can be used at all stages, Immature is still the most popular, but the number of folks who like ripe peppers is growing daily.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 12:56PM
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njitgrad

Why would immature peppers be more popular? For the reason Dave mentioned?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 1:27PM
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woohooman

Njitgrad: Yes, for what Dave said and impatience and some people have a short growing season. Personally, I wait. For I hate green bells.

Kevin

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 2:12PM
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farmerdill

People have different tastes. For year the primary sweet pepper were the bells. Used primarily as stuffed peppers or in the south for seasoning various dishes. Even today, Green bells are far and away better sellers than ripe bells ( Red, Yellow or orange) Just after WW II several green when ripe varieties were introduced to extend the market window. Of course if you want colored bells, purples and whites, you have to use them immature as they become red bells when ripe. Except for the the green when ripe varieties all green bells will be red, orange or yellow when ripe.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 2:30PM
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myluck(5 In)

And they take FOREVER to turn red. And I do mean forever like an eternity forever. Like almost never going to happen forever. And I love Roasted red peppers.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 2:38PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Green bells aren't "immature". For eons they have been the norm and probably always will be. It was colored peppers that were considered unusual, a passing fad.

As farmerdill said far more green bells are sold and used throughout the world than colored bells. Like 100x as many. Many folks prefer the taste of green bells over colored ones and recipes calling for green bells far exceed recipes calling for colored ones. So it is all in what you prefer personally.

Plus colored peppers, many of which are relatively new hybrids, are much more difficult to grow in the average home garden because of the reasons mentioned. And since they produce less, are more expensive to produce, and the seeds can't be saved, they cost more in the stores.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 2:58PM
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SmokyMist(7 East TN)

I had posted this on another forum and somebody pointed me in this direction .
This is my first year growing purple bell peppers. I picked some plants up on a whim while out of town. I grow peppers every year but not these. They are called Tasty Purple. I'm not sure if that is just a generic name or what. Well I had these little guys come onto the plant, and as used as I am to letting green bell peppers turn red to pick. I assumed because they were so deeply purple it was time to pick them even though they were tiny. My question is, are purple bell peppers purple from the word go, or do they turn purple as they get larger and more mature? Was I right to pick these now ?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 8:44PM
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farmerdill

They are edible at all stages, however if you want purple, you need to pick them before they ripen. They are a red pepper when ripe. They are normally used as you would a standard green bell people. Tasty Purple is small as bells go. About 3 x 2 inches.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 8:52PM
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farmerdill

They are edible at all stages, however if you want purple, you need to pick them before they ripen. They are a red pepper when ripe. They are normally used as you would a standard green bell people. Tasty Purple is small as bells go. About 3 x 2 inches.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 8:53PM
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SmokyMist(7 East TN)

These are only about an inch and a half tall...is that ripe ?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 9:23PM
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SmokyMist(7 East TN)

These started out green, then turned this deep purple, but they are tiny. I'm wondering if our weather, the extreme rains we had then the heat, just stunted these ?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 9:25PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

I want to add my two cents: I HATE sweet peppers. I hate sweet vegetables in general (tomatoes being an exception). I'm no fan of sweet corn either. I like my veggies to be bitter, acrid, salty, and/or starchy, but not sweet! So, I pick all my peppers unripe. Sweet shelling peas make me want to hurl. Starchy peas are delicious. It takes all types to make this world :)

This post was edited by Slimy_Okra on Sat, Jul 20, 13 at 0:03

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 12:01AM
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SmokyMist(7 East TN)

Yes it does...and I hate slimy Okra LOL....always have ( not you personally of course )

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 12:43AM
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naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan(5B SW Michigan)

You can let them grow larger. If you want maximum size and flesh thickness wait til one starts to go to a dark red color like farmerdill's picture shows....you wanted to pick it a few days earlier, so gauge your future harvests off of that.

In your variety, the tiny peppers are usually green when they first develop, soon change to purple, grow for several weeks as purple, and then ripen to a deep red/burgandy. If I recall correctly, they do not have solid purple flesh through and through but a purple surface and green underneath. Only after ripening to the dark red will the flesh lose the greenish color.

Why only one color per plant? Each plant's genetics determine its fruit color. Some are advertised as multicolor because the fruit(peppers) go through dramatically different colors as they mature. Your pack is multicolor in that way, but the plants are also different varieties of peppers with genetics to produce a variety of fully mature colors as well as intermediate colors as they grow. It may be hard to decide just when to harvest, but all stages are safe to eat. I think waiting until they are well along but not quite to final color gives the best taste and good yield. Others may give up some yield to get the sweeter taste of fully mature peppers.....but you won't have any that are purple at that stage in your mix.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 9:47AM
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jocoyn

Found this old thread and the question is HOW LONG is forever. It seems my peppers (I got varieties that turn red, yellow, orange, and black) have been full size on the vine for over two weeks now.

One looks like it "may" start turning as it is a little lighter on one side but I am concerned these will stay on the plant too long........plus, do they keep other peppers from forming?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 10:17AM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

Jocoyn- No one can give you an exact timeline for when peppers will change color. It depends on many factors, the variety and weather being the main things. And yes, leaving full sized peppers on the plants will affect the overall production of those plants.

Rodney

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 11:16AM
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