When to Pick Banana Pepper – Harvest at the Right Time

My wife and I have always liked spicy food and are very fond of peppers, so when we started our own vegetable garden we knew we had to have peppers there. We first grew smaller peppers but after a few months we knew we were ready for bigger ones and so we planted pepper bananas. It honestly was not easy at all.

Among all the vegetables I have planted, pepper banana is probably one of those that are very tricky when it comes to knowing for certain that it is ready to be picked. Often I would think that it is ripe but it turns out it was not ready.

These types of mistakes caused me to have to throw numerous peppers away at first. I don’t want this to happen to you as well so, below I have listed the indicators for you to know when you can finally get the taste of your banana peppers.

When to Pick Banana Pepper?

How Long is the Ripening Process?

In general, it is said that banana peppers take around 70-75 days to ripen. Based on experience, this is really not the only indicator because there are a lot of factors that can affect the ripening process that could make your peppers ripen after or even before the designated length.

These factors include the climate in your area, the type of soil you have, and the amount of watering you did. For example, during our second supposed harvest, our peppers ripened late because we were not able to water it as often because we were out of town for almost two weeks.

That being said,a I still find that using the general 70-75 day rule as a guideline to check for the other indicators would be the best.

What is the Length of Ripened Banana Peppers?

Another good indicator to know when the banana peppers are ripe is the length of the pepper itself. Of course, not all peppers would be the same size but most of the ripe ones would be around 4-8 inches.

If your banana peppers are not at least 4 inches yet there is a good chance that they are not ready yet so you should wait a few more days before picking it.

The Type of Banana Pepper You Have

Aside from the size and the number of days it has been planted, the type of banana pepper you have would also be a good guide for you to know when it is best to pick your peppers.

In fact, although the day length is common to both varieties, I have found that the two have a few differences when it comes to their color and even size when they are rips.

  • Sweet Banana Peppers

Sweet banana peppers are usually shorter than the hot variety. Ripe ones are usually 4-6 inches long. When your sweet banana peppers are still green this means that they are not ready yet.

If they are ready it would turn to a bright yellow. This indicates that your pepper is ready. If you want your pepper to be sweeter, you should wait for it to get a bit reddish. The redder your sweet pepper is the sweeter it would be.

  • Hot Banana Peppers

Hot banana peppers tend to be 6-8 inches when ripe. Any length below this means that they are not ready for harvesting yet. As for the color, it really depends on how spicy you like your pepper to be.

In my experience, hot banana peppers are usually milder in taste if they are bright yellow. So if you are not that fond of a very spicy pepper you should pick it during this time.

On the other hand, if you want your pepper to very spicy wait for it to be as red as it can get. The redder the pepper is the spicier it would be. I do advise you to use the redder ones if you want to do dried peppers while the yellow ones are best for pickling.

Additional Tips

Now that you know when your peppers are ready, you can now start harvesting. The way of harvesting your peppers would also depend on the type you have. Hot banana peppers can be picked with your hands or with gardening tools while sweet banana peppers should only be harvested with tools.

Some do argue that you should only pick the peppers with shears no matter the type but I personally think that hot peppers are best when hand-picked. Below are other helpful tips for when you are picking your pepper:

  • It is best to pick your peppers once the morning dew has dried up because it is easier to pick dry plants. Also, picking them wet makes passing of pathogens easier.
  • When you are cutting you should first remove the leaves near the pepper if there are but be careful to not damage the branch in any way.
  • Make sure that there are not frays at the end of the branch. This is because frayed branches might hinder the growth of new peppers.
  • If you are using gardening tools, make sure that you leave at least a ¼ inches of spacing.
  • Never rush when you are picking your peppers. Remember that gardening requires patience and lots of love you wouldn’t want your plants to be mishandled or get stressed.
  • Always make sure that if you do use gardening tools that they are sharp and not dull. Duller tools can cause damage to your plant. These are also unsafe and could be inefficient.


I hope the article helped you in clarifying when it is best to pick your peppers. Just keep in mind to take note of the number of days, the size, the color, and of course the type of banana pepper you have. Also keep in mind that the more often you pick your banana peppers the more peppers would grow.

If you liked this article please do share it to your friends and family. If you have other tips on when to know if the pepper is ready write them down in the comments section so more people would know about it.

Dan Harris

Hi. I'm Dan Harris. My wife and I started gardening 5 years ago. Neither one of us had any gardening background but we loved the idea of growing our own organic food. Over the years, our garden has almost doubled in size and I’ve learned a lot from my season’s successes and failures. I’ve been excited to share my own beginning knowledge and special skills with all garden lovers.

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