When to Pick Jalapenos: How to Know When Jalapenos are Ready to Pick


If you want the answer to “When to pick Jalapenos,” this quick guide will help you find the relevant answer. Starting your gardening is a super experience full of fun. It enables you to learn about plants. However, if someone is new to gardening, it becomes essential to know more about planting.

Gardening is an art of work that connects human beings to the world of plants and nature spaces. It involves a lot of activities like caring for plants and flowers, trees, vegetables, and trees with complete care and devotion. It is a timeless and rewarding hobby that helps to explore the world of nature.

This article explains all the information about Jalapenos, their growth and care, harvesting, planting, and the answers to Questions like When to pick jalapenos peppers? What are the main types, when to harvest the Jalapenos, and what to do with jalapenos after picking them up from the plants?

What is a Jalapeno?

A Jalapeno is a medium-sized plant that belongs to the species Capsicum Annum and is popular in Mexico and South America. It is considered one of the most famous Chili in the United States. The Origin of this chile is the Mexican city Jalapa or Xalpa, from which the name Jalapenos comes. This plant has a length of about 5 to 9cm (2 to 3.5 inches) when fully mature.

The size of Jalapenos can vary according to their variety and the weather conditions, which may affect the growth process. Over time, jalapeno chili has become popular worldwide. Since 20102, California has become the world’s largest chili producer. A mature plant can be 2 to 3 feet tall and produce 30 to 40 individual peppers.

Types of Jalapenos

Today, Jalapenos contain a lot of varieties based on their size, colors, and taste; however, some mainly used peppers are below.

  • Early Jalapenos
  • Mild Jalapenos
  • Purple Jalapenos

Early Jalapenos

Early Jalapenos are also known as Early flame Jalapenos, as these varieties are picked early from any other type. This plant gains maturity in 75 to 75 days and gets a length of 9 to 10 cm or 3.5 inches to 4 inches. Early flame Jalapenos can be harvested early when green for mild flavors and spicy taste. They should be allowed to ripen till red.

Early Jalapenos are famous chili peppers known for their spicy flavor. They are compact plants, making them ideal for small gardens or containers. Despite their small size, these peppers can bear the strict weather conditions. Early Jalapenos have an early maturation period, usually ready to harvest, unlike other peppers. 

Mild Jalapenos

Mild jalapenos are a variety of jalapeno peppers known for their softer heat level. It is a good choice for those who enjoy the flavor but like less spiciness. These mild peppers are green when immature and turn red at their ripening stage. Commonly used in many dishes, including salsas, dips, and salads, and can be roasted or stuffed. 

They offer a mild flavor that makes them better for cooking. Mild jalapenos are best known for their mild flavor, which needs gentle heat for ripening. These are light green with a mild taste. These peppers are ideal for those who need a mild taste. The plant maturity is between 70 to 80 days.

Purple Jalapenos

Purple Jalapenos start with green color, then dark purple, and finally turn into red color. The plant gains maturity over 85 days. It is a unique variety of peppers known for their purple color. They are hybrid chili peppers, which means they are formed by combining two different types. 

These chilis are smaller than ordinary jalapenos and are cone-shaped. The plant’s purple flower is an excellent addition to ornamental flowers. Medium-level heat helps in maintaining the flavor. It is a perfect addition to spicy taste when used in kitchen dishes.

When to Pick Jalapenos?

So, When Jalapenos are ready to pick off the plants, the answer lies in some indicators that help determine whether the peppers are ready to harvest. Jalapenos are usually prepared to be picked after 70 to 90 days of their cultivation when they are 3 to 5 inches long and have a deep color. These peppers have good flavor at any stage of their development, but the best stage is their final stage.

Jalapenos are primarily used in kitchens worldwide due to their spicy nature. Picking jalapenos at the right time is essential to get good flavor. Times Plays an important role in identifying when to pick jalapenos and affects the taste and spiciness of peppers.

How to Know When Jalapenos Are Ready to Pick?

 Color of Peppers

Color plays a primary role in the indication of Jalapeno’s ripening process. At the start, the color is green and converted into red when they mature. However, If you want to locate the ideal time for picking, it depends on your taste preference. Jalapenos with green color are milde and have a slightly spicy taste, while those with red have an intense flavor and a pungent taste. You can indicate when Jalapenos are ready to be picked from the color.

Texture and Size

The other essential point to consider is the texture and size of the peppers. Jalapenos are mostly around 2-3 inches long when they are fully mature, but this size can vary according to different varieties in different regions. They should have a glossy appearance and feel firm. 

Timing Considerations

The harvesting time can be different because it may depend on factors like climate, growing conditions, and the specific variety you have selected for cultivation. Usually, you can start by picking green jalapenos about 2-3 months after transplanting seedlings, and they will continue to ripen into red jalapenos as the season progresses.

Weather Conditions

 Follow the weather forecast, especially as the growing season ends. A late-season moist weather can damage the jalapeno plants and affect the harvest quality. If there are terrible weather conditions, consider picking all remaining peppers, even if they’re still green, to save them from damage. In this way, you can avoid the loss to a great extent.

 Experiment and Taste

 Ultimately, tasting the jalapenos is the best way to determine when to pick jalapenos. Take a sample of a small piece to assess its spiciness and flavor. If they meet your desired level of heat and taste, it is the right time to harvest.

In conclusion, the timing of jalapeno harvesting is essential for deciding when to pick jalapenos, and it depends on appearance and environmental factors. Whether you prefer the milder green or red jalapenos, paying attention to color, size, and texture while considering local climate conditions will help you pick your jalapenos at the perfect moment. So, Get the spice and enjoy the rewards of a well-timed jalapeno harvest.

How to Pick Jalapenos off the plant?

Harvesting Jalapenos: A Step-by-Step Guide

Picking jalapenos off the plant is a simple yet crucial step in enjoying these spicy peppers at their best. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or not, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to pick jalapenos like a pro.

Check the Color

Begin by inspecting the color of the jalapenos. As mentioned in our previous article, jalapenos change from green to red as they ripen. The color largely depends on your preference for spiciness and flavor. Green jalapenos are milder, while red ones are hotter and more intense in taste. So, it depends upon your level of flavor which one you want to choose

 Examine Texture and Size

Size and texture matter a lot in the picking process. Jalapenos are typically 2-3 inches long when fully grown, but this can vary by variety and other environmental factors. Ensure the peppers are firm to the touch and have a glossy appearance. 

Gather Your Tools

Before you start harvesting, gather the necessary tools. You’ll need a pair of garden shears or sharp scissors. Optionally, wearing gloves can protect your hands from jalapeno oils, which can cause skin irritation. Gathering your tools is a necessary step for picking the jalapenos.

Position Your Hand

Position your hand close to the stem under the pepper to pick a jalapeno. Support the jalapeno gently to avoid damaging the plant. A good position will help to prevent the loss.

Use Shears or Scissors

With your free hand, carefully use garden shears or scissors to snip the jalapeno stem just above where it attaches to the plant. Make a clean, swift cut to avoid damaging the plant or leaving a jagged stem.

Collect in a Container

As you harvest jalapenos, please place them in a container or basket. If you toss them directly into a bag or basket, this prevents bruising or damage. So, it’s essential to collect them in a basket.

Inspect the Plant

After picking, take a moment to inspect the plant. You can remove any jalapenos that are overripe or starting to rot. It helps the plant focus on producing new peppers. 

Wash Your Hands

After handling jalapenos, wash your hands thoroughly, even if you’ve worn gloves. Jalapeno oils can linger on the skin and irritate if you touch your face or eyes.

With these simple steps, you can confidently harvest jalapenos from your garden. Enjoy the rewards of your labor by incorporating these spicy peppers into your favorite recipes, from salsas to stuffed delights. Picking jalapenos at the right time ensures they are at their peak of flavor and spiciness, enhancing your culinary creations.

Does jalapenos become hotter if they are red?

Yes, jalapenos typically become hotter as they ripen and turn red. The heat of a jalapeno pepper is due to a compound called capsaicin, which is found in the placental tissue (the white membrane inside the pepper) and the seeds.

As jalapenos mature and change color from green to red, the capsaicin content tends to increase, resulting in a spicier flavor. The red jalapenos are often hotter and more heat-intense than their milder green counterparts.

However, it’s important to note that the heat level of jalapenos can vary based on factors such as variety, growing conditions, and individual taste perception. Some jalapeno varieties may naturally have higher or lower capsaicin levels, and environmental factors can influence their spiciness.

If you prefer milder jalapenos, consider picking them when they are still green. On the other hand, if you enjoy the fiery kick of a jalapeno, allow it to ripen to a red color before harvesting. Ultimately, when to pick jalapenos depends on your taste preferences and the desired level of spiciness for your culinary creations.

What to do after picking jalapenos?

After picking jalapenos, handling and storing them is essential to sustain their freshness and flavor. Here are the steps to follow:

Inspect and Sort

The first step is to examine the jalapenos you’ve harvested. You can simply remove any overripe peppers that show such a sign. It’s necessary only to keep the high-quality ones for consumption.

Wash and Dry

 Rinse the jalapenos under cool running water to remove dirt or debris. Gently dry them with a clean towel or paper towel to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to spoilage. There are several storage options for jalapenos:


 Store fresh jalapenos in the refrigerator. Please place them in a perforated plastic bag or a container with ventilation to maintain humidity while preventing moisture buildup. They can stay fresh for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.


 If you have a surplus of jalapenos, consider freezing them. Slice or chop the peppers, remove the seeds to reduce the heat, and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. You can use frozen jalapenos in cooking without the need to thaw.


 Another popular option is to pickle jalapenos. Slice them into rings or leave them whole and submerge them in vinegar, water, salt, and spices. Store the pickled jalapenos in sterilized jars in the refrigerator for an extended shelf life.

Use in Cooking

 Incorporate your freshly harvested jalapenos into your favorite recipes. They add a delightful kick to salsas, salads, sauces, and various dishes. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly working jalapenos, especially if you touch your face or eyes, as the oils can irritate.

Share or Preserve

 If you have an abundant jalapeno harvest, consider sharing them with friends, family, or neighbors. You can also experiment with preserving methods like canning or dehydrating to enjoy jalapenos throughout the year. Following these steps, you can maximize your jalapeno harvest and enjoy their spicy goodness in various culinary creations.


In the gardening world, the question of when to pick jalapenos peppers is crucial. As we’ve explored, the answer is a delightful blend of science and personal preference. Jalapenos offer a spectrum of flavors and heat levels, ranging from the milder green peppers to the spicier red ones. Your choice of when to harvest them depends on your taste buds. Whether you prefer the mild flavor of green jalapenos or the fiery intensity of red ones, understanding the signs of ripeness, such as color, size, and texture, is essential.

Remember that the timing of jalapeno harvesting can vary due to climate, growing conditions, and specific jalapeno varieties. Keeping an eye on the weather, especially late-season frosts, is critical to protect your plants and your precious harvest.

Ultimately, the best judge of jalapeno readiness is your palate. Flavor testing is the surest way to determine when your peppers are primed for picking. When they meet your desired level of heat and flavor, it’s time to pluck them from the plant. So, whether adding it to your dishes, crafting homemade salsas, or pickling for future delights, the art of timing with jalapenos is a rewarding journey.

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