When To Pick Jalapenos? (Best Time to pick)

Jalapenos are an excellent addition to your cooking. It is a slow-growing pepper with a fiery flavor. If you love spicy dishes, you can plant Jalapenos in your garden. 

The pepper can be challenging to grow, so you should know when to pick Jalapenos to get the fruits of your hard work. In this post, I will reveal tips on harvesting spicy peppers. 

You can pick Jalapenos, about 3 to 5 inches long if they become fully grown. It can take around 4 to 6 months.      

When is the best time to harvest Jalapenos? 

The color of Jalapenos is another indicator that the peppers are ready for harvest. Once the pepper becomes mature, it can be developed a light green to dark green. It means that you can pick them. This stage can usually be reached about 5 to 6 months after planting or 60 to 80 days after transplanting. 

Even though some pick Jalapenos before they turn red or black, you can allow them to turn red if you want to increase their sweetness and heat. Corking also indicates that the peppers are ready for harvest. The small white lines on the skin of Jalapenos can be developed as the plant grows from small pods to its full size. 

If the peppers are firm to the touch, you can harvest them. Once they are in your desired color, pick them so that the plant can produce more Jalapenos. Keep in mind that leaving them on the plant longer may slow the growth of other young Jalapenos. 

How to pick your Jalapenos? 

Mammoth Jalapenos

Once your Jalapeno peppers are ready for harvest, you should know how to pick them to avoid damaging the plant. Here are some of my tips for you. 

Choose the ripe Jalapenos 

You should identify the ripe Jalapenos when harvesting. Leave alone the peppers if they’re not ready for picking. 

Hold the plant 

Use your one hand while gently holding the branch below the pepper. It can prevent jostling the plant as you pick the pepper. 

Pull the Jalapeno upwards 

Usually, the pepper hangs downwards, with bottoms directly pointed to the ground. With this, the stems curved from the branch. You can vertically push them upwards as you pick the pepper. 

Have a clean break 

The pepper should be popped off the plant. So you can break it cleanly at the end of the stem. Avoid tearing or twisting. 

What can you do with Jalapenos after picking them? 

After you harvest your Jalapenos, you may wonder how to use them. The following are some ways to preserve your Jalapenos. 


You can keep your Jalapenos in the freezer. Wash and dry the peppers and place them in the freezer bags. You can store them for up to 8 months. Frozen Jalapenos can be used in stews and soups. It is also a good idea to thaw the peppers on a paper towel and use it as fresh peppers.


If you want to consume the peppers in 2 weeks, you can store them in your refrigerator. Put them unwashed in a sealed bag and keep them in your vegetable drawer. 

Food dehydrator 

Dehydrated Jalapenos can last up to a year. Cut the washed peppers and spread the slices in the dehydrator trays, making sure not to overlap them. Store the dry Jalapenos in sealed containers out of the sun. 

Why does Jalapeno pepper turn black? 

Jalapenos can turn red, but they can also turn black. Do you know what the reasons behind this are? I will reveal it to you below. Jalapenos can turn black because of the following:


Jalapenos can turn black because of their natural ripening. Some Jalapeno peppers turn from green to black to red. The fruit doesn’t turn black but can have streaking or dark coloration. It is edible and can be picked. 


The pepper can turn black at a young age if there is less leaf cover leading to sunscald. Sunscald can also be caused by frequent pruning. Luckily, sunscald is harmless, but it can make the skin hot in severe situations, and peppers turn white and rot. 


Jalapenos can also turn black and rot due to bacterial and fungal diseases. You should know about gray mold, phytophthora blight, verticillium wilt, and blossom end rot. It is also necessary to avoid damage caused by pests or insects. Thus, it can lead to rot and makes the pepper softens and turns black. 

Cultivar selection 

Don’t be surprised if your jalapeno turns black, especially if you’re growing different varieties of Jalapenos. Some variety produces dark-colored peppers naturally and turns red once they mature. Examples of these are black and purple jalapenos. 

How to ripen your green jalapenos? 

If you wish to ripen your green jalapenos, you can put them in a sunny area, like a windowsill. In just a few days, it will begin to turn red. If it was already ripe, consume the jalapenos or store them in your ref. 

When to harvest your jalapenos for a mild flavor? 

Can You Substitute Jalapenos for Green Chilies

If you want jalapenos that are not too spicy, you can harvest green jalapenos. It comes with a slight green taste and mild heat. A mild jalapeno pepper has a crunchy texture with green color. 

When to pick jalapenos for the most heat? 

Jalapenos can be the best addition to your favorite Mexican cuisines. Do you want to know when to pick the hottest jalapenos? Read more. 

Jalapeno begins as small green nub as the plant blossoms. It will grow to full size for about 3 inches. Allow your pepper to change its color from green to bright red. 

Red jalapenos are sweeter compared to green ones. It also has more punch. So, as the jalapenos turn red, you can harvest them for fiery flavor.

How to use your jalapenos? 

Wondering how you can use the pickled jalapenos? Here are some of my suggestions:

  • Omelet
  • Tacos
  • Spicy margarita
  • Salads
  • Guacamole 
  • Other Mexican dishes

Jalapeno pepper can be used as a natural insecticide by making a hot or chili pepper spray. Place it around your plants to keep away pests. It can work for squirrels, deer, and rabbits.

Use your jalapenos to create homemade bug spray. Blend up some jalapeno peppers and add them to a spray water bottle. It is safe and natural but can effectively keep the bug away.    

How long does jalapeno pepper last after you harvest them? 

Your jalapenos can last for one or two weeks after you refrigerate them. However, some instances may only last for a few days. You will know if your pepper is terrible if the skin wrinkles and is mushy. 

When is the best time of day to harvest your jalapenos? 

The best time of the day to pick your jalapeno peppers is in the morning before the sun’s heat. Get them before it’s too hot. 

What is the size of Jalapenos when they are ready to be picked?

Your jalapeno peppers should be about 3 to 4 inches long so that you can harvest them. They are fully grown and perfect to consume as they reach this size. It is also the best time they have the best taste, making them perfect for adding to your favorite dishes. 

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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