When To Pick Serrano Peppers (Secret Ways To Tell They’re Ripe)

You’ve put the time in, and now you’re wondering when it’s time to harvest! This article is going to tell you exactly when to pick Serrano peppers, as well as what you can do if you pick them too early, and what happens if you leave them too late.

So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

When To Pick Serrano Peppers

When you should pick your Serrano peppers not only depends on the type of Serrano pepper you’re growing, but also hot hot you want them to be.

However as a general rule of thumb, most serrano peppers should be picked between 70-80 days.

If you leave it longer than this they may begin to rot on the stem, and if you pick them too early, then they may not be ripe enough yet.

How Can You Tell When Serrano Peppers Are Ripe?

If you’re like me, you may occasionally forget when you planted your peppers. If so it’s good to have a rough idea about the ideal time to pick your serrano peppers. Here are some of the best ways you can spot the ideal time to pick them.

The Color Is A Good Indicator

One indicator to check when a Serrano pepper is ripe is the color. In fact, you can gauge how hot a Serrano pepper is based on its color.

The mildest Serrano peppers are the green ones, and these are in the earliest stages of growth. At this stage, they’re definitely edible, and they’re going to be best for you if you don’t like anything too spicy.

If you want something a little bit spicier then you may be better off eating the pepper when it’s orange or yellow. At this point it will have much more of a kick, but it still won’t be at it’s hottest.

And when it’s most mature you’ll notice that your Serrano peppers are red or brown. At this point they’re going to be much hotter than jalapenos, so if you don’t like spice you may wish to avoid eating them at this phase.


The size of a Serrano Pepper is actually one of the best indicators of when they’re ready to be eaten. At two to three inches in size they’re going to be ready for harvesting and eating.

However, many people wait until they’re between three to four inches before they harvest them, as well as half an inch wide.

Just like color though, you can also determine the spiciness of your Serrano peppers based on how hot they are. The smaller the pepper the hotter it’s going to be.


The thickness of the skin is also going to determine when you’re going to want to pick your Serrano Peppers. If you plan on making a salsa or want some crunch in your peppers then it’s best to pick them when the skin is thicker.

However, if you’re looking for peppers that are easier to prepare, then it’s often best to pick them when the skin is still thin.

The Temperature

If you’re growing your Serrano peppers outside then you may wish to pick them depending on the temperature. Serrao peppers, and all other peppers produce the best harvest during weather.

So if you know that winter is coming it can be a good idea to harvest the remaining Serrano peppers. Failing that you can also bring your Serrano pepper plant indoors where it will continue to produce peppers all year round.

They’ll Come Off The Plant Easily

Another tell-tale sign that your Serrano peppers are ready is that they’ll come off the plant extremely easily. In fact, a gentle tug might be all it takes to remove it from the stem.

You May Notice Brown Stripes

Lastly, you may notice brown stripes on your peppers as well. When you see them, no matter the size or color of your peppers it means they’re ripe and ready to be picked.

If you don’t pick them then they may end up falling off or beginning to rot.

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When Is The Earliest Time You Can Pick A Serrano Pepper?

To be honest, you’ll be able to pick a Serrano pepper and eat it as soon as you see them. However, in the early days they’re going to be extremely mild and it’s better to leave them to grow a bit longer.

As a rule of thumb you shouldn’t pick your Serrano peppers until 60 days after they’ve germinated. At this point you’re going to have mild green peppers.

What To Do If You’ve Picked A Pepper Before It’s Ripe

If you’ve picked a Serrano pepper before it’s ripe, it can still be salvageable. One of the best things you can do is leave it somewhere that gets lots of sun. If it gets enough sun everyday it will continue to ripen until it’s nice and green. Unfortunately though, it may not redden.

What’s The Latest You Should Pick Serrano Peppers?

Generally speaking you should harvest you can harvest Serrano peppers up to 100 days after they’ve sprouted. At this point they should be red or brown, and they’ll also be a lot hotter than the green variety.

What Happens If You Take Too Long To Harvest Your Serrano Peppers

If you don’t harvest your Serrano peppers in time a couple of things are likely to happen. First of all you may notice that the peppers are dropping off your plant. This is a clear sign that they’re ready to be harvested and if you notice a few dropping off the plant you should also check the rest as well.

In some cases, if they’re left too long, you may also notice that the Serrano peppers are beginning to rot on the plant as well. Obviously these ones should be removed as soon as possible.

Another problem that occurs when you pick your Serrano peppers too late is that the amount of peppers growing will be reduced. The more you harvest your Serrano peppers, the more others will begin to sprout and grow.

If you want to get the most from your plant you should pick them as often as possible. Sometimes it’s a good idea to pick some while they’re green just so you can get a bigger harvest later on.

How Do You Harvest Serrano Peppers?

Harvesting Serrano peppers isn’t as easy as you think, and you definitely shouldn’t yank them off your plant. If you do this, you could end up damaging the stems.

  • One of the first things to remember when harvesting Serrano peppers is to pick them off when they’re dry. Water spreads diseases much easier so this is a nice easy way to stop the spread of disease and pests.
  • If you can’t detach the peppers easily by hand don’t tug or yank them. Instead use some clippers or a knife to gently cut them off.
  • It goes without saying, if you pick your Serrano peppers by hand, don’t touch your eyes or face. The oil on the outside can also be spicy and if you get it in your eyes it’s going to be extremely irritating and painful.


Now you should have a better understanding about the ideal time to pick Serrano peppers, as well as what happens when you leave them too long or pick them too early.

As you can see, they’re pretty easy going plants and you’ve got a wide window of time to pick them. However, if you want to get the most out of your plant you should be picking them frequently.

If you liked this article make sure you check out the rest of the website. Otherwise have a great day!

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