How to Ripen Peppers Faster
Bell peppers are technically a fruit, but are usually referred to as a vegetable. Peppers are in the same family as eggplants and tomatoes, and range in color from yellow and orange to red and green. Green peppers are the least ripe, but are still edible. If you want to ripen your peppers faster, there are tricks you can use both in the garden and in the home.
Keep the peppers on the vine as long as possible to promote ripening. The nutrients from the soil as well as the warm weather outdoors helps the fruit ripen faster than prematurely picked peppers. Peppers are ready to be picked by the time they reach 3 1/2 inches long. Green peppers are perfectly ripe, but more bitter than their riper, red counterparts are.
- Bell peppers are technically a fruit, but are usually referred to as a vegetable.
- Green peppers are perfectly ripe, but more bitter than their riper, red counterparts are.
Pair a picked less-ripe pepper and a tomato together to hasten the ripening process. Put the two vegetables together in a paper bag and close the bag. Tomatoes emit a gas called ethylene; the gas helps the pepper and any other produce placed in the bag, ripen faster.
Place peppers in a sunny window or warm room to help them ripen more efficiently. Cooler temperatures slow ripening, but when the mercury climbs, the peppers will ripen quickly. Keep the indoor temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit to promote good pepper quality. Ripening flourishes above 60 F, but compromises the quality once the thermometer drops into the 50s.
- Pair a picked less-ripe pepper and a tomato together to hasten the ripening process.
Pepper plants (Capsicum spp.) Peppers are tender, warm-season vegetables, like tomatoes. These include chili peppers, cayenne peppers and pimiento peppers. You'll only get the full flavor in any type of peppers if you harvest them at their peak. Transplant the young pepper plants about 18 to 24 inches apart. Water regularly, especially during dry periods. Bell Boy and Purple Belle are ready in 70 days; Lady Bell in 72 days; Chocolate Bell in 75 days. Pick the green-to-red bell peppers when they reach the color you prefer. Other sweet types of peppers that you use in salads or for frying, like Gypsy or Sweet Banana, take between 65 and 70 days to mature. Hot peppers can take the longest period to ripen. The actual harvest itself helps you figure out whether the peppers are ripe. If you are sure they're mature, you can use pruners if it is easier.
- Pepper plants (Capsicum spp.) Other sweet types of peppers that you use in salads or for frying, like Gypsy or Sweet Banana, take between 65 and 70 days to mature.
A red pepper is more ripe than a green pepper. If you have let your green peppers turn red on the vine, pick them and eat them as soon as possible. Because a red pepper is already well ripened, the fruit spoils more quickly than a green pepper does.
Erica Roth has been a writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her articles appear on various websites.