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Bell Peppers - what gives?

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Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  AvaDGardner on 2/18/2012, 6:46 pm

When it comes to bell peppers, I thought greens were the 'first pick' and if you left them on the plant, they became yellow, then orange, then red. (It's what happens in my kitchen after I buy them!)

I noticed yesterday that plants were available in all colors with the same basic maturity date (66-75 days)

What gives with peppers? How can that be?
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  camprn on 2/18/2012, 6:52 pm

AVA, that is a superb question. We are a community of volunteers mostly gardeners, some master gardeners and lots of noobees. If you could do the research and get back to all of us with what you find out, we will all know the answer. Wink

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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  AvaDGardner on 2/18/2012, 6:54 pm

If I knew were to look, I wouldn't ask!

Seeing all the colors mature the same time blew me out of what my veggie gardening friends always told me.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  camprn on 2/18/2012, 7:01 pm

AVA, give Google or Dogpile a try, those are pretty good search engines.

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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  llama momma on 2/18/2012, 7:04 pm

I am going to make a guess here till someone else comes along. My guess is there are so many varieties that some will behave differently. I also thought the same as you, but last summer I grew a blushing beauty variety of bell pepper and it stayed a yellowish green from tiny size to full size and not a shade of any other color. With that limited experience I guess some peppers change colors and others don't.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  RoOsTeR on 2/18/2012, 7:34 pm

@AvaDGardner wrote:If I knew were to look, I wouldn't ask!

Seeing all the colors mature the same time blew me out of what my veggie gardening friends always told me.

Ava, it really was a great question and there is no reason to get defensive. We all pitch in here to gain knowledge and help each other out. Camp was just suggesting what any of us would do. Sometimes a couple key strokes in Google or a quick visit to wikipedia
brings great results.


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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  jpatti on 2/18/2012, 7:37 pm

Most peppers start off green, and eventually change to a different color. Usually it's just one color to a second and usually, the first color is green.

It's not typical for peppers to go green, yellow, orange, then red. Most red peppers just go green to red.

Yellow and orange peppers are usually the second color, most often after green.

So all these are typical:
green -> red
green -> yellow
green -> orange

But there's loads of variations.

For instance, was just reading a seed catalog the other day and noticed a white pepper than turns red.

One of my favorites for a long time has been a purple that turns red. It stays purple a long time though, and even though that is the first color, it's not bitter when on it's first color like green peppers.

There's also a variety I ran across a while back that DOES go through all those changes, and is grown as an ornamental because the plant is so pretty with 4 or 5 pepper colors, but as I recall, it wasn't particularly edible.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  AvaDGardner on 2/18/2012, 10:39 pm

I can't wait to lose my seed catalog virginity.

What great info. No wonder growers of annuals drool over catalogs.

It's not that I don't know where to search, I don't know how to phrase the question properly.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/18/2012, 10:52 pm

I use to think that all peppers started out green and matured a different color til one year I grew the purple beauty and it started out dark purple and blew my brain to shreds.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  AvaDGardner on 2/18/2012, 10:57 pm

@CarolynPhillips wrote:I use to think that all peppers started out green and matured a different color til one year I grew the purple beauty and it started out dark purple and blew my brain to shreds.

LOL, that's exactly how I feel!
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  gwennifer on 2/19/2012, 12:17 am

I agree - great question!

I was confused a bit at first when browsing through Territorial Seed's catalog, looking at the sweet bell peppers. I came to the conclusion after pouring over all the descriptions that a pepper that changes from green to either yellow, orange, or red is full size, edible, and therefore mature when it's green, and this is the maturity date listed for that pepper. If you want it to turn color before you harvest, it takes longer than the maturity date.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  quiltbea on 2/19/2012, 12:23 am

Its final color is determined by its variety. Some are white, yellow, orange or red.

A sweet pepper gets sweeter when it turns to its final color. It may start out green and you should pick them green so the plant keeps reproducing tho it won't be as sweet. At the end of the season its smart to allow the last ones to turn their final color when they will be sweetest. They'll slow down production at the end of season anyway.

A hot pepper gets its hottest when it turns its final color. Again, keep picking them to keep them producing. They won't be as hot til they turn their final color, but all peppers are good nonetheless.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  jpatti on 2/19/2012, 12:47 am

Errr... except all peppers are NOT good.I grew up thinking I hated bell peppers cause all my mom ever cooked were the green ones. They're awful.

Green bell peppers are bitter. If I HAD to pick them, they'd go straight into the compost pile. Hubby isn't wild for them either. No one here will eat them.

But I LOVE yellow, orange, red, purple and white bell peppers. I have THE killer stuffed pepper recipe, and the MAIN point of it is to start with a non-green pepper, cause those are too gross.

Luckily, pepper plants DO keep producing if you wait for the pepper to be ripe. The trick is not to let them get OVERripe. In short, you can let the green go to red (for example), but then don't leave it hanging around indefinitely. Same as with tomatoes, pick them when they're ripe.

IMO, it's like saying you should pick your tomatoes green cause they'll keep producing. Yeah, they will, cause tomatoes keep producing anyways. But... I'm not giving up vine-ripened tomatoes even if it DOES get more tomatoes.

Peppers ALSO keep producing if you pick them once they're ripe. Do they produce more your way? I dunno. I'd never be tempted to do the experiment as it'd be a tad silly for me to grow peppers just to compost them.

Not saying it's not kewl for you if you like green peppers... hey, there's folks who like their tomatoes green too and pick them early for that reason.

Just saying, if people LIKE their peppers really ripe, it does NOT make them stop producing to let them ripen on the vine.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  shannon1 on 2/19/2012, 3:43 am

@jpatti wrote:Errr... except all peppers are NOT good.I grew up thinking I hated bell peppers cause all my mom ever cooked were the green ones. They're awful.

Green bell peppers are bitter. If I HAD to pick them, they'd go straight into the compost pile. Hubby isn't wild for them either. No one here will eat them.

But I LOVE yellow, orange, red, purple and white bell peppers. I have THE killer stuffed pepper recipe, and the MAIN point of it is to start with a non-green pepper, cause those are too gross.

Luckily, pepper plants DO keep producing if you wait for the pepper to be ripe. The trick is not to let them get OVERripe. In short, you can let the green go to red (for example), but then don't leave it hanging around indefinitely. Same as with tomatoes, pick them when they're ripe.

IMO, it's like saying you should pick your tomatoes green cause they'll keep producing. Yeah, they will, cause tomatoes keep producing anyways. But... I'm not giving up vine-ripened tomatoes even if it DOES get more tomatoes.

Peppers ALSO keep producing if you pick them once they're ripe. Do they produce more your way? I dunno. I'd never be tempted to do the experiment as it'd be a tad silly for me to grow peppers just to compost them.

Not saying it's not kewl for you if you like green peppers... hey, there's folks who like their tomatoes green too and pick them early for that reason.

Just saying, if people LIKE their peppers really ripe, it does NOT make them stop producing to let them ripen on the vine.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  martha on 2/19/2012, 1:42 pm

@AvaDGardner wrote:I can't wait to lose my seed catalog virginity."

Laughing

"What great info. No wonder growers of annuals drool over catalogs."

that's not an emoticon - it's an actual photograph of me reading my catalogs!



"It's not that I don't know where to search, I don't know how to phrase the question properly.

I hear you - sometimes I ask Google about a specific tomato variety and end up with ads for unmentionable products!
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/19/2012, 2:48 pm

@martha wrote: ....snip.... sometimes I ask Google about a specific tomato variety and end up with ads for unmentionable products!

Imagine my surprise when I was googling a specific cherry variety. There were no unmenentionable products, though some of those poor girls looked quite cold.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  AvaDGardner on 2/20/2012, 1:50 am

ROFLMHO! I can't imagine WHAT hits you got with tomatoes, although 'cherry' does lend to some visuals.

We had quite a problem one year in school when we needed pictures of birds for class. I don't remember what type it was, but when you searched, you got porn. It was awful. As child #2 got to that area the older one sent up the flag...look out! Don't let him search by himself!

@JPatti, I'm right there with Shannon in agreement. Greens are not my favorite. Kinda flat flavor and they produce lots of gas. When the pretty yellows, oranges and reds are on sale, that's when I make stuff peppers.

Remember "Fried Green Tomatoes?" I tried them after the movie came out. More of a carrier for fried coating than anything flavorful to eat.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  Kate888 on 2/20/2012, 9:59 am

jpatti, I totally understand. If only my mom had served me red bell peppers when I was a kid, it might not have taken me so long to find out I liked them! I don't mind green now that I'm older, but I don't love them like I do the reds and yellows. It's so hard waiting for them to ripen, though.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  shannon1 on 2/21/2012, 2:46 am

@AvaDGardner wrote:I can't wait to lose my seed catalog virginity.

What great info. No wonder growers of annuals drool over catalogs.

It's not that I don't know where to search, I don't know how to phrase the question properly.
Just be careful who you order from if you don't want your money ending up in monsanto's pocket. Monsanto bought seminis a large seed company that sells seeds to many catalog companies here are some examples:Park seed, Burpee, Johnny's Select Seeds to name a few. You can go to the seminis web site to find a complete list if you are interested.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  jpatti on 2/21/2012, 9:49 am

Johnny's has a good catalog though, lots of info. I quit ordering from them years ago, but... honestly, much of what I know I learned my first few years of gardening from their catalog.

But places I "approve" of much more than Johnny's:

Baker Creek: http://rareseeds.com/
Bountiful Gardens: http://www.bountifulgardens.org/
Sand Hill Preservation: http://www.sandhillpreservation.com/
Seed Savers Exchange: http://www.seedsavers.org/
Southern Exposure: http://www.southernexposure.com/

Bountiful Gardens also has a very informative catalog, though different info than Johnny's - frankly, I find it more applicable to SFG.

When primarily looking for CHEAP seeds, I also like Pinetree Gardens. They sell small packets much cheaper than the largest packets sold by most seed companies, so rather than saving the same packet for 5 years, you can get a small packet that only lasts 2 years or such. And they mostly carry open-pollinated stuff. But not quite as feel-good as ordering from the above companies, all of which are doing good work I highly approve of.

And finally, I like Territorial too. A bit expensive, but often has things I can't find elsewhere, and catalog has lots of info.

But I enjoy reading even the "crappy" catalogs I'd never order from, like Shumways and Henry Fields and Burpees. Seed catalogs are what keep me warm in between cleaning up the fall garden and seed starting. Wink
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  quiltbea on 2/21/2012, 11:26 am

jpatti.....I buy from Johnnyseeds because I trust them and they sell Organics. Where did you get your info about their dealing with GMO seeds????

Here's a quote from their home page:

...."Johnny's does not sell genetically modified seeds and it does not breed new varieties using genetic engineering. Rather, it breeds plants using traditional methods a slow and painstaking process that can take eight years or more from the first selection to seed sales."......

And I will add, their pages are filled with info on how to grow the different crops including possible insect and disease threats and how to combat them.

Another catalog that has smaller seed packets for the small gardener, for smaller prices, is Comstock, Ferre and Co in Wethersfield Conn with old-time heirloom varieties. I ordered several pkts this year from 75 cents to $1.50 per pkt and shipping only $2.50. That may have risen with rate increase recently.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  jpatti on 2/21/2012, 11:35 am

Comstock is the same folks as Baker Creek; they bought it last year. Very good people.

A few years ago, Johnny's was asked if they intended to continue doing business with Monsanto... which is beyond just doing the Safe Seed Pledge. Frankly, the Safe Seed Pledge is kinda lame... as you CAN'T buy GMO seeds without signing a bunch of paperwork anwyays, so promising they're not selling them isn't a huge deal.

Johnny's said they were going to continue their relationship with Monsanto-owned seed companies, so.... well, that's up to them of course, I just stopped buying from them.

So... I consider them less good than the ones I recommended. The ones I recommended are NONE of them *just* seed sellers, but all are working in seed preservation as well. So I'd rather give them my money overall than "just" a business; particularly a business that does business with Monsanto. Monsanto is hard to avoid, but I try.

But I agree Johnny's catalog is great. It was my first "gardening book" and I learned a lot from them.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  javaaddict on 2/23/2012, 4:49 pm

I planted a few different pepper plants last year. Mostly green and yellow. The yellow peppers were never green. They started out small and almost white, and throughout the season they became bright yellow. The other kind I had come in were red. They started out slightly greenish, but they became pink soon and then red. I have no idea what kind I planted, I grew them from a seed mix. I have not observed the green to color change as others have. HTH
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  moswell on 2/24/2012, 8:48 am

@AvaDGardner wrote:When it comes to bell peppers, I thought greens were the 'first pick' and if you left them on the plant, they became yellow, then orange, then red. (It's what happens in my kitchen after I buy them!)

I noticed yesterday that plants were available in all colors with the same basic maturity date (66-75 days)

What gives with peppers? How can that be?

I don't really know the answer, but I'll speak from experience last year. I bought a "red bell pepper" plant from Lowes or Home Depot last year (can't remember which), and those peppers just did not want to ripen on the vine. It took forever and ever for them to change from green. They were full-size for a very long time. I think I ended up giving in and bringing them inside because of the hurricane.
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Re: Bell Peppers - what gives?

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/24/2012, 9:17 am

@moswell wrote:
@AvaDGardner wrote:When it comes to bell peppers, I thought greens were the 'first pick' and if you left them on the plant, they became yellow, then orange, then red. (It's what happens in my kitchen after I buy them!)

I noticed yesterday that plants were available in all colors with the same basic maturity date (66-75 days)

What gives with peppers? How can that be?

I don't really know the answer, but I'll speak from experience last year. I bought a "red bell pepper" plant from Lowes or Home Depot last year (can't remember which), and those peppers just did not want to ripen on the vine. It took forever and ever for them to change from green. They were full-size for a very long time. I think I ended up giving in and bringing them inside because of the hurricane.


Disclaimer: I do not live in a pepper friendly area. Take what I say with a grain of salt (or dash of cayenne)

Mature peppers are ripe and fully colored out peppers. A green pepper is an immature pepper that may be full size.

Anything you buy from Lowes or Home Depot is shipped from a central location. Your plant might do awesome in Texas or Florida, but New Jersey might not have enough long hot days to bring that same pepper to maturity. This is why I like to grow from seed or from a local nursery (or farmers market) who sell sprouts for plants that are good for your local climate.

Debs.....who is still seduced by the nursery plants at the local big box store once in a while.
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