Can you let peppers ripen?

Paprika loves the sun and warmth. This is exactly what he needs to be able to mature properly. Sometimes the weather doesn’t always play along. With a lot of luck, the fruit may ripen later.

need sun

Peppers (Capsicum) need a lot of sun and warmth to ripen. Only then can they fully develop their strong aroma and shine in a wonderful red. Therefore, the fruits should stay on the bush as long as possible. Only here can the maturation process be set in motion. If the fruits have to be harvested when they are green, i.e. unripe, for weather reasons, it is usually difficult to ripen the pods afterwards. Unlike the tomato, the nightshade plant does not belong to the after-ripening types of vegetables. There are a number of ways to add some color to the fruit. However, you also need a bit of luck.

Plant hormone ethylene

Ethylene, the natural plant hormone, is produced by a wide variety of plants themselves and is extremely helpful in the after-ripening of fruit and vegetables. Ripe apples in particular give off a lot of ethylene and allow green bananas, for example, to ripen faster, and it is also possible with tomatoes. However, paprika is almost immune to it. Although it produces small amounts of the plant hormone itself, it has little effect on external ethylene. However, if the peppers have already reached a certain degree of ripeness on the bush when they are harvested, the plant hormone may be able to do something. However, a bit of luck can’t hurt. Proceed as follows, green fruit

  • put in a bag with apples
  • wait a few days
  • sometimes they mature

However, you should not wait too long, otherwise the fruits will become soft. If there is no success, the green pods can still be processed.

Post-ripening in the box

If the ripening process has already started on green peppers that have already been harvested, they can still take on some color afterwards. In addition

  • Place green peppers in carton
  • put some tomatoes in the middle
  • close carton
  • set up at 10 to 16 °C
  • Wait 2 to 3 weeks

With a lot of luck, the fruits will still be a little red. However, this method does not always work.

Cover with fleece

Normal peppers ripen slowly. The harvest can certainly drag on until the first frost. The nights can get a little colder there. If the fruits are to ripen properly outdoors on the pepper plant, it is advisable to cover them with fleece. This allows the last peppers to develop their typical, sweet aroma and ripen completely. Outdoor harvest time can be extended by up to two to three weeks using this method

Just hibernate indoors

Do not harvest the green fruits yet, leave them on the plant. In order for the pods to fully mature, the plant must be overwintered indoors. To do this, it must be dug up and placed in a bucket. Be careful not to damage roots. There is also the possibility that, given the right temperature and light conditions, the plant will sprout again and produce flowers and fruits. So it is possible to harvest peppers in winter. Alternatively

  • Fill bucket with water
  • Put in the plant with roots
  • set up indoors at 20 °C
  • ripened fruits after 10 to 14 days
  • then discard the plant
Tip: Pepper plants can also be cultivated in pots on balconies and terraces. Here, after-ripening of the fruit is less complicated. The plants can simply move indoors in the fall when the weather is bad.

frequently asked Questions

It’s definitely worth a try. Of course, not all fruits will take on some color. But that’s not a problem either. The green pods can still be used, provided they are not soft. Simply cut into pieces and freeze or use directly to make a salsa sauce. The fruits can also be dried and ground into paprika powder.

The first harvest can begin in the greenhouse as early as mid-July. Outdoors, it occurs about three to four weeks later. Fruits take between 60 days in the greenhouse and around 100 days outdoors to fully mature. It should always be planted after the ice saints, in mid-May.

The color reveals the degree of ripeness of the peppers. Green pods, botanically actually berries, are still unripe. They taste bitter. After about three weeks, the fruits have their final color. The aroma is now fully developed and there are no longer any green spots. The peppers are mature and can be harvested.

Kira Bellingham

I'm a homes writer and editor with more than 20 years' experience in publishing. I have worked across many titles, including Ideal Home and, of course, Homes & Gardens. My day job is as Chief Group Sub Editor across the homes and interiors titles in the group. This has given me broad experience in interiors advice on just about every subject. I'm obsessed with interiors and delighted to be part of the Homes & Gardens team.

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