If you love the spice quotient in your meals, then growing serrano peppers is essential in your vegetable garden.
These spices are similar in nature and function to Jalapeno peppers, but their intensity of a spicy taste is much higher than Jalapeno peppers. When you look at them, serrano peppers are smaller than Jalapenos, but they deliver a strong punch of heat.
If you have just started growing these peppers and are unsure about the details of harvesting them, you may be wondering, when are serrano peppers ready to pick?
The answer will depend on several different factors, including color and location.
Keep reading as we explore the answer to your question.
When Are Serrano Peppers Ready to Pick?
There is no hard and fast rule to know when are serrano peppers ready to pick.
The perfect time for harvesting them will depend on the color, taste, and size of the peppers you prefer.
Other essential factors are also involved in the decision to harvest serrano peppers. You must understand them and consider them before deciding when to pick the peppers.
1. The Size of the Serrano Peppers
Serrano peppers have an average length of 2–4 inches and a width of 1.5 inches.
These are the ideal measurements for when the serrano peppers are the closest to maturity.
When the peppers are 3–4 inches long and 1.5 inches wide, they have probably reached the perfect ripeness, and you can pick them from the plant.
However, you should also check the size of the pepper plant as it indicates whether the fruit is ripe or not. The serrano pepper plant usually grows to a height of 3–4 feet, but sometimes you may also see the plant going above 5 feet.
When the pepper plant reaches this height, the fruit on the plant will usually be ripe enough to be picked.
Related article: When Are Habaneros Ready to Pick? | Growgardener Blog!
2. The Maturity Date for Peppers
The time till the serrano peppers reach maturity will vary depending on factors like light, fertilizer, soil, climate, and more.
However, there is a set timeline in which the peppers will usually have reached maturity and be ready for harvesting. Serrano peppers are one of the quickest peppers to grow worldwide—another factor that adds to the plant’s popularity.
The serrano plant usually becomes fully mature in about 80 days. If you want to use the peppers while they are still green, you can harvest them as early as 60 days after plantation.
Let them sit and grow for 70–90 days to ensure that the serrano peppers are fully ripe. The peppers will usually be overripe if you harvest after the 90-day mark.
While the usual timeline for ripe peppers is three months, the producer or seller of the seeds will also have mentioned the details of harvesting on the box, such as the right color, the days to maturity, size, and more.
If not, you can still ask the producer about these points.
3. The Right Color of the Serrano Peppers
The color of the peppers is a solid indication of the ripeness of the fruit.
When the peppers are still growing, the initial color is primarily green. It changes from light to dark green and then goes on to yellow, orange, and red.
The peppers with green color are the mildest in taste.
If you don’t like to use overpowering spices in your dishes, picking the peppers when they are green is the right choice for you, as green peppers are significantly less spicy.
If you want to enjoy a strong spicy flavor, let the peppers turn red or yellow before picking them from the plant. The red peppers are the hottest in taste, and you should try one before letting the whole batch turn red.
The red color indicated that the peppers had reached full maturity, and you should not let them hang anymore, or they will get overripened.
Also, growing the serrano peppers in a big batch is better than harvesting them when they are green for a controlled taste.
4. The Attachment to the Plant
Another way to tell whether the peppers are ready for harvesting is their attachment strength to the plant.
The fruit is ready for you if the peppers come off when you pull the stem slightly. However, if it takes some effort to pull the fruit, you should let it hang for a little longer.
That is a perfect trick for people who want to take down the peppers when they are green, and it is hard to tell if the peppers have ripened enough in their green color.
5. Thickness of the Skin
The thickness of the skin of the serrano peppers is also a good indicator of the ripeness of the fruit.
The exact thickness will vary with the use of the peppers and how you like them.
If you want to make a crunchy salad or use the peppers in salsa, wait until the skin becomes thick to pick them.
However, if you are more concerned about the ease of preparation and cutting, harvest the peppers when the skin is still thin.
I hope now you know when are serrano peppers ready to pick.
There is not one set time for the harvest of the serrano peppers. However, they will become ripe after a certain time. If you don’t pick them up by then, the fruit will overripen and may even go bad.
Several factors affect the date and time of harvest.
Some obvious ones include harvesting after the time mentioned on the producer packet, picking based on the peppers’ color, size, and thickness, and a few more parameters.
The most important thing to know beforehand is what you want to use the peppers for and what kind you like. The exact time will vary based on your specific preferences. Whether you like them hot and spicy or want the taste to be toned down, serrano peppers are a worthy addition to your garden.
I hope this article was of your help!