When to pick cayenne pepper? 

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “when to pick cayenne pepper?”. We will discuss what are the ripening stages of cayenne pepper and how to harvest cayenne pepper. In the end, we will understand how to keep cayenne pepper fresh. 

When to pick cayenne pepper? 

Cayenne peppers are ready to pick when their skins have a waxy sheen and are solid. If they’ve begun to soften, they’ve almost certainly begun to rot, and it’s too late to pluck them. 

The hue should be a bright red, and the pods should be 3 to 5 inches long. You may choose cayenne peppers while they are still green, but the taste will be grassier and the heat will be less powerful. Typically, it takes 70 days for the pods to mature into their full potential. 

Cayenne peppers may be harvested 70-80 days after flowers are pollinated. They are ready to be harvested when they become a brilliant shade of scarlet on the plant. Cayenne peppers mature completely on the plant. 

When ready, pluck peppers to consume or use in dishes. Cayenne peppers will be ready to be harvested after becoming a reddish-orange hue. However, if you see any yellow or orange cayenne varieties, don’t pluck them yet.

What are the ripening stages of cayenne peppers?

There are many phases of ripening for cayenne peppers. They begin green and progress through several color changes, similar to bell peppers.

Green color

Cayenne peppers are green when they initially develop on the plant. Green peppers are edible, but they lack the taste and spiciness of their red cousins. If, on the other hand, you like your peppers on the milder side, go ahead and give one a try.

Red color

Once green peppers turn red, pick cayenne peppers. This means you may eat the red peppers only for their color or utilize the ripe cayenne peppers to prepare your favorite spicy recipes.

Orange color

If you let them remain on the plant for a sufficient amount of time, they will begin to become an orange or yellow-orange color. When with other peppers, as they go through the desirable red stage, the amount of spiciness rises.

How to Harvest Cayenne Peppers?

Depending on the type, cayenne pepper plants produce 20-30 peppers. It may take up to a month after the cayenne peppers have reached their maximum size before they change color.

Cayenne pepper harvesting is a straightforward process. Once they have reached their full maturity, peppers may be removed from the plant with a minimum of effort by simply pulling them off.

Take care to remove the pepper away from the stem, rather than the pepper itself. If you remove the pepper from the stem, it will be tougher to dry.

Because the peppers might be difficult to get off at times, it is suggested, cut them with strong pruning shears.

How to Keep Cayenne Peppers Fresh?

When it comes to putting away and preserving your peppers, you have a few different alternatives.

In the fridge

In order to keep cayenne peppers fresh and flavorful for as long as possible, follow these simple instructions for storing them.

Cayenne peppers should be patted dry with a clean towel before being stored. Even if they aren’t wet, wipe them off with a clean towel to eliminate dust and debris before putting them away.

After the cayenne peppers have been left to dry, take a plastic bag, cut a hole in the corner, and place the peppers inside. After that, close the bag and secure it with a twist tie. The tight plastic bag will provide a moderate, humid atmosphere that will help keep the Cayenne peppers fresh.

Cayenne peppers should be stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Because the front drawer is somewhat warmer than the center or back, the peppers should be placed there.

In the freezer

You should give your cayenne peppers a thorough washing to get rid of any additional dirt and debris. Cayenne peppers that have been pre-washed before being placed in storage have another advantage. 

Once removed from the freezer, they may be utilized straight away without having to go through the cleaning process again.

After being washed, the cayenne peppers should be dried until they are totally devoid of moisture. 

When the peppers are completely dry, place them in a big freezer-safe ziplock bag. Put the bag in the freezer after it’s full and keep it there until you’re ready to use it.

They are still fine to ingest even after being kept for more than 6 months, but there is an increased chance that they may develop freezer burn, which is an unpleasant flavor.


In this brief article, we answered the question “when to pick cayenne pepper?”. We discussed what are the ripening stages of cayenne pepper and how to harvest cayenne pepper. In the end, we understand how to keep cayenne pepper fresh.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.