When is the Best Time to Pick Your Serrano Peppers?

Mexican cuisine is one of the most scrumptious dishes I have ever tried. The combination of the different vegetables and fruits in one dish brings out an exceptional flavor. I am not actually a huge fan of spicy dishes, but Pico De Gallo’s become my personal favorite. I love to pair it with my tacos or a pack of corn chips! The juices from chopped tomatoes, onions, serrano peppers, coriander leaves all jive in. It is like bursts of sweet, spicy and sour flavors that define the authentic taste of Mexican cuisine. The touch of spice from the serrano peppers are definitely a winner!

And so I decided to grow my own serrano peppers. I have got to wait for quite a long time until the harvest season comes. The ripening and harvest sometimes vary, particularly when the temperature or season is unpredictable. If you’re dealing with the same thing, I know you’re dying to know when to pick serrano peppers. So, when is the best time to harvest? How would you know if your serrano peppers are ready to pick? I’d love to share you some tips!



Are Your Serrano Peppers Ripe and Ready?

There are visible signs which tell you that your serrano peppers are ripe and ready. You can expect these noticeable changes from its physical aspects. Usually, you can tell if it is ready by its color and size.

When is the best time to harvest? Here are the signs that you might want to take note of.

1. Color

The color is indeed a vital characteristic. Serrano peppers can be bright red, yellow, green, orange or even brown. However, the green color is the most common among all the colors, just like the Jalapeno pepper. Every color has its designated level of heat or spice. Hence, you can pick your serrano peppers whenever your desired color appears. But if you are not into mild flavors, green and red peppers are the best options! Green is definitely hot but the red ones are the hottest!

2. Size

Serrano peppers would usually grow between 2 to 3 inches long. But commonly, the harvest size is about 3 to 3.5 inches long and 0.5 inches wide. It is the standard size that most gardeners and other users recommend. However, the size of your serrano pepper makes a huge difference to its heat and flavor. The smaller it is, the hotter it will be!

3. Thickness

Not all serrano peppers acquire a standard type of skin. Some of them have thin skin while the others have thicker. It is not much of a big deal whether they can be picked or not. Both types are actually fine and are ready for harvest. It only matters when it comes to food preparation. Thin-skinned peppers are easier to prepare without the need to peel or roast. Thicker skin could be less easy to prepare but it is somehow preferred by many. It can give your salsa dishes or Pico de Gallo a little bit of crunch!

4. Days to Harvest

It takes approximately 80 days before you can harvest the serrano peppers. They are guaranteed to grow healthy as long as the proper planting procedure, plant spacing and regular watering and proper application of fertilizer are applied.

5. Temperature

Your serrano peppers will be ripe and ready at its due season if they are planted and grown under the full sun. These hot peppers love the warm weather. If you decided to grow your own serrano peppers, it would be best to plan ahead and pick the right season with the hottest temperature.

Harvest Your Serrano Peppers

So you’ve followed all the necessary procedure and grown your serrano peppers under the perfect warm weather, then what’s next? It is time for harvesting!

Here are some notes you should keep in mind before harvesting your serrano peppers.

  1. Use a knife or clippers to cut the peppers. Snip only the stems and remove it carefully from the plant.
  2. Red and green serrano peppers are commonly the ripe ones and the best shades that bring out the hottest flavors. But if you prefer mild flavors, you can pick them when they are orange or yellow.
  3. Harvest your peppers when they are dry to avoid any spreading disease.
  4. Protect your hands while harvesting your peppers. Rubber or plastic gloves would be great. Do not touch your eyes, mouth or your face while doing this. The oils coming from the peppers can cause irritation and burning sensations. With or without gloves, wash your hands immediately after harvesting.
  5. If your peppers are ripe and ready, they would be pulled off easily. Otherwise, it would be difficult to pull them off. The tiny brown lines also indicate that your peppers are ready for harvest. If these lines come out regardless the size of your peppers, you can pick them anytime.


Growing serrano peppers require consistent supervision and proper application. Of course, you need high-quality seeds to get the best fruits with the best heat and flavor! You sure won’t want to miss that authentic Mexican taste of the salsa dishes or the Pico de Gallo.

The harvesting is definitely the best part. And to know when you can pick your serrano peppers, the color, size, thickness, temperature and the days of harvest are all the major details you need.

Do you have any questions about growing serrano peppers? Did we miss anything in this list? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!

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