When Is The Best Time To Pick Habaneros

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What Are HabanerosVarietiesBest Time To Pick Caring For The PlantWhen Is It RipeKeep ProducingRipen After HarvestUsing HabanerosSaving The SeedsSummaryFAQ

Habaneros are one of the spicier varieties of peppers out there and a great option for beginners to start growing at home by themselves. But knowing when to actually harvest the peppers at their peak is incredibly important too. 

Below we share our insight into the topic of growing but importantly harvesting the habaneros. To keep it short, picking them when they are really bright green will have a milder flavour, but for the full on flavour bomb wait until they are bright red instead.

Habanero Chili
Habanero Chili

What Are Habaneros

Habaneros are one of the most popular varieties of peppers. They are great for adding a lot of heat into your food. In terms of growing them yourself they are a great option since caring for them is relatively easy actually. It’s all really about watering the soil and every now and again rotating the plant if you keep it indoors.

Habaneros will be ripe when they are green but interestingly change in color from green until bright red. In between they will also have a slight yellow color to them as well. The longer you wait while picking the peppers the more spiciness they will have in them. So you can really decide the flavor profile you want in them.

Habanero Varieties

There are a number of different sub varieties of the habanero plant out there. They don’t really differ that much between each other. They start out with a bright green color that slowly turns into a red shade. The shape of the habanero stays the same as well, slightly chunky with some grooves and texture to it.

When Is The Best Time To Pick Habaneros

It can’t really be decided when the best time to pick habaneros is. It will all really depend on what type of flavor you want from it. If you don’t like spiciness that much then you should pick habaneros when they are green. This would be early on in the season and growth of them.

If you like them a bit spicier then you should wait until the end of the season when the habaneros have a bright red color to them instead. At this point they have developed enough flavor to be quite strong.

Caring For A Habanero Plant

Caring for a habanero plant is quite simple. It all really comes down to making sure you have the soil covered and get the plant enough sunlight each day. That will either make or break your habanero plant.

We strive for the soil to be between dry and damp for the roots to have the best possible growth and develop flavourful habaneros for us. In terms of sunlight it’s important for the plant to get quite a lot. That basically means achieving about 8 – 10 hours of sun each day if the plant is kept indoors. That will ensure it gets enough nutrients to continue growing and thriving.

Habanero Chili Pepper
Habanero Chili Pepper

Signs Of A Ripe Habanero Pepper

Since we have mentioned that there isn’t really a set time when the habaneros are ripe or not. Since habaneros can be picked all from being green until red there isn’t really something called ripe with habaneros. But when the peppers are red they are at their most flavourful.

Will A Habanero Plant Keep Producing

The habanero will produce peppers all throughout the summer but when the temperatures start to drop a little bit and the sun goes down earlier then you won’t see any new growth from the plant. The habanero variety is an annual plant, meaning that it only lives for a year.

So starting to grow the plant during the early months of the year will help ensure that we have our harvest by the early summer continuing until the end of the summer.

Will Habanero Keep Ripen After Harvesting

After you have harvested the habanero they won’t continue to ripen that much. When they are really bright red and you harvest them, they might be a little bit spicier a few days after. This happens because the peppers start drying out a bit and in turn concentrates the flavor even more.

What To Use Habanero Peppers For

There are a number of different things to use habaneros for. One of our favorite things to use habaneros is oil. You can make a really spicy chili oil with fully ripened and red habaneros. Chop them finely and then pour warm oil on top and let infuse overnight. This is a great condiment for dipping sauces for example. 

Saving The Seeds Of Habanero

The seeds of the habanero are really spicy but with a slight bitterness to them. So in terms of eating them they aren’t really that nice. It’s better to save them and plant them for the next year.

Take and separate the seeds and lay them on some kitchen paper. Let them dry slowly outside for a week or so. After that you can keep them in a dry container and plant them in some healthy soil the next year.

Pepper Plant
Pepper Plant


The habanero plant has different stages for the peppers when you can pick them. The earlier you pick them the less spicy they will be. If you wait until they are bright red they will be a lot spicier instead. So the choice is really up to you when you think you would like to harvest.


Will Habanero Ripen If Picked Green

The habaenor wont continue to ripen after being harvested unfortunately. If you pick them green they will stay green too. At this point the habaneros will be sweeter instead of spicy.

What Color Are Habaneros When They Are Ripe

The habanero are bright red when they are fully ripe. But it goes from green to yellow and then to red in terms of ripening.

Why Are My Habaneros Not Turning Orange

You habanero variety might not be turning orange if the plant does not have enough nutrients and access to sunlight. Find a sunnier spot and add some fertilziers to the soil.

Additional Information

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