When to Harvest Serrano Peppers: 4 Factors to Check

Serrano Peppers

Serrano peppers are among the easiest to grow, but some gardeners still struggle with knowing when and how to harvest them. It’s a lot simpler than you might think, which is good news!

To avoid harming the plant, harvest serrano peppers with clean scissors and gloves. Holding the peppers firmly, trim the stems against the branch. Only prune the plant on dry days, and look for damage on the peppers to avoid disease.

Although serrano peppers can be harvested at any stage, we still want to make sure we do so. Don’t worry; we address all of your pressing inquiries in this article!

4 Factors to Check When Harvesting Serrano Peppers

After 60–90 days, serrano peppers are usually ripe and prepared for harvest when they are 2–4 inches long, corking, and starting to turn green or red.

You are therefore eager to gather those peppers. But how can you tell when it’s appropriate? Don’t worry, these are some of the simplest things you can look for to determine whether they are ready for harvest.

1. Time

Usually, 90 days after transplant, serrano peppers are mature and ready to harvest. In 60 days, green serrano peppers can be harvested. Once they’ve been planted for 80 days, you can also let them ripen and turn red.

After three months or 90 days from planting, serrano peppers are typically ready for harvest. In fact, they are among the peppers with the fastest growth, which explains in part why they are so well-liked.

The earliest serrano peppers can be picked when they are still green, about 60 days after planting.

However, if you prefer your peppers red and fully ripened, wait at least 80 days. Prior to them spoiling, now is the ideal time to pick them.

To see the maturity rate as stated by the seller, if any, you can also look at the seed packet. If you grew a special variety of serrano peppers, such as yellow ones, this is especially crucial.
Serrano Peppers Are Ready for Harvest After 60-90 Days

But as always, keep in mind that a variety of factors, including watering, fertilizing, and sun, can impact how quickly your serrano peppers grow.

2. Size

Serrano peppers that are 2–4 inches long and ½ inch wide are usually on the verge of being ripe or have already reached that point and are prepared for harvest.

Measure the size of your serrano peppers to determine when they are ready for harvest. Serrano peppers are typically 2 to 4 inches long when mature.

You can also measure your plant’s size as an additional precaution. Established serrano pepper plants are typically between 3 and 4 feet tall, but they can grow as tall as 5 feet (1.52 meters).

Serrano peppers are probably ready for harvest if the plant is this tall and produces them in 2 to 4-inch lengths.

3. Corking

Serrano peppers with corking, or tan vertical stripes on the skin, are ripe enough to be harvested. This scarring, which results from peppers growing faster than the skin does not affect the flavor.

Stretch marks and corking are very similar in peppers. Your serrano pepper is growing faster than the skin, which is why you may notice light stripes running across the pepper’s surface.

The pepper is typically close to or already ripe when it starts to cork, which is a reliable indicator.

In addition, the superficial scarring caused by the peppers’ rapid growth.

If a serrano pepper is ready for harvest, it should also have a firm texture and not be mushy.

4. Color

Serrano peppers start out green and eventually develop other colors. Before the skin turns red, green serrano peppers can be picked. When fully mature and prepared for harvest, red serrano peppers are a sure sign.

We must discuss color before all else. This is the simplest and most straightforward method of determining the stage a pepper is in and the appropriate time to harvest it.

The plant will always produce fruit that is initially green, no matter what kind of pepper it is. It might be difficult to tell if a serrano pepper is ready because they are typically picked when they are still green.

Green serrano peppers should ideally be harvested just before they turn red because they will be more mature and have a richer flavor.

Simply wait for the serrano pepper to gradually change into the desired color if you want to harvest red or even yellow ones.

How to Harvest Serrano Peppers

Serrano Peppers

The aspect of growing peppers that we enjoy the most is that, in comparison to other crops, they are more pest-resistant.

As a result, it is entirely feasible to grow them without the use of pesticides.

You can treat this problem by simply spraying them with water if they become infected with cutworms, aphids, or whiteflies.

You won’t have to wait very long to begin reaping the benefits of your efforts, too.

Here’s how to harvest serrano peppers the right way:

Step 1: Make Sure They Are Dry.

Moisture will accelerate fruit rot, as it does with all hot peppers.

It is best to wait until they are completely dry before picking because too much moisture makes it easier for diseases to spread.

Step 2: Pick Each Fruit Carefully.

When pulled slightly, ripe serrano peppers ought to fall off the plant immediately.

If you don’t, you risk damaging and breaking the delicate stems and preventing the plant from producing more fruits.

If picking them off by hand isn’t an option, harvesting them can be done with a clean pair of clippers or a good knife.

Step 3: Wash Your Hands.

Never touch your face or eyes without first washing your hands when handling serrano peppers, whether you’re handling them in the kitchen or outdoors in a garden.

Capsaicin oil, which can burn and irritate your skin, is coated on the exterior even though it might not be very visible.

Wearing gloves is another option for protecting your skin from irritants, in addition to washing your hands afterward.

Should You Wash Serrano Peppers After Harvesting?

Serrano peppers shouldn’t be washed right away after harvesting them in order to maintain their freshness longer.

It would be preferable to brush any dirt off before storing.

Keep them dry at all times because, like other products, too much moisture will speed up spoilage.

The vegetable drawer of the refrigerator, which has a temperature range of 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit, is an ideal storage location for serrano peppers.

They should last between two and three weeks when properly stored.

Can You Eat Serrano Peppers Immediately After Harvesting?

Having reached their mature size, serrano peppers can be eaten, which is a benefit.

Once more, you can begin picking them when they are still green and about two to three inches long.

If you don’t like mild peppers, wait to harvest them until they are three to four inches long and have turned red.

After being picked, they will still ripen.

Serrano peppers can be eaten by adding them to salsa or as a spicy garnish for soups or salads.

If you wash, cut, and freeze them as soon as they are harvested, you can extend their shelf life.

4 Simple Ways to Store Serrano Peppers

There are 4 ways to successfully store serrano peppers:

1. Refrigerating

2. Freezing

3. Drying

4. Pickling

Even though these peppers are best enjoyed raw and fresh, you can still store them and eat them later. especially when there are so many peppers left over!

To find out how to store your serrano peppers the best, keep reading.

1. Refrigerating

Serrano peppers should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight, dry plastic bag. Refrigerated serrano peppers typically have a flavor loss period of two weeks.

Your cleaned serrano peppers should be kept in a sealed plastic or paper bag and kept in your refrigerator. To keep them from rotting and becoming mushy, make sure the peppers are completely dry.

Serrano peppers can be stored the simplest way possible with hardly any effort. However, in order to preserve the potent flavors, use these peppers within a couple of weeks.

2. Freezing

As long as a year, serrano peppers can be frozen. Whenever possible, slice or freeze whole serrano peppers if they are too large in an airless freezer bag. Peppers can be frozen and later thawed for use, but their texture is not likely to be preserved.

You can either leave your peppers whole or cut them into manageable slices and put them in a freezer bag to store them for up to a year.

If you don’t have a vacuum sealer on hand, you can always use a straw to remove the air from a zip-lock bag before sealing it.

This is an excellent method for long-term pepper storage. However, bear in mind that after thawing, peppers are typically softer. There will still be flavor and heat.

3. Drying

For up to two years, dried serrano peppers can be kept. Both an oven and a dehydrator can be used to dry serrano peppers. By letting the peppers dry out in the sun and putting them in an airtight container, you can stop the release of pepper odors.

Although it takes much longer than the other processes, this one keeps serrano peppers the longest.

A dehydrator or an oven can be used to dry your peppers. While using the oven may be more practical, pepper fumes will almost certainly be released, so make sure to wear safety glasses and work in a well-ventilated area.

This food dehydrator is simple to use and works well for drying peppers.

To safely and quickly dry peppers, spread them out on a tray or plate and let them dry in the sun. Inspect the peppers to make sure they are all visible and not crowded or covered.

The serrano peppers should be completely dry and shriveled after a few days or weeks, depending on how sunny it is. Peppers that have been sun-dried can last for years, especially if you store them afterward in an airtight container!

4. Pickling

The shelf life of pickled serrano peppers is six months. Put whole or cut serrano peppers in a brine of white vinegar, sugar, and garlic and store in a tight 1-quart jar. Keep refrigerated.

Serrano peppers can be kept for a long time by being pickled. Given how simple and scrumptious this method is, I always use it to store peppers.

Pickled Serrano PeppersYouTube Video – Pickled Serrano Peppers

To pickle serrano peppers, gather the following:

  • 1 pound (0.45 kg) of sliced serrano peppers
  • 1 ¼ cup of white distilled vinegar
  • 1 ¼ ​cup of white or brown sugar
  • 2-5 sliced garlic gloves
  • ½ cup of water

Pour the white vinegar and your preferred sugar into a clean 1-quart jar.

Shake the contents until the sugar is completely dissolved, then screw the lid back on firmly. If stirring is simpler for you, go ahead.

After the sugar has dissolved, carefully add the serrano pepper slices and garlic to the jar. Fill the jar with the water, making sure there is at least half an inch of room left.

Reattach the lid and shake vigorously. For a stronger flavor, you can let the serrano peppers soak in the brine, but you can eat this right away!

Enjoy it for at least 3 to 6 months in the refrigerator, or until you run out.

3 Types of Serrano Peppers

There are 3 major serrano peppers available in the market:

Green serrano peppers

Red serrano peppers

Yellow serrano peppers

Like many other plants, serrano peppers come in a variety of colors. The most popular kinds of serrano peppers are listed below for your enjoyment.

1. Green Serrano Peppers

Unlike other serrano peppers, green serrano peppers are frequently found in stores and are crispier. The milder flavor of these peppers makes them perfect for pickling.

Green serrano peppers come in a variety of shades, from very light to very dark.

They may still be spicy, but they won’t have the same intensity or depth of flavor as other color varieties.

However, green serrano peppers are more crisp and excellent for pickling, which we will cover later.

The most typical serrano peppers are those that are available at any grocery store. The serrano pepper cultivars hidalgo, fire serrano, and hot rod hybrid are a few.

2. Red Serrano Peppers

Green serrano peppers will eventually ripen into fully mature red serrano peppers if given time to mature. Red serrano peppers have a stronger flavor but less crispness and are more prone to bruising because of their thinner skin.

Green serrano peppers that have reached full maturity are red serranos. Their texture and color, however, are different. Although these serrano peppers may not be as crispy as green ones, they frequently have a much stronger flavor. Unlike younger green serrano peppers, they are fully matured, which explains why.

It is best to consume these red serrano peppers right away. They may not last as long as green serrano peppers due to their softer skin, which is also why they bruise easily.

3. Yellow Serrano Peppers

Yellow serrano peppers are a distinct variety, and the only thing that sets them apart from other serrano peppers is how they look. As with other serrano peppers, yellow serrano peppers are yellow when ripe and have the same flavor.

You shouldn’t anticipate that regular serrano peppers will turn yellow because the yellow serrano pepper is a distinct variety.

The peppers’ bright, sunny yellow color indicates when they are fully ripe.

These yellow serrano peppers have a similar flavor and level of spiciness to the majority of other serrano peppers.

Serrano peppers of both colors have a similar flavor. They’re frequently used as a garnish, however, due to their distinctive color.

How to Plant Serrano Peppers

Capsaicin, which lowers cholesterol and gives serrano peppers their heat, is a nutrient that is abundant in these peppers. As a result, planting pepper seeds in your garden can produce tasty, nutritious recipes and ingredients for homemade hot sauce. Follow these steps to add serrano plants to your garden:

  1. 1. Secure growing conditions. To grow, serrano pepper seeds require a rich, loamy soil, full sunlight, and lots of space. You’ll need pots or beds that drain well because the soil moisture level will rise with frequent watering.
  2. 2. Enrich the soil. You should first increase the soil’s nutrients before planting your serrano seeds because they will aid in the plant’s growth. You can achieve this by cultivating plants primarily in organic matter (compost, either homemade or purchased), or by enhancing your soil with fertilizer, specifically one that contains twice as much phosphate and potassium as nitrogen.
  3. 3. Plant after the last frost. After the last frost has passed, sow your seeds on a cloudy, dry day. Serrano peppers grow best when the weather is warmer.
  4. 4. Choose a sunny spot. Put the serrano seeds where they will receive direct sunlight. If given at least six hours a day of direct sunlight, serrano plants will grow more effectively.
  5. 5. Space out accordingly. You should space your seeds about a foot and a half apart because a single serrano plant can produce up to fifty pepper pods. Water the seeds well after sowing them.

Summary of Harvesting Serrano Peppers

Wearing gloves and cutting the serrano peppers at the base of the stem requires a pair of sterile scissors. To stop disease from getting into freshly cut stems, harvesting must be done on sunny days.

Serrano peppers typically mature in 60–90 days, when they are 2–4 inches long and ½ inch wide, exhibit corking, and turn red or dark green. Serrano peppers can then be preserved in a jar by being chilled, frozen, dying, or pickled.


What distinguishes jalapeo peppers from serrano peppers?

Compared to jalapeños, serrano peppers are thinner and have a slight curve. Along with being twice as hot, serrano peppers also have 10,000–25,000 Scoville Heat Units. Comparatively speaking to serrano peppers, jalapeos are thicker and less hot.

Why Are My Serrano Peppers Falling Off the Plant?

We think of peppers as hot weather plants, but when the temperatures get above 95 degrees F. (35 or below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. (13 C.), both blossoms and immature peppers fall off. When nighttime temperatures reach 75 degrees F, peppers begin to drop off the plant.

After being picked, do serrano peppers ripen?

After being cut from the branch, many peppers, including serrano peppers, occasionally change color. But research has revealed that even after being exposed to a lot of ethylene, peppers do not continue to ripen after being harvested.