There’s no question that poblano peppers are delicious. You can stuff them, roast them, or enjoy the mild chili flavor raw.
Before you add this plant to your vegetable garden, it’s important to learn when to pick poblano peppers for the best results. Otherwise, all of that hard work sowing, watering, and fertilizing your peppers will go to waste.
But when exactly is that? In this article, I’ll explain when to pick these peppers for optimal flavor and the biggest harvest possible.
When To Pick Poblano Peppers
As your poblanos approach maturity, they’ll begin to turn green. More specifically, your poblanos will be ready to harvest when they reach 4 to 6 inches in length and the skin has a glossy sheen. At this point, they are still considered immature. However, this is how many people like them because they aren’t as hot.
You can harvest the peppers at this point or allow them to continue to ripen attached to the plant.
Leaving the peppers on the plant means they will eventually turn red. Dehydrating these fully ripe peppers creates Ancho chiles.
If you collect the peppers early, the plants will keep flowering and fruit more often. There’s a good chance the peppers will have different flavors if you use them while they are fresh.
When you harvest your peppers, it’s best to use plant shears or scissors to ensure a clean cut.
What Month Do You Harvest Poblanos?
According to the University of Georgia, poblanos are typically ready to harvest 65 days after they are planted. Since most people will start their seeds indoors in January or February, this means you will harvest them in March or April.
Knowing When Poblano Peppers Are Ripe
Since there are different types of poblanos, it’s good to learn about the signs that each type is ripe. This is going to let you know when to pick peppers.
Green poblanos will have a deep green color when they are ripe and be approximately the size of your hand (3 to 4 inches).
Yellow Or Orange Peppers
Like the green poblano pepper, yellow and orange versions will be a deep, rich color when they are ripe. Their skin will also have a glossy sheen.
Red poblanos start green. If you don’t pick them at this point and leave them on the plant, they will eventually turn red and become slightly wrinkled. When this happens, it means they are ready to be harvested.
Which Poblano Peppers Are Hottest?
It’s important to note that these peppers, in general, are only mildly spicy compared to other varieties. The red poblano is slightly hotter than orange and green peppers but still not too spicy. Because of this, they are used in many dishes and recipes. Some great examples include pureeing the roasted peppers into your salad dressing or adding broiled peppers to your guacamole. They will add a hint of heat without being overpowering. They can even be used as a garnish on a bloody Mary.
How To Harvest Poblanos
When you are ready to harvest your peppers, be sure to get a sharp pair of garden shears or scissors. Locate the pepper you will pick and push all stems and leaves away from it. This will help you better access the fruit. Make sure you proceed carefully, so you don’t knock off other peppers.
Once you have isolated the pepper you want to harvest, use your scissors or shears. Try to cut the stem about ¼ inch above the pepper. It’s always better to cut your pepper rather than just pull it off. If you pull the pepper off, it may damage the plant and knock off other peppers that are still growing on the plant.
Will Peppers Ripen Off the Vine?
Poblanos will continue to ripen on their own even after they are picked. If you keep them in a container at room temperature, they should finish ripening in a week or two. It’s a good idea to check them regularly to ensure they don’t go bad before you can use them.
Harvesting Poblano Seeds
You can harvest the seeds by cutting ripe fruit from the plant using pruners you have sterilized with rubbing alcohol. Cut the peppers open and spread them out on paper towels so they will dry. Once dry, you can store the seeds in a container in a dry, cool location until spring.
Full Grown Plant Size
A mature poblano pepper plant will measure (on average) 2 1/2 feet tall. While this is the average size, these plants can reach up to 5 feet tall.
Enjoying Your Poblano Peppers
Knowing when to pick poblano peppers is a must if you plan to have them in your garden this year. The information above gives you a comprehensive guide on what to look for to let you know your peppers are ready to be harvested.
The good news is, that even if you allow your peppers to remain on the vine, they will still be edible. Just make sure that you do not wait too long to use them once you pick them, as they will continue to ripen and eventually go bad.
You might like to read When To Harvest Serrano Peppers or perhaps When to Harvest Pepperoncini Peppers