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Answers to your questions about gardening, energy, homesteading and other sustainable living topics.


Do All Peppers Start Out Green?

I am confused about peppers. When you plant pepper seeds, do all varieties start out green and then some turn yellow, some red and some purple? Has every pepper been an edible green pepper at one time?

Consider a couple of examples: ‘Sweet Banana’ is pale yellowish-green when the fruits are immature; they slowly change to yellow, then orange and finally red. ‘Purple Beauty’ turns bright purple, but when fully ripe, the fruits darken to deep purplish red.

If you want maximum flavor and nutrition in sweet peppers, it’s best to grow varieties that waste no time changing to their fully ripe color and flavor. Varieties that mature to red far outnumber those that mature to orange or yellow — a few fast-ripening red peppers to try are ‘Gypsy,’ ‘Lipstick’ and ‘Ace.’ Peppers picked when they have just begun to change colors will continue to ripen indoors when kept in a warm place.

— Barbara Pleasant, contributing editor