Growing a Rainbow of Bell Pepper Varieties

Learn about the bell pepper varieties that grow in a rainbow of colors, including yellow, orange and purple, before turning into a sweet tasting red pepper.

| February/March 2003

There's a rainbow of bell pepper varieties that color quickly when ripening.

There's a rainbow of bell pepper varieties that color quickly when ripening.


There are many bell pepper varieties that show a rainbow of colors ranging from yellow to orange, to purple and red.

Growing a Rainbow of Bell Pepper Varieties

When it comes to peppers, bright red is not the only color that brings big prices at farmer's markets and adds variety to the dinner table. Certain peppers turn brilliant orange, yellow or purple before they ripen to their red finale. As with particular red peppers, some pepper varieties of other colors mature early too. 'Islander' turns violet in as few as 60 days. It holds that color for seven to 10 days, then develops yellow and orange streaks, and eventually turns dark red. Other purple peppers that mature fast and fetch premium prices at market include 'Tequila' (amethyst at 60 days) and 'Purple Beauty' (dark purple at 62 days).

'Gypsy' is another pepper that can be harvested and sold at various color stages. It starts pale yellow, turns lemon-yellow at about 70 days and then becomes a brassy orange-red fruit. 'Flamingo' goes through the same changes, but in a more flamboyant manner. At 55 days, it is chartreuse; at 65 days, it's a showy magenta. Finally the pepper turns a tropical-sunset red. In optimal conditions, 'Ariane,' a thick-walled, sweet and productive pepper, turns rich orange in as little as 70 days. Market gardener Tom Denison of Corvallis, Oregon, says his customers can't get enough of 'Ariane.' "It's our biggest orange-pepper seller."

crystal j ortmann
1/8/2011 12:24:03 PM

This year I grew a Jupiter sweet pepper *from Brentwood Park Estacada a pot on my large covered porch. It still had a few green peppers on it when it got cold out so I brought the pot in and it continued ripening. The last pepper is bright red right now and the foliage looks like it is dying. My question is: will it grow again in the Spring? If so, I will keep it inside, but it takes up a lot of room and is quite unsightly with the dead leaves, so if it isn't going to grow again, I would like to toss it out. Can you help me? The peppers were wonderful. Thank you for your help.

8/10/2009 10:46:46 AM

My red peppers are turning red on top but by the time they are red all over they have started rotting on bottom. What can I do to save my peppers?

diana castillo
2/5/2009 7:58:58 AM

Hi, My husband and I subscribe to your magazine so there could be more help on peppers there, but my question is, we bought some beautiful large red peppers at a local store and I decided to keep some of the seeds and try to raise them myself. Will this work or do I need to do something special to the seeds? Thanks for your help. Diana

9/1/2008 5:50:54 PM

All of my sweet red peppers are still very green, it is Sept 1st and the peppers are getting quite large. I think they smell like green peppers. Is it just my imaginagion? Am I getting too anxious for them to turn red and sweet?Connie,Michigan

t smid
7/25/2007 9:50:11 PM

My red bell peepers never seem to turn red they always stay green. Is there a way for me to have them turn red? TSmid Chicago Il Mother Responds: It takes a long time, some varieties change color faster - Ace is a good choice. All peppers eventually change color.

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