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.”