Why Won’t My Peppers Turn Red [All Reasons & Solutions]

Your peppers are not turning red because of:

  • Incomplete ripeness 
  • Planting the wrong variety
  • Inaccurate temperature
  • Insufficient sunlight
  • Improper watering
  • Pest infestation

While these are the most common reasons, there are further explanations for why your peppers are not turning red. To know other relevant factors such as solutions and prevention tips for the problem, check out the whole article.

Key Takeaways

  • The most common mistake behind your peppers not turning red is the peppers are not ripe yet. In this case, allow sufficient time for peppers to reach full ripeness, or consider planting smaller-sized peppers initially.
  • Also, the issue may occur if you choose the wrong variety of pepper. So, next time, opt for red varieties like Bell Boy, lipstick, gypsy, or Lady Bel for optimal ripening.
  • Inaccurate temperature matters can also lead to the problem. So, you can maintain accurate temperature by planting peppers 12-16 weeks before anticipated frost to support their growth.

Six Reasons Your Pepper Isn’t Turning Red

why won't my bell peppers turn red
Source: growhotpeppers

You have planted these beautiful pepper plants. You’ve followed all the instructions that the packaging said for planting your plant. However, it did not turn red as it said in the manual. 

What could be the reasons? Let us have a general overview of why your pepper Isn’t turning red. The following table highlights the common reasons and their solutions.

Reason Solution
Pepper Is Not Fully Ripe Yet Wait for sufficient time or opt for small-sized peppers while planting
Wrong Variety Buy a red variety of peppers such as bell boy, lipstick, gypsy, or the lady bel
Inaccurate Temperature  Maintain temperature of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit; plant  pepper 12-16 weeks before any expected frost
Insufficient Sunlight Provide the plants with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily
Improper Watering Deep watering of about 2 inches every week
Pest Infestation Use insecticidal oil or soap; welcome bugs such as lady beetles, parasite wasps, and soldier beetles in your garden

However, there’s more to it. To know details about each reason and solution, read along. We have carefully analyzed the problems and explained the solution in detail. 

Reason 1: Pepper Is Not Fully Ripe Yet 

If this is your first time planting bell peppers, this is a common mistake. You might’ve followed the instructions and planted your plant.

The time period on your packaging might be around 6 weeks. But that’s not actually correct. What I mean is that after the six-week period, your pepper will become mature. But just enough so that you can eat it. 


Well, bell peppers take a long time to grow and fully ripen. After that, the green pepper will take another 2-3 weeks to change color. It will turn yellow from green and then red. 

Therefore, you need to have patience. If your pepper is large, it’ll take longer than 3 weeks to ripen. Thus, wait for another week or so to see the results. 

But if you want them to change color quickly, opt for a smaller size next time. Usually, those between 2-5 inches in diameter and 2-6 inches in length are the best!

Reason 2: Wrong Variety

This might be another reason your pepper is not turning green. Even after you’ve waited for more than two weeks after the given period. 

Your pepper might be one of the kinds that might never turn green. But there isn’t a problem with your plant. It is just one of its varieties and it stays green after it has ripened. There are some that turn into colors such as yellow, orange, dark brown, etc. 


Well, you can enjoy using the green bell peppers for now. When you’re replanting, opt for ones that are sure to turn red. Make sure to ask your seller to give you the red variety. Or check the packaging for this.

You can buy seeds of bell boy, lipstick, gypsy, or the lady bell. These varieties will definitely turn red once they are ripe. 

Reason 3: Inaccurate Temperature

These plants are quite picky about the condition they grow in. Therefore, your temperature needs to be suitable for the plant to mature perfectly. 

The humidity also helps the plant to change color quicker. If the temperature is too cold, the plant might face difficulty in changing color.


These plants grow the best when the temperature is high. A set temperature of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day is optimum. 

A temperature that falls below 55 degrees Fahrenheit might be damaging to the plant. The plant might even drop flowers, forming yellow leaves. It might not get a chance to develop.

Moreover, if the temperature is higher than 90 degrees the plants will be affected. 

Therefore, you need to plant your pepper 12-16 weeks before the expected frost. If you’re growing the plants indoors, maintain a constant temperature with your heating system. 

In this way, the temperature will be perfect. It’ll slowly ripen into beautiful red peppers! 

Reason 4: Insufficient Sunlight

Sunlight acts as a catalyst for peppers, triggering the synthesis of pigments that facilitate their color transformation. Among these pigments are carotenoids like lycopene, which specifically contribute to the striking red color of bell peppers.

So, insufficient sunlight can hamper the ripening of fruits, including peppers, as it plays a vital role in the synthesis of pigments that contribute to their red hue. 

Despite the pepper plant’s ongoing growth and development, the transformation in color may proceed at a slower rate, or the pepper might remain in its green state.


To ensure optimal ripening, it is crucial to provide pepper plants with a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. 

Placing the plants in a sun-drenched spot and preventing unnecessary shading becomes instrumental in maximizing the probability of attaining fully ripe and vibrantly red bell peppers.

Reason 5: Improper Watering 

Improper watering can lead to issues like black spots and green peppers in red varieties. 

Both overwatering and underwatering negatively impact the plant, affecting pepper quantity and size significantly.


Maintain a regular watering schedule, especially during the plant’s reproductive stage. 

Bell peppers require deep watering of about 2 inches every week to prevent bitterness and discoloration. 

However, be cautious not to overwater, as it can lead to root suffocation and blossom end rot, resulting in inedible, rotten peppers.

Reason 6: Pest Infestation 

The pepper matures from green to yellow and then red. But if your pepper looks yellowed at parts and discolored, there might be an aphid problem.

These are pests that suck juices from leaves. This is why your plant looks discolored. Moreover, these aphids might even kill your plant. 


You can use insecticidal oil or soap to prevent these aphids. Just rub either on both sides of the leaves and hose it down. 

Moreover, welcome some bugs that feed on aphids to your garden. These bugs might be lady beetles, parasite wasps, soldier beetles, or lacewing larvae. 

These are basically the reasons why your plant might not be turning red. Therefore, take good care of your plant by implementing these guides.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Which Color of Bell Pepper Is The Healthiest?

The red one is the healthiest out of them all. This is because they are the longest to stay in the vine. Compared to green peppers these have 1.5 times more vitamin C. Also, these have 11 times more beta-carotene.

Why Are My Bell Peppers So Small?

Your bell peppers are probably so small in size due to improper care. They might not be getting enough water. Or your place’s climate might be affecting them. Sometimes, the way you plant your peppers might also be a reason. 

How Long Can A Pepper Plant Live?

It really depends on the plant. Most of these plants make it longer than one season. The least might be up to December. However, some pepper plants usually last more than 5 years.

Closing Words

Hope your question on ‘why won’t my peppers turn red’ is answered. You just need to have a lot of patience and healthy gardening techniques. And your plant will be all good!

Furthermore, look for black spots on the plant. They might have a blossom-end condition. If you see this, change your watering schedule. 

Until next time, happy gardening!


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