Cayenne Peppers Not Turning Red- Get The Effective Solution

Last week, my friend was sharing his problem with me about his cayenne peppers not turning red despite fulfilling all the plant requirements. Are you also going through such a situation? 

Cayenne peppers are famous worldwide for their red color and hot spicy taste because of the presence of capsaicin. They normally fail to become properly red due to imperfect maturity, low light conditions, inappropriate temperature, pest attacks, and varietal issues.

If you are also having the same problem, you need to be clear about your problem and the way to fix it. So, scroll through this article and identify your problem.

Here is a short table of solutions for your convenience. 



Maturity issuesPeppers need around 6-8 weeks after initiation. Let them have enough time to change their color from green to yellow and from yellow to red.
Low light condition Provide at least 6 hours of direct sunlight 
Temperature fluctuation Keep the temperature range in 70-80°F
Variety Choose a perfect red variety 
Pest attackUse insecticide or neem oil or baking soda

Why Are Cayenne Peppers Not Turning Red- 5 Problems With Their Solution

green Cayenne Peppers

1. Peppers Are Not Enough Matured

To list down the reasons behind cayenne peppers not turning red, there will first come the maturity problem.

If the peppers are harvested before they are completely ripe, the peppers cannot attain their dark red color and stay almost green. This green color remains in this way if you keep the harvested peppers in the refrigerator immediately. 

As these peppers take around 6-8 weeks to be matured, you cannot get a perfectly ripe pepper, and hence it does not get completely red.


Keep the peppers in the plant until they are fully matured. Pluck it when they are already ripened or are about to ripen in 2-3 days. Let them stay in a warm place for their full-color attainment. 

2. Low Light Supply

Next, the low light condition may also create unwanted color to your peppers though they are ripe. Every pepper has a perfect time for harvesting. If you cannot provide enough daylight for them, they will not get their red color even after crossing the harvesting period.


Cayenne pepper plants need almost 6 hours of full and direct sunlight and several hours more bright sunlight.

Try to plant them in such a direction so that they can get the morning and whole daylight. Avoid planting any shady plants near them.

3. Imperfect Temperature

Then, we will be at the point temperature range. The temperature effect is another crucial factor for cayenne pepper plants. They are temperature-sensitive plants.

If the temperature is not properly maintained the flowers may drop out and fertilization may be hampered because of the dryness of the stigma. Thus, the initiation of peppers is delayed and the perfect color is not found.


Cayenne peppers need 70-80°F to get the perfect red color and to be properly spicy. Below 55°F, its metabolic activities are threatened and it cannot make the peppers red.

Again, if the temperature is over 90°F, it gets dehydrated and the plant activities get slower. So try to maintain the temperature between the optimum to get a better yield.

4. Pest Attack

After that, pest attack during the fruiting period is another problem which is caused by aphids and bugs. They suck the cell sap and destroy the red coloring pigments which destroy the yield.


Spray or apply insecticides to your plant when it is affected. You can be sure of pest attack by seeing the condition of leaves and stems.

So remove those affected parts and apply industrial insecticides or homemade neem oil recipe prepared by mixing one tablespoon of neem oil, aloe vera powder, and liquid soap. You can also use 1 teaspoon of baking soda diluted in 1 gallon of water. (our pick: Bonide BND250 Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew Ready to Use Insecticide/Pesticide)

5. Wrong Variety

Lastly, variety is one of the most important topics in this sphere. Some cayenne pepper cultivars are of such habit that they produce peppers that remain green despite being matured.

Some cayenne cultivars are red ember, dragon, purple cayenne, sweet cayenne, etc. Purple cayenne converts its peppers green to purple when they ripen. Just like this, green cayenne peppers also stay the same still after ripening.

They can be eaten as red cayenne peppers and used in preparing green sauce. So if you plant such a variety, you cannot get red peppers.


Try to know clearly about the variety that you are about to plant. Whether it is propagation cutting or seed, make sure of the variety from where you are purchasing this. Red ember, dragon, etc. are perfectly red varieties.

How Long Does Cayenne Pepper Take to Turn red?

Cayenne peppers normally take 6-8 weeks to turn red after being completely matured. After getting in perfect condition and environment, plants start to produce fruits or peppers.

When the peppers initiate and become enlarged they remain green-colored. The green color remains for about 2-3 weeks. These are unripe peppers which start to turn yellow after around 2 weeks.

After the green unripe peppers get their perfect shape, they take 3-4 weeks more to ripe and get red. If the peppers are larger than normal size, the ripening stage is more elongated and you have to wait for 1-2 weeks to get red peppers.

Thus, after waiting around 6 weeks, you can harvest red cayenne peppers in normal-sized cultivars.

Will Cayenne Peppers Turn Red After Plucking?

It is a common question to many cayenne cultivars if the peppers will turn red after plucking or not. Well, green peppers can also turn red after separating from plants if they are properly maintained.

To complete this procedure, the easiest way is to keep the peppers in a hot place where they can get perfect light if they are about to ripe in the plant. Keep them in such a place for 3-4 days. 

Thus, they will turn into red peppers. But make sure that the place is warm enough for ripening. You can place it near any window.

Growing Tips For Perfectly Red Cayenne Peppers

To avoid the problem of cayenne peppers not turning red along with other problems, you should follow some techniques from the very beginning of the seed sowing, maintenance, and harvesting of the plant and fruits. Let’s have a glance at this topic below the table-

Requirements before the cultivation period
Soil TypeThe soil should be sandy loam, have neutral pH, enriched in nutrition, and well-aerated so that air passing properly happens.
Soil moisture Soil should be wet but water should not stand in the root zone. You may use organic or plastic mulch like water hyacinth, carbon paper, or polythene to retain moisture in the soil.
SeedSeeds should be sown with great care and maintained properly so that they can get perfect weather to sprout and create new seedlings.
Spacing Each seedling should be planted at least 2-3 inches apart from each other so that they can get proper elements and space to develop
Planting timeAt least 12-16 weeks of frost season to avoid temperature deterioration 
Requirements during cultivation 
SunlightAt least 6 hours of direct full sunlight
Temperature 70°-80° Fahrenheit is optimum
Humidity 85-90%
WateringNeeds deep watering when 1-2 inches of soil is dry
Fertilizer Use both organic fertilizer like cow dung, mustard oil cake etc. and industrial fertilizer which contains a better ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. 
Pest attack Use industrial insecticide or homemade neem oil
Transplantation Transplantation is needed if the root of the plant is destroyed by overwatering
Requirements during harvesting 
MaturityPeppers should be matured for 6-8 weeks. Large peppers may take more time than this range.
SunlightPlant and the peppers should be exposed to full sunlight.
Temperature 70° to 80°F
Variety Some varieties produce green peppers still they are mature. If you have so, then pluck the mature leaves still it is green.

Uses of Cayenne Peppers

Cayenne Peppers Uses

Cayenne peppers are used for many purposes. Such as-

  • Cayenne peppers are used for making hot sauce like tabasco sauce
  • It is an important ingredient in making salsa, a delicious summertime snack
  • It is a well-known spice for preparing Mexican traditional dishes like tacos, enchiladas, etc.
  • Indian curries, Thai soup, and other Asian foods are prepared with these peppers.
  • It is used as condiments in cheese omelets, spice meat marinades, chili con Carne, Mexican hot chocolate, etc.

Benefits of Cayenne Peppers

Following the uses, we would like to say something about the benefits of cayenne peppers. They are not only used for increasing the food taste but also possess many health benefits. Have a look at those below-

  • Cayenne peppers are much helpful in case of food digestion as they can increase the secretion of digestive fluid.
  • They may reduce pain by decreasing the amount of neuropeptide substance that travels the pain signal to the brain. 
  • Capsaicin, the main element responsible for creating heat, can boost metabolism activities in your body.
  • Cayenne peppers are also beneficial to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and skin cancer.
  • Heart diseases are also reduced by taking cayenne peppers with food as they can control high blood pressure.
  • These peppers can be used as a remedy for Psoriasis disease, which causes itching and red spots on the skin.


Can green cayenne peppers be eaten?

Of course, they can be eaten. Though they may not provide the perfect taste and hotness they are edible though they are unripe.

Do cayenne peppers grow in moist soil?

Definitely. Even moist soil is the perfect place for cayenne peppers to grow. But make sure that the soil is not submerged in water. It will cause root rot.

How long can cayenne peppers be stored?

Around eight weeks. You can perfectly store it immediately after plucking it in the refrigerator without demolishing spice for nearly eight weeks.

How hot are cayenne peppers?

Cayenne peppers are super hot types of peppers that rate around 10-15 times hotter than jalapenos. They have a range of 30,000-50,000 Scoville heat units that are tremendously hotter than many other peppers.

Why don’t cayenne peppers get spicy?

If you plant cayenne peppers in imperfect soil and proper light condition and temperature are not supplied during ripening in the plant, cayenne peppers may not get too spicy.

Final Thoughts

Cayenne peppers are already well known to all for their extreme heat. We can understand its popularity by its usage in different food sectors.

Though cultivators want to produce the cayenne peppers more for their popularity, some of them don’t know the all-over factors needed for their growth. That’s why problems such as cayenne peppers not turning red occur.

But don’t worry. Meanwhile, you have found your solution as we expect. Try to apply the techniques in your cultivation. Hence, we hope that you will get rid of your problem.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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