Jalapenos Turning Purple: Causes and Prevention

As a gardener, it can be quite alarming to see your jalapenos turning purple, especially if you were expecting a bountiful harvest of green peppers. Don’t worry too much as there are various reasons for this phenomenon. 

What causes jalapenos to turn purple?

Jalapenos Turning Purple

There are several reasons why jalapenos may turn purple. 

  • One of the main causes is the natural ripening process that all peppers go through. During the maturation process, jalapenos turn from green to various shades of red, and eventually to purple.
  • Cold temperatures can also cause peppers to turn purple. If the plants are exposed to very cold weather, it can lead to stress, and the fruits will turn purple as a result. 
  • A lack of sunlight or overexposure to sunlight can also play a role in peppers turning purple.

Can purple jalapeno peppers still be eaten?

Yes, purple jalapeno peppers are still safe to eat. In fact, they are just as edible as their green counterparts. 

The flavor may be different. Some gardeners claim that purple jalapenos have a milder or sweeter taste than green jalapenos.

How can I prevent my peppers from turning purple?

As a gardener, there are several ways to prevent your peppers from turning purple. 

  • The first thing is to plant them in a location with adequate sunlight. If you live in a cooler climate, you can also plant them in a warm and sheltered area, such as against a south-facing wall.
  • Avoid planting your pepper plants in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations. This can lead to stress on the plants and cause the peppers to turn purple. 
  • Harvest the peppers when they are mature and firm to prevent them from turning purple on the plant.

Are all types of peppers susceptible to turning purple?

No, not all pepper varieties turn purple. Some pepper varieties such as the purple jalapeno, purple bell pepper, and purple cayenne pepper naturally have a purple color when ripe. 

These purple peppers are an excellent addition to your garden if you’re looking for something different.


Can I ripen a purple jalapeno pepper?

No, once a jalapeno pepper has turned purple it is fully ripened, and will not turn red. The purple jalapeno pepper is perfectly edible at this stage, so you can harvest and enjoy it just like a green jalapeno pepper.

Q: Why are my jalapeños turning purple?

A: Peppers turning purple is a natural ripening process. As jalapeños mature, they will eventually turn from green to purple to eventually red.

Q: Can I prevent peppers from turning purple?

A: Unfortunately, no. Peppers will naturally turn purple as part of their ripening process. However, you can try to delay the process by storing them in cold temperatures or reducing sun exposure.

Q: Are purple jalapeños safe to eat?

A: Yes, purple jalapeños are safe to eat and are just as nutritious as their green or red counterparts.

Q: Do purple jalapeños taste different?

A: The color of a pepper does not affect its taste. However, some people may argue that purple jalapeños have a slightly sweeter taste compared to green or red jalapeños.

Q: Can I use purple jalapeños to make chili?

A: Absolutely! Purple jalapeños are still jalapeños and can be used in any recipe that calls for them.

Q: Can I save the purple jalapeño seeds to plant next year?

A: Yes, you can save the purple jalapeño seeds and plant them next year. However, keep in mind that not all of the seeds may produce purple jalapeño plants.

Q: Will purple jalapeños eventually turn black?

A: No, purple jalapenos will not turn black. They will either continue to ripen and turn red or eventually start to rot if not used or preserved.

Q: Are there any benefits to growing purple jalapeños?

A: Besides their unique coloration, purple jalapeños can also be used as ornamental plants. They also have a slightly higher phosphorus content compared to green bell peppers.

Q: Do jalapeno plants produce purple flowers?

A: Yes, jalapeno plants can produce flowers that are white, green, or purple.

Q: Why do some jalapeño plants have purple leaves?

A: Some jalapeño plants may have purple leaves due to a natural pigment called anthocyanin. This pigment is responsible for the purple hue seen in many plant leaves and flowers.


If your jalapenos are turning purple, it’s most likely due to the natural ripening process or adverse growing conditions. 

This doesn’t mean that the pepper’s are not edible. As we’ve seen in this article, peppers turning purple can still be enjoyed and make for an exciting addition to any garden.

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