University of Maryland Extension

Normal Species or Varietal Characteristics - Vegetables

color change on jalapeno pepper

Black areas on jalapeno pepper

Gardeners are sometimes unaware that surprising color changes are actually normal for the plants they grow. For example, almost all pepper pods will change from a deep green to a different color when mature- red, orange, purple, yellow, brown, etc. Some pepper cultivars will go through two color changes. Sometimes seed catalog pictures and descriptions do not accurately correspond to actual fruit colors. In rare instances, one might also see genetic mutations in the garden. One chocolate colored pepper may appear on a plant where all the other pods are red.

Fruits will also change color when they pass the mature ripe stage and become over-ripe. Purple skin eggplant become dull and brown, cucumbers become cream-colored, and beans will lighten in color.

purple coloration on tomatillo
Purple coloration of tomatillo skin

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