A couple of tips about the picking/harvesting of chili pepper pods:

  • ChillisGalore:
    • Check your variety for the mature pod size and then as they reach full size, the pod should feel firm and look fairly glossy, if it still feels soft to the touch it is still immature.
    • Pods can be picked early but they really need to be fully developed to develop their full flavor and heat.
    • The best time to pick chilis for drying is just when they start to change color. This picking will stimulate the plant to produce more flowers and, eventually, more chilis, and the picked chilis will continue to ripen as they dry, even totally green chilis may ripen to completely red after being picked.
  • TropicalPermaculture:
    • To harvest fresh chilis cut or pull off the mature fruit while it’s still shiny and plump. If you pull it off, pull it upwards, exactly opposite to the direction in which it bends down. Then it should snap off at the joint, without breaking off the whole branch. Otherwise just snip them off.