Pepper Corking – What is it?

By: Dan Hagan - Managing Editor
corked pepper

Jalapeno with Corking

 What is Pepper Corking?

Corking is a scaring that appears on the surface skin of a pepper, commonly on Jalapenos.  This scaring is caused by the pepper growing faster than the skin can keep up.  The skin rips and the heals leaving a small scar.

 The scars make the pepper look less appetizing, but for many pepper aficionados, corking is a sign of a great tasting mature pepper.  In many South American countries and in Mexico Corked peppers fetch a high price at market, while they are often not sold at market here in the US due to consumer obsession with appearance.

 The only down side is that the rind of the pepper can be a bit tougher, although some find this appealing!

How to avoid Pepper Corking

  • Water less frequently (peppers only need water when the soil stats to turn dry.
  • Harvest frequently (the frequent harvest will encourage the plant to grow MORE peppers, slowing the growth of current peppers)
  • Reduce P & K fertilizers while keeping N the same (will encourage plant growth over pepper growth, slowing the pepper growth down)

If you would like to be part of the conversation, join our Zone 9 Vegetable Gardening Facebook Page!