See also: Peppers, Sweet; Article on Sweet Peppers
SWEET PEPPER COLORS
If you leave green peppers on the vine do they turn red? Where do orange and yellow peppers fit in. Do they all start green or are they from different seeds?
Sweet bell peppers can be orange, yellow, red, purple, brown, black, ivory or green, depending on the stage of ripeness and the variety.
Green bell peppers are fully developed, but not ripe.
All sweet bell peppers start out green, and change color as they ripen. (They also get sweeter).
What can be confusing, is that there is also a variety that is green when ripe.
The color depends on the specific variety, the most common variety is red when ripe.
So--- Green sweet bell peppers start out green and are green when ripe.
Red, yellow, etc. sweet bell peppers start out green and turn red when ripe.
What you find in the store are usually either unripe green sweet bell peppers or unripe red ones.
They will not be any of the other color varieties in the green stage because the other colors can be sold at a much higher price, so they are always allowed to ripen before being sold. The additional time it takes to ripen and change color accounts for part of the reason they are more expensive. Also, since they are ripe, they have a shorter storage time.