A few of my peppers are, it seems, suffering blossom end rot - first identified a week or two ago - this is based on the descriptions on the condition elsewhere on the site, but here's a few pics to help confirm:

Pepper suffering blossom end rot Pepper suffering blossom end rot Pepper suffering blossom end rot

From what I read on here, and in other locations on the web, the afflicted fruits can't be "cured" of this state; any damage done is permanent. So:

  1. Is an afflicted fruit ever salvageable (for the purposes of being eaten)?

  2. Should I be removing afflicted fruit from the plant as soon as the condition is noticed?
    Or should I wait for a certain level of severity before acting?
    Or maybe there is some obscure benefit to leaving the fruit on the plant?

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Yes, this is blossom end rot. The fruit is salvageable since BER is a disorder and not a disease, but there is no particular benefit in leaving it on the plant, in fact it is better to remove it:

By giving sufficient water to the plants, BER can be reduced or eliminated. Pick off any affected fruits because they will not recover and will only drain moisture and calcium needed by healthy fruit. It is safe to eat the undamaged parts of fruits with Blossom End Rot. Merely cut away the blackened part.

Rutgers Co-operative Research Extension

There is a very full article on BER by the Royal Horticultural Society here, which you should find helpful in preventing the disorder in future.

As Mancuniensis' answer says, pick them as soon as you see damage and cut away the bad parts.

One other reason for picking them immediately is that you don't want to leave spoiled/damaged fruit on the plant. This will let bugs get in -- they'll spoil the fruit completely (and could eventually cause harm otherwise healthy parts of the plant).

Yes you can eat them - just cut away the rot. Remove them for all the reasons already given. Also the rot will only grow - so you might as well salvage the pepper whilst you can.

Another reason is that too many fruit on a plant can restrict future fruit formation - so you might as well remove the "zombie" fruit to give space for new, hopefully better fruit.

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