Pepper Plant Problems and How to Fix Them: Peppers are the greatest veggies in any vegetable garden. They provide bursts of color (and delicious taste) to the yard as well as the dinner table, whether you’re growing sweet or spicy kinds. Although there aren’t many challenges for you to overcome when cultivating them, there are a few issues you may face.
Here are some of the most frequent issues faced by pepper producers, and how to address them.
Pepper Growing Problems to Watch Out For
Here are some of the most common issues that pepper plants may experience. The good news is that peppers are among the easiest to grow. As a result, you might only have to deal with a few of these difficulties during your gardening career.
I’ve been growing various sorts of peppers for over 20 years, and I’ve only ever encountered two of these issues. In fact, even though it’s -30°C/-22°F outside, I have a potted jalapeno plant thriving on my nightstand.
Your pepper plants may be attacked by a few different insect and fungus species. While these plants are not available to most herbivores, bugs and pathogens continue to consume them.
However, as long as you rotate your crops on a regular basis, give them the soil they like best, companion plant marigolds and nasturtiums with peppers, and keep your pepper plants well-watered, they should be just fine. Just make sure to inspect them on a regular basis to ensure their wellbeing.
Early detection might make a significant difference between a good harvest and having to destroy your entire garden.
1. Failure to Thrive
Inadequate growing circumstances are one of the most common reasons for pepper plants to fail. These plants want soil that is slightly acidic and well-draining. Before planting, work in a lot of well-aged compost, as well as a draining media like perlite if necessary.
If your soil isn’t great, consider growing in raised beds or pots instead. Make sure the soil you’re using is perfect for containers; it won’t compress if you place them in too soon. Your peppers will require 6-8 inches of excellent soil to grow successfully. Also, be sure to check out the sun exposure of each area; that’s where your peppers and tomatoes should be planted.
2. Lots of Foliage, but Few Flowers
This is an indication of nutritional imbalnence. Nightshade plants require a lot of phosphorus in order to start fruiting and blooming. If there’s too much nitrogen (N) in the soil and not enough phosphorous (P), your plants will get leafy, not fruity.
Choose fertilizers with a low N and a higher P content, which should solve the issue nicely.
3. Pepper Fruits Aren’t Forming
Are the flowers on your pepper plants falling off? Or are they failing to develop into fruits? This is one of the most prevalent issues affecting peppers, and it’s simply a question of temperature. Peppers need a lot of heat and sunlight in order to fruit. As a result, if temperatures drop below 60°F/15°C, they won’t produce any fruit. I’m in zone 4b, and I’ve run into this problem a few times.
The trick is to wait until nighttime temperatures don’t fall below 60°F before planting your peppers. If you have a limited growing season, start your seeds indoors six weeks before the weather is expected to be ideal. Alternatively, get more developed seedlings from a garden shop and plant them as the weather improves.
Here’s a bonus tip: if your growing season is short, opt for smaller types. Miniature bell peppers, such as filius blue or jalapeos, or cool-burning species like cayennes are fantastic. If your area experiences unpredictable hailstorms or rapid temperature drops in the middle of summer, grow your peppers in a greenhouse instead.
4. Stunted or Shriveled Fruits
Your peppers are often too small or misshapen. When you cut them open, they may not have seeds inside at all. This is due to poor or incomplete pollination.
The solution to this difficulty in the future is to partner plant with fragrant plants that attract pollinators. Borage, basil, and oregano can be planted around your nightshade plants (peppers and tomatoes) to beckon honeybees, bumblebees, and other flying friends for pollination.
5. Peppers Aren’t Changing Colors
If your peppers aren’t changing color after a few weeks, don’t worry. When peppers are fully mature, they naturally change color. Allow them to remain on the plant as long as possible before they reach their final hue; they’ll do so quickly.
Pick them as soon after they’ve started to change, and allow them to fully ripen on a sunny windowsill.
6. Hot Peppers Aren’t Hot
This is more common in peppers that have been treated too much rather than over-watered. If your peppers get too much phosphorous and potassium from enthusiastic fertilization, they will grow large, juicy ones rather than small, fiery varieties. The same thing may happen if you overwater them. Let your peppers become a little stressed if you want them to stay hot and spicy. You want spicy, not bland peppers, correct?
7. Blossom End Rot
Do your fruit’s bottoms have any wet, decaying patches? This is known as “blossom end rot,” and it occurs near the butt end, where the bloom falls off. It’s due to a calcium deficiency during the flowering period.
You might think the answer is to add calcium to your soil, but it’s actually because your pepper plants are unable to absorb any available in the dirt. It doesn’t matter how much calcium is in the soil until you address this problem.
Water is essential for plants to take up nutrients. If you supply your plants with too much or insufficient water in their growth, they will be unable to transport calcium through their system. Additionally, forcing crops to grow rapidly with fertilizer can prevent them from obtaining enough calcium.
8. Plants are Cut Off at Soil Level
Cutworms are the most common cause of this problem. Cutworms thrive in the dirt and emerge after dark, chewing their way through anything in their path. You may look for them with a flashlight at night by hand: simply drop them into boiling water to kill them off. Alternatively, you may protect your seedlings’ stems by wrapping cardboard cuffs around them.
I use empty toilet paper roll halves for this purpose. Before planting, cut them in half and stick the seedlings’ stems through. Then make sure the roll is pushed about 1 inch into the soil to keep slugs and cutworms away.
9. Curled Leaves
Pepper leaves can curl as a result of insect damage, mineral imbalances, or water shortages. If your peppers don’t get enough water, their leaves might curl. Alternatively, if aphids or mites are sucking the life out of them
This is an instance where you’ll proceed through the list until you find the problem. If you discover aphids or mites on the plants, that’s probably the cause. Treat them with neem oil or an organic pesticide to prevent future infestations. Make sure there are lots of ladybugs in your garden to assist in controlling aphids and mites.
If you don’t observe any insects, about an hour before sunset poke your finger into the dirt about an inch deep. Is the soil damp? If the soil feels dry to you, then you aren’t providing them enough water.
10. Yellow, Falling Leaves
This can be caused by mosaic virus or spotted wilt virus. Neither of these viruses can be treated, but if you detect them early enough, you may avoid having to kill the entire plant. Remove infected leaves and burn them, then remove any nearby weeds that may be harboring thrips or cucumber beetles.
If you have a problem with tobacco mosaic virus, you might wish to plant resistant varieties. If they’re affected by cucumber mosaic virus, though, there’s really no cure except to pull and burn them.
11. Scorched-Looking Leaves
Did you know that pepper plants can be sunburned? If you live in a zone 10 or higher, your plants may develop “sunscald.” The young, delicate fruits acquire white blisters on their skins, which can peel away to reveal openings. As a result, the fruits might shrivel and dehydrate, eventually falling off the plant.
In extremely hot, sunny locations, pepper plants will require some shade during the hottest part of the day. Consider planting adjacent to taller species that can protect your peppers from strong summer sunshine between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
12. Leaves are Covered in Yellow-Ringed Holes
Bacterial leaf spot is an unpleasant disease that spreads via touch. It creates gnaw-like holes in the leaves, which subsequently wilt and fall off. If you detect it early, you may use a copper-based bacterial fungicide to treat it; otherwise, all of your plants would have to be destroyed.
Do your pepper plants’ leaves appear to be a free-for-all buffet? Then you’re probably dealing with tomato hornworms, flea beetles, or slugs. Planting catnip around your beds and spraying your plants with neem oil will get rid of flea beetles.
If you don’t want to use pesticides, then pick them off by hand as soon as possible in the morning or after dark. Diatomaceous earth can also help keep hornworms and slugs at bay. Consider allowing your chickens, ducks, or Guinea fowl into your pepper beds to consume these pests. Just be sure to put your birds to sleep safely so that predators do not get to them.
14. White Foam or Froth on the Stem and Leaves
Welcome to spittlebug country. Ironically, a home-made insecticide composed of hot peppers is one of the most effective deterrents for spittlebugs on your pepper plants. 2 cups water and a handful of jalapeo or habanero peppers, 6–8 peeled garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons ground cayenne peppers, and 2 teaspoons liquid Castille soap are combined in a blender.
Pour enough water into the basin to wet the entire plant. -> Pour enough water over the entire plant until it is entirely damp.
15. Brown Stripes on Stem/Plant Wilts and Falls Over
If this is the problem you’re dealing with, you’re probably battling verticillium wilt. Verticillium wilt is a fungal disease that has no cure, so any afflicted plants must be uprooted and burnt. The only way to prevent it is to rotate your crops on a regular basis.
Plant nightshades in a new location every two years. Also, don’t plant cucurbits (cucumbers, squashes, pumpkins, or melons) before nightshades (or vice versa). Make a deep till of the soil and allow the sun to scorch as much fungus as possible out. Plant legumes or greens there the following year, and choose disease-resistant cultivars if you like.
16. Black or Brown Spots
Blight can also be a symptom of transplant shock and is usually due to excessively hot weather. It’s typical in humid locations, especially when it rains a lot and the temperature rises above 75F. There is no cure for it, and any plants that have been infested must be destroyed.
The only way to prevent this problem is to do crop rotation on a regular basis. Plant brassicas (kale, cabbage, etc.) and grains in the affected beds after removing the peppers. For at least four years, don’t plant any other nightshades there.
17. White Fuzz Beneath Leaves
Powdery mildew, which is common in humid regions, can be a problem. This fuzzy mold may appear if plants have been overwatered. If you don’t want to use a soil-level drip line, water early in the morning so moisture has time to evaporate throughout the day.
Idea Source: morningchores.com