Problems of Peppers

How To Use This Problems Section
The chart is organized to give you a quick and dirty summary of the possible symptoms that you may encounter. Those problem causes for which we have full files will be linked to those files. Those causes with no link will have a paragraph below the chart helping you deal with that particular problem.

Problems of Sweet or Hot Peppers
Symptoms Probable Cause
Plant Stops Fruiting Excessive Heat
Shriveled Fruit Ends Blossom End Rot
Pale, Wrinkled Patches on Skin Sunscald
Foliage Curls, Puckers, Turns Yellow Aphids
Young Seedling Stems Severed Cutworm
Tiny Holes in Leaves Flea Beetles
Holes in Leaves Tomato Hornworm
Mottled Leaves and Fruit Tobacco Mosaic

Plant Stops Fruiting Usually Because Of Heat

Heat causes stress in pepper plants. When the temperature becomes extremely warm (above 80 during day and 70 at night) in the summer months of July and August in some parts of the country, pepper plants stop setting fruit. They will begin again on their own as soon as temperatures (drop)a bit and nights are cooler. Dry soil will also stop blossoming as well. There are four techniques to combat this problem if it is common in your area: Plants mulched with grass clippings or chopped leaves resist blossom (drop)as well.
Use mulch - Plants mulched with grass clippings or chopped leaves resist blossom drop.
Daily watering - daily watering during dry spells at noon or thereabouts cools the root zone and keeps the mulch cooler.
Intensive Planting - Plants planted close together create a cooling canopy.
Try Shade Cloth - Shade cloth (about 20% light reduction) rigged over the peppers in July and August can work.

Shriveled Fruit Ends Usually Blossom End Rot

Inconsistent watering causes stress in pepper plants. If the bottoms of peppers become soft and watery, developing into a large, dark brown, leathery spots, blossom end rot is the problem. This disorder is the result of a calcium imbalance in the plant, which is caused by great fluctuations in soil moisture. Water plants evenly (consistently) and only as needed. Check the pH of the soil (soil test kit); it should be between 6.0 and 7.0. If it’s below 6.0, add liquid lime, which contains calcium. Do not overfertilize pepper plants.

Pale, Wrinkled Patches on Skin Caused By Sunscald

Sometimes peppers that are exposed to intense, direct sunshine for long periods get sunburned. Their skin shows soft pale spots which become discolored. Try growing pepper plants closer together. Use varieties such as California Wonder that produce lots of foliage which will shade the fruit.

Mottled Leaves and Fruit Caused By Tobacco Mosaic

Tobacco mosaic virus sometimes attacks peppers. It may cause malformed leaflets in young plants and dark green mottling (spots) on foliage. New leaflets tend to be stringy and fernlike, or pointed. Overall, affected plants look slightly grayish and their fruit may be splotchy, or may ripen unevenly. This virus cannot be cured. Remove and destroy the infected plant, its soil and its close neighbors. To prevent tobacco mosaic, follow good fall garden cleanup practices, and keep tobacco users away from your garden. Plant resistant varieties such as:. Annabell, Bell Captain, Big Bertha, California Wonder, Elisa, Espana, Emerald Giant, Gypsy Hybrid, Lady Bell, Ma Belle, Melody, Ringer, Vidi, and Yolo Wonder.

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