yellow leaves on my habanero

scotty66(8 Hutto TX)April 15, 2012

Curious if anyone has an idea on what is causing yellow leaves on my habanero? I described the condition at a local nursery and they told me to add iron supplement.

I noticed that the plant is starting to produce flowers and its only about 8" tall.

it was re-potted recently and I used miracle grow cactus soil. same soil as the Naga's (right beside it) and they re a nice dark green.

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esox07 (4b)

Personally, I would not worry too much about it. I had a Charleston last year that was that shade from the time it was a 4" plant. No matter what I did, it wouldn't turn darker. I thought it was some deficiency or other mallady but it grew, bloomed and put out great fruit. If you had several of the same variety and one was different, then I might be a bit worried. But if it is putting out blooms, it is obviously a happy plant.

Just keep an eye on it but don't worry too much. At the most, I would use a fert with micro nutrients next time you water.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 7:03PM
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In addition to Bruce's comments, assuming all the plants are being fed the same, is it possible that you've been over watering the plant in question?

Just askin.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 7:08PM
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esox07 (4b)

Yep, I was assuming all the plants were being treated the same. But Ottawa is right, over watering can result in yellowing leaves.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 7:20PM
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I don't think it looks happy at all!!! I'm not comfortable making a diagnosis, but I think you're right to be concerned.

Just blooming doesn't mean much. It'll probably just drop it if it isn't happy. Now, if it set fruit, that's another story. :-)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 7:33PM
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Sorry, I meant to add that I don't think it's just an overwatering issue. That may be part of it, but, I think there's something more going on.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 7:43PM
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Might consider removing blossoms to allow plant to put energy and nutrients toward vegetative growth. It's too small to support blossoms and growth. You'll get better yield later if you do this. I've seen this and other deficiency symptoms on very young plants in blossom.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 8:08PM
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It's difficult to diagnose what is going on from one picture. Assuming watering isn't the issue, the lower and new upper leafs "look" green.

If the OP really wants to get the plant to a robust green productive state without messing around with adding this nute or that micro nute, I'd suggest re-potting in a different potting mix blended 3/4 mix to 1/4 good organic compost.

The plant, if it's destined to survive, will get everything it needs. This approach has worked a number of times in the past.

Ya know, give it the best chance and let mother nature take her course.



    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 8:30PM
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You're right, Bill, the newer growth does look more green. It's hard to tell, but, it looks to be curling as well.

Without knowing exactly what's wrong, I'd say Bill's recommendation would probably take care of whatever is wrong. I'd go with that.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:33PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

I'm only watering about every 3 days, I am open to repotting. I was already thinking about picking the blooms off to get a bigger plant.

Other than the color I think the plant is doing great, since moving outside it has put on lots of new growth.

I tried to take a better picture with my phone but I don't think it's much more help.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 12:25AM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

I noticed my jumbo jalapenos are also putting on blooms... they are slightly taller but not as bushy as the habanero. I bought both the types of peppers from the same nursery (at same time).

I'm hoping that this is just a coloring difference... I will hold off on pinching off the blooms at this time and see if they drop or develop.

Just in case it is an Iron deficiency, I added some "Ladybug Glittering Greensand" supplement (link below).

a closeup of the habanero buds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ladybug Glittering Greensand

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 3:07PM
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You will always find chinense grow slower and squatter initially, but usually more then make up for it later on. On other types of peppers though, early flowering usually cuts back on long term yield significantly, and quite often will drop early flowers anyway. But flowers zap a lot of energy out of a plant, the reason peppers grow in flushes. If you have a combination of flowers, and the roots for some reason can't supply enough, the flowers will drain the leaves. So you may have more then just flowering going on.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 3:20PM
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Looking at the added pics, it does look like most of the yellowing / issues were from some time ago, with newer growth looking better. The leaves still look to be curling on the edges, but, that could just be a lack of hardening off or not enough. The plants will likely grow out of it.

My initial reaction was due to the yellowing and crunchy brown edges of some leaves as well as the curling edges.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 3:39PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

I bought the plants about a month ago and transplanted into larger containers (using MG cactus soil) that day.
The nursery had them outside, but under shade. I put them on my patio which is shaded by oak trees 75% of the day.
a week ago I moved the plant to a bench in my garden where they get full sun from noon till sunset (7pm). I was contemplating moving the bench to the opposite side of the garden where they will get an extra hour of direct sunlight.

what exactly is the significance of curling leaves?
last year my peppers had curling leaves, but that was due to aphids. I have checked my plants now and see no aphids, aphid eggs or ants on my plants. Aphids are the main reason I have most of my peppers in containers this year.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:45PM
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There are dozens of reasons the leaves can be curling, but, I have seen it when the plant gets more sun than it is used to. It generally happens before actual sunburn. Moving from mostly shade to full sun could certainly be the cause. They will get used to it.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:54PM
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esox07 (4b)

Yes, I read somewhere that the leaves curling is actually the plant trying to protect itself from too much sun exposure.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 6:16PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

I appreciate everyone's help... I know most of problems I have with my plants are because of too much attention from me :)

My Nagas, with the habanero behind them and some more pepper seedlings in the background.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 6:49PM
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Don't feel bad. I have the same problem. My friends make fun of me because all the attention I give my plants. They joke around and say I treat them like they are my kids. :)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 12:51PM
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I'm having some similar issues. My peppers are all in the garden, not in pots. I have hot bananas, red chili, cayenne and yellow bell. The bell pepper has very curly/crinkly leaves. The larger leaves have cracked on the edges from wrinkling so much. It's putting out blossoms but they are very brittle. I barely touched one today because I was trying to brush off an aphid (they haven't been a real problem, just one here and there) and the blossom and it's little stem just fell off. That's the second one. This is my first year growing peppers. Is that normal?

They are in a combination of the rich mix I got from a supplier in OKC and cotton bur compost. I added about a 3 inch layer of MG garden soil for vegetables. I only mixed in the compost because the rich mix was WAY too sandy. Won't be buying it from that place again. I think now I should have done something different, but I didn't know at the time so I just picked more of what the supplier said they used in theirs.

The garden gets full sun from about 10am until late evening and they've all been planted since late March. Maybe it got too cold for them for a bit? The cayennes are starting to wrinkle like the bell and the banana pepper plant is yellowing. I have used some organic tomato fertilizer because it's all I had. I just used way less than I did for the tomatoes. It seemed to help slow down the yellowing but it hasn't gone away. I used sea weed fertilizer once right after planting. Should I just keep using that? I don't want to give them too much nitrogen though and not get a good crop. Or should I go get a different kind of compost to mix in? I have composter but the stuff I've thrown into it isn't ready just yet.

All of the pepper plants have buds on them. Should I pick those off? The cayennes are only about 5 inches tall. The banana is about 8 inches. The bell is over a foot so I figured I'd leave those. I just don't know why they fall off so easily. If they're that delicate, how can they hold a pepper as it's growing?

Any advice would be great. Thanks!

Oh, and I'm in OKC in zone 7

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 4:21PM
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Hi JenTiffany,

What are th day/night temps? How are you watering/fertilizing? On a schedule or random or something else? Depending on conditions it's going to happen buds falling off, several of my Red Habs buds fell and just recently set 3 pods. Do you have any pics you can share? Yellowing is not always a nitrogen difficiency it could be too much water. How well does your soil drain?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:22PM
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My first guess when you said 'yellowing' was going to be overwatering / not enough drainage. With Spring rains things tend to stay too wet at times.

Not sure about the soil question, so, I'll leave it to someone else to address that.

If the plant isn't happy in any way, it's likely to drop any blossoms that form.

Don't worry about over-doing the N. Just don't go crazy with it. My personal opinion is that it's over-hyped. If you give an abundance of Nitrogen, it's still going to produce fruit. It's just that there's a trick that you can withhold N and redirect that energy into producing *more* fruit. It's a cool idea, but, not worth the expense of a starving sick plant.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 10:32PM
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Thanks tsheets, that's good to know about Nitrogen.

Habjolokia, the day and night temps have varried. When transplanted, the highs were in the 70's and lows in the 50's. We got up to lows in the 70's and highs in the 90's but we're back down again for the time being. I'm not on a regular watering schedule really. With the spring rain I've been trying to water when the weatherman says it's not going to rain just yet, and if rain is coming, I'm trying to hold off. It's a balance I'm still working on, and learning which plants can tolerate a little extra water and which ones would prefer to be on the dryer side. I don't want them to get too dry since the up and down in moisture can stress them. I use my finger to gauge that. I can share some pictures but I'm still trying to figure out how to do that. As far as how well it drains, I'm not too sure. I mean, I think it drains well at the top but it's only about 8 inches deep. I tilled down in the ground about 6 inches or so to help with the drainage. I would have to dig a hole down to the bottom to see what the conditions are like down there. I could try more seaweed fertilizer and see what happens? The cayennes seemed to green up a bit when I used the tomato fertilizer but the banana and red chili didn't. Looking at them again today, I think it's gotten worse. I have my crookneck squash in the same bed and a couple of the leaves looked like they were a bit dry (it's still a small seedling) so I'll give it a good water in the morning. I've been trying not to water too terribly heavy since it is spring and you never know what can crop up in Oklahoma. When the weather gets really hot I'll be watering more deeply. I'll try to get some pictures up. Any idea why the leaves are so wrinkly?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:41PM
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scotty66(8 Hutto TX)

easiest way to post pictures is to use

Just create an account and upload a photo. When you go back to your album, and hover over the picture you just uploaded, there will be a choice of several codes to use for posting, click on the HTML code and it will automatically copy the link.

when you create your post here, you will be able to see the picture on the preview page and know you chose the correct code.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:52PM
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I would say that is some nutrient deficiency my cayenne looked like that and i gave it a dose of calmag and fixed it right up.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 3:11AM
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