What is wrong with my pepper plants?

CojacApril 21, 2012

Hi, new to the forum. I decided to drop in and ask a question or two. :)

Anyway, I have multiple Jalape�o, and Banana Pepper plants that are giving me some trouble. I wanted to see what you guys think the problem might be.

Here is a picture of 1 of my 6 Jalape�o plants I am having this issue with. It's got little holes in it like something is eating it. I have searched the plants everyday over the course of 2 weeks, and I haven't seen anything on them.


Here is a picture of one of my bannaa pepper plants, it is the only one I'm having an issue with. I have no clue what's wrong with it. You guys be the judge.


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First pic looks like flea beetle damage just Google then click images then type in flea beetle damage. Flea beetles are so tiny and jump at a dime so hard to see unless you babysit the plant for a few hours or setup a sticky trap to see exactly what you are dealing with.

Second pic soil looks sandy and roots could be compacted and preventing uptake of nutes. Any reason for the sand? Did you add or is that the type of soil around your area?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:07PM
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What nutrients are your plants getting?

If you don't find pests, it may be nutrient deficiency.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:07PM
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If my plant(s) looked like that first picture, I'd think it's a pest of some sort as well. I like habjolokia's idea of sticky traps to hopefully see what you're dealing with.

I also wondered what they were planted in. That could be the problem. I think there's something about the soil it doesn't like.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:29PM
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I put the recommended amount of 19-19-19 to my whole garden area about a month ago, and then tilled all of it up.

I looked up Flea beetles. It looks like of like the damage to my plants, but I don't know about the discolouration of the leaves. Maybe a nutritional deficiency along with the beetles too?

As far as the soil goes, we live in about a 100 mile area that is really sandy. Haven't had any problems in the past with any of my plants growing in it though... This is the first time.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:33PM
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Do you recall any new changes from how you conditioned the soil from previous years to this year? Did you always add the 19-19-19? Maybe check the PH also of the soil thats where I would start before making any changes, be sure to find out what's causing the problem before trying to throw nutes at them.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:55PM
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The only new change besides the normal 19-19-19 every year, is I added a pick-up truck load of horse manure to it during the winter this year. The only change I've seen from it is I now have a ton of grass in my garden this year.

How would I go about checking the PH level without sending it off to the Clemson Extension? (Local university agricultural department) for testing?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:24PM
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You can Google soil PH tester will come up with many for sale. Amazon.com also has some also.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 10:52AM
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Good call habjolokia on putting out traps and suggesting it may be flea beetles at least for the plant in the first image.

Why I slanted towards a possible nutrient problem was the second plant image, it looks like a narcosis issue developing.

Here's a shot of one of my past plants that suffered from marginal necrosis, the same browning/dying at the leaf edges:


    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 2:31PM
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