Ghost pepper leaves falling off, curling under

matcoApril 12, 2012

Hey everybody, I have a young ghost pepper and the leaves are falling off towards the bottom of the plant, also the leaves at the top are starting to brown and curl under. At the top of the plant there seems to be different buds growing. I water whenever it seems like the soil is dry. I just recently started using a fertilizer, 2-1-6 flora gro i use about a 1/4 of a shot glass along with watering. I only fertilize once a week. I have a halogen bulb on the plant since it's too cold to keep outside right now also the plastic pot is sitting on a heat mat. Just to give you an idea the plant is only about as tall as a coke can, but getting taller rapidly it seems. Any suggestions or info?

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I would remove the heat mat after the seed had germinated. Also how close is the lamp the heat may be frying your leaves. Also what works for me is not to water on a schedule rather let the plant show you by leaves starting to droop, keeps fungus away and prevents overwatering at the same time.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:03PM
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Hey thanks for the help, 10inches or so I was kinda worried that the lamp might have been burning. I'll pull it off the mat and move the light back(how far would be optimal?) I just upped the planter size and it started growing taller and budding the new sprouts at the top, then just lost 2 leaves out of nowhere.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:21PM
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Pretty easy to tell how far away to put the light. Put your hand where the plant is. Is it burning your hand? Then its burning your plant too. Pull the light back until you get at most a slight warm feeling, and thats the distance you should keep it at.

And yeah, ditch the bottom heat. You probably are cooking it a bit.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 8:39PM
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esox07 (4b)

Maybe replace that Halogen with a CFL. THey can be put within an inch of the plant as they give off almost no heat unlike a Halogen.

Removing the heat mat is a good idea as habjolokia said. Also, I dont know what kind of fertilizer you are referring to but if it is liquid, and you are dumping a straight 1/4 shot glass with watering, you may be way over fertilizing. The liquid I use is a 9-3-6 and it is supposed to be cut at the rate of 1 tsp per gallon of water. If yours is a similar ratio, you are probably way overdoing it. Just read the directions and follow them. You may also want to consider a fert with a bit different ratio. Yours is pretty low on the Nitrogen side and high on the Potassium side. That would be a fertilizer maybe better suited to a mature plant that is ready to or already putting out blooms and fruit.

But my first guess is that the lighting is your major problem.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:16PM
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Nice to see someone else from MD on here growing Ghost peppers, Bhuts are my favorite, hey this weekend will be good for peppers to be outdoors 80+ degrees, remember to harden off properly, I have a few sunburnt leaves left them out a bit too long during the day when it was in the 60's I believe the short time in afternoon sun did it.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:31PM
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Agree with getting rid of the halogen. Too much heat, and the spectra of halogen is totally wrong for plants.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 8:02AM
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Thanks for all the input guys. I got it off the pad, out of the halogen, sitting outside right now cause its beautiful out in baltimore. I'm gonna lay off the fertilizer for a little bit cause the plant looks pretty angry with me right now. After I put the initial post up the leaves started getting small white spots on them, from what I read in other threads it looks like over fertilizing along with too much heat. I accidentally gave it my best shot at burning and poisoning it and it's still alive so hopefully smooth sailing from here.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 1:01PM
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esox07 (4b)

Before you run into another problem, you need to "harden off" the plant before you throw it out in full, real sun. Otherwise you will likely wind up with a sunburned plant or one not used to wind that is toppled over. Basically "hardening off" plants is introducing them to the outside elements in small steps. Do a search for "harden off" on the forums and you will get the gist of how to properly do it.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 3:31PM
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Thanks esox I brought back inside sat it on my window sill and my thermometer read 92degrees when I got home today!!! Everything I do keeps backfiring haha

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 8:23PM
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esox07 (4b)

Keep at it. The plants will be pretty forgiving. I sunburned my peppers last year and they came through it just fine. Unless you really go overboard on any thing, they will usually live through all the help you try to give them. You will soon learn most of the big mistakes.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:56PM
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Agree with Bruce that peppers are pretty forgiving. Even plants not grown under ideal conditions can still produce peppers. Usually, you just need to keep things within a range of conditions. Don't try to overcompensate any errors, just bring it within an acceptable range. A good example is deficiencies. If you keep fertilizing within an acceptable range, you'll be fine. Deficiencies are more often then not due to environmental conditions such as cold or wet roots, lockout from pH or overfertilization, etc, and adding the missing element often compounds the issue. Maintain an acceptable range of temperature, pH, water, air circulation, and ferts in a well draining soil, and everything else will take care of itself.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:07AM
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Good luck! I'm having issues with my Chimayos too, and like you trying to help seems to make it worse. I do what capoman says now and they are bouncing back.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:32AM
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