Sunscald.... and new growth... ?

chicagopepper(5b Chicago)May 13, 2012

I put a couple of habs in the ground last weekend, a little bit in advance of ideal conditions given that I'm in Chicago, and.... well... it doesn't look so good. There is new growth, there are a few new leaves, so there is a chance the plants are ok. Has anyone had any experience with sunscald? White leaves on your peppers? Albino plants? Both plants have new leaves and looked like they would recover and be okay two days ago. Now, they look awful. Thanks for any advice... So, here are the pics:

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There is a little sun damage there but as long as the growing tip is still healthy the plants should pull out of it in a little while. Then you can remove the scalded leaves and "pretend it never happened" LOL.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 6:47AM
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Yep, you fried the little fella. You have to harden them off. You need to introduce them to mother nature slowly, just like midwesterners do each spring. If you go outside on a sunny 80 degree day in May for 5 or 6 hours after a long winter, you will get fried too. The same goes for wind too. You have to introduce them slowly to the elements.

Your plant looks like it got hit pretty hard but it should be fine. The lower older leaves seem to get burned more so than the newer growth. Look for those older leaves down low to eventually die and fall off. Let mother nature handle that. But your plants will likely pull through.

It looks as though you have the guy in the ground so you can't really move the plant to a more shaded area. I live just NW of you and I know our forecast is for high 70's and 80's this week so I would put some kind of shade over your plant for a few days. Then start letting it get an hour or two of direct sun each day for a few more days and keep increasing the exposure gradually. I see you have the plant staked and that should keep the wind from trashing it before it develops a strong stem.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 10:23AM
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chicagopepper(5b Chicago)

Thanks rockguy, I really hope that's the case. All along, I have been planning to pretend like it never happened. My other plants are hardened off much better (I think).

This is my first year growing peppers in the ground, after growing 20+ plants per year in containers on the porch for the past few years. I thought containers had too many variables.. grass is always greener type of thing. Growing in the ground seems a lot more difficult now. The plants aren't "portable" in the wrong weather, the ground in Chicago is cold and wet in May, and you can't amend the soil so easily. On the plus side, as my wife said yesterday, there is something zen about planting them and giving up some control.

We shall see.. thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 10:31AM
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chicagopepper(5b Chicago)

That is sage advice, Bruce. Like I posted just now, it's a whole different ballgame this year with the plants in the ground. But the 70s and 80s are going to be nice this week. Thanks for the tips.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 10:36AM
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I got too anxious one year and ended up with bare stems that eventually put out new growth and recovered completely. All is not lost.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2012 at 1:01PM
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