How much is too much sun

esox07 (4b)June 26, 2012

My plants get nearly all day sun and are in 7 gallon containers. My plants are now budding, blooming and setting fruit. We are about to enter a 10 day window with high 80 to mid 90 degree temps and little to no clouds predicted. Should I let the peppers be or should I move them to an area of less sun exposure? They are just getting going good on setting fruit and I don't want to have them stall out due to blossom drop or heat stress. I dont want to go through the shade cloth thing but you all down south deal with situations like this all summer. What do you recommend? Just leave them soak up the sun or move them until the heat/sun pattern breaks?


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here in texas at those temps are pretty cool. it is 105-110 today. i would move them under a patio or some shade with a little breeze, they will take off. it will lower the temps by about 10 degrees. ghost peppers are a little more finicky. i would leave them out in full sun.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 12:33PM
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In MD we had 90-98 with high humidity made the index 100-107, I found that if I watered the previous evening they would be stressed and wilted by the time I got home from work, but if I watered in the early am before work the temp did not phase them. Full sun from the am to about 7pm then the house shades them. Because my pots drain quickly I had to water daily for those real hot days, now that it cooled down back to 3-4 days or more before watering. I think your plants should do fine. In the extreme heat my Hab may have dropped a dozen or less flowers not bad at all and some pods still set in the heat.

This weekend 97-100 forecasted.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Heh, that would be cool around here right now, we're hovering around or above 100 for the next week.

Long story short, the peppers will be absolutely fine in that. Just watch for if they need extra watering than you're used to up till now (if the leaves are droopy at dusk, they need some water).

When in doubt, screen door mesh from the local hardware store makes excellent cheap shade cloth.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 1:36PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

Atlanta doesn't have the blazing heat of W. Texas, but we can get pretty warm and (pace the Gulf coast) somewhat more humid. My current growing location gets full sun from dawn till 3-4PM. I let them have all the sun they can get.

'Course, I'm not growing anything "exotic" like those S. Asiam radioactive peppers. So YMMV.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 5:41PM
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I wish I had 'too much sun' problems. Although my plants are inside the conservatory, the brighter the better in there. Although stuff still grows and some fruit pods are setting, the sun makes a huge difference in accelerating the plants.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 6:36PM
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Bruce, should be just fine, 80-90F is not a problem with all day sun. Worst you get is a bit of sunburn on the fruit if they are far enough along. If it goes over 90, you may have some fruit set issues, but the plants will be fine. If you have fruit, try to arrange leaves to shade the fruit if possible to avoid sunburn.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:32AM
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Yeah, its hitting 107 here this weekend and I'm pulling the smaller pots in under the carport, just to be safe.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 11:16AM
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It gets warm/hot here later in the Summer and into the fall and have never had any probs with the temps you mentioned. No idea on the ghost though---first time this year :) .

The only instances of sunscald I've ever noticed were on my colored bells(thinner foliage, large fruit).

Old white sheets make excellent, cheap sunshades. You still get "some" sun and cools the plants also --- rather than fully shading them under a patio or awning(no sun).


    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 2:08PM
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esox07 (4b)

Thanks guys. They have had 4 or 5 days of 90+ with full sun and are looking good. They are blooming and still setting nearly every bloom. I have two pods on my Red Tree Habanero and both of them are sun burned but I really don't think that really hurts them, does it? We have 10 more straight 90+ degree days in the forecast so I hope it doesn't get any hotter.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 9:51PM
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naturemitch(3/4 WI)

I had to smile on this thread, because I too was starting to worry about high heat and my pepper plants. But, after reading thru all the HIGH temperatures some of you mentioned, our high eighties and low nineties are a cake walk!

A couple of weeks ago my peppers were struggling with all the rain we were receiving, but they are looking great now! I upped the fertilizer and mother nature has laid off the the peppers are happy.

Bruce--my bells are blooming and starting to set....are yours?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 12:26AM
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esox07 (4b)

naturemitch: No, not even buds on my bell. I snipped the first couple fruits a long time ago along with the other plants but the bell hasn't put out any more buds or blooms as yet. I doubt I will be able to carry any that do develop to full term. The plant continues to grow however.

naturemitch, it is very interesting to hear you complain about too much rain. Down south of you just a little ways, we are bone dry. We haven't had even an inch in the last month plus. It is getting critical down here. But I know how we it was up there. I was camping just south of Black River Falls last weekend and was astonished at how high the river was. But just an hour or so south, we are under DNR burning bans and the towns around here are all cancelling fireworks for the 4th.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 8:35AM
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DaMonkey007(10b - Miami)

Hey Bruce,
I'll add something here. Your question is "How much is too much sun?", but the conversation is focused on temperatures. I submit that temperature and sun intensity are not necessarily directly related.

If the question was "How hot is too hot?", I would say at that point where pollination is adversly affected - which is a function of temperature and humidity rather than sun intensity.

Now, as for "..too much sun". I would say that this is more a function of your latitude than your temperature. I'll give you an example. It may be 100+ where you are, and 85 where I am, but the sun's intensity will be FAR GREATER here than there. Too much direct summer sun for me might be 2 hours, where too much direct summer sun for you might be 6 hours - even though your temps are much higher.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 9:22AM
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esox07 (4b)

PJ: hahaha, so what you are saying is that there is no easy answer. Seems like there never is a cut and dried, easy answer to any question regarding peppers. Probably part of the reason people like to grow them...they are a challenge.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 9:58AM
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DaMonkey007(10b - Miami)

Exactly Bruce...LOL. Gardening is a site specific ;)


    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 1:00PM
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I went to a meeting of the walnut council in Kansas a few years ago. We had a field trip to a pecan grove and it happened to be 107 degrees that day. When it came time to introduce ourselves, I told my name and that I was from Alabama and I had come up to Kansas to enjoy their nice cool weather. It got a good laugh.

90 degrees is nothing for peppers or tomatoes IF they have plenty of water. 100 degrees is manageable, just give them plenty of water and make sure the sides of any black containers are covered. Otherwise, the roots may overheat from solar absorption by the black plastic.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 5:44PM
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naturemitch(3/4 WI)


Just last week our town was flooded, once it had started to wouldn't stop! Now the last week we haven't had any rain, looks like we will be back to watering again!
That sucks that you guys are that dry. My mom and sister were hurting quite a bit for rain, they are the same distance north, but further east. It is amazing what 1 1/2 hours drive in a direction can do.
Hope you guys get some rain, it is never good to be that dry. I work in Oneida County, on their lakes, and we are finally seeing some increase in lake levels:) Hope all the your peppers do well, sorry about the bells....they are difficult those little buggers.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 7:32PM
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esox07 (4b)

Thanks naturemitch. My peppers seem to be happy with the weather as long as I water them. But my yard is well, fried. Oh well, I can't eat the grass anyway.

Even as far south as Neillsville (Marshfield) they have had 9" of rain in the last few weeks. Roads washed out and everything. But yes, 80 or 90 miles is night and day.

Rhinelander areas is awful nice in the summer time.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 1:40AM
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Good thread! I was worried about mine since we have been breaking all time records with 105*+ the last few days. Luckily today it is only supposed to get up to 104* :)

They do better if i water them in the morning rather than wait until after work though.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:26AM
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esox07 (4b)

Yes, Vaughn, watering in the mornings just before the heat of the day is better than waiting until after the sun goes down and the plants already suffered through the heat with dry feet.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 12:05PM
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if your not into shade. some things that work for me is planting peppers closer were the leaves are touching. the taller the plants get they will act as a shade for the blooms at the bottom of the bush and lower the temps. people may think i plant too close but i get better success by growing closer before summer kicks in.less sunscald. i have only had aphids on my bell peppers knock on wood. i did try the shade cloth this year on some of my pepper plants. but the shade cloth caused me to get a case of powdery mildew.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 11:59PM
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