Leaves, Flowers, Fruit Falling off My Peppers?
I have about ten pepper plants, each of a different variety (big early, blue, mild halepeno, california, et cetera). All of them look like they're growing normally, though perhaps slightly leggy.
But I come out in the morning, leaves -- which look perfectly healthy -- are lying severed on the ground. Not enough to kill the plant, just one or two every once in a while...but enough to keep the plants from really getting big and bushy.
Likewise, the flowers fall off, though they look healthy. Not all at once, just every once in a while, but it's enough that very few reach the fruiting stage.
Those which do usually end up falling off before they are large enough to harvest.
In all three cases...leaves, flowers, and fruit...the part which falls off looks PERFECT. Firm, healthy, the right color, et cetera.
In all three cases, the stem looks like it's been neatly severed. As if I took a razor and carefully cut around the stem in a perfect circle and let it fall off on its own.
I don't know whether this is a nutritional problem or an insect. I blamed cutworms at first, but it happens even with cans around the plants, and it's now past cutworm season anyway.
The neatness of the "severing" could be due to the plant developing a junction specifically to lose the falling part, I suppose, so I would blame overwatering (it seems to always rain right after I give up and water them) or nutrition (too much fertilizer -- I use Miracle Gro for tomatoes, just slightly less than the instructions say -- or too little of some specific nutrient), but I'd think in either case there'd be some evidence of the falling parts being unhealthy.
What's going on?