Wilted Bhut Jolokia

marckusdAugust 23, 2012

Hi everyone! I am new to growing bhuts and i have run into a problem with my bhut plant. After a tough growth, i would say, (it started producing pods after about 7 months from planting the seed)it now has started to wilt, but not the whole plant, just one side of it. The leaves stay green but shrivel and eventually fall of. I have cut of the part of the plant that has wilted as i believe it had died(it was dried up). The remaining part of the plant wilts during the mid day heat but recovers as soon as the sun goes down. These symptoms firs started about 4 weeks ago after it produced the first pod. This coincided with a heat wave (about 42 degrees C)and during this hot period i watered it a bit more. It is planted in my green house, in the ground and is shaded by tomato plants. It has produced pods but one was on the parts I cut away. It has 2 more baby bhuts that seem to grow just fine. Recently (3-4 days) all the peppers in my green house have started to wilt, but not to the degree the bhut has. The heat wave was followed by a cold period about 12 degrees C at night, but the plants, as they were in the green house did not experience these lows. I would say the temps inside went down to around 16-18 C. Could you give me some advice please ! Thank you!

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Wilting has many causes. One side dying off is a good clue though. It could indicate a stem borer, or a fungal disease. Check the stem for a reddish or brownish color inside. If so you likely have a fungal disease such and there's not much you can do. Check for small larva or their excrement or bore holes. If you can find one, you can actually cut the stem lengthwise and kill the borer and then tape up the wound.

If you don't see either it could be be damaged roots or a cultural issue like over/underwatering, or compacted soil, although normally it would affect the plant fairly evenly unlike the above mentioned issues. Are the tomato plants close to the peppers? I have noticed in my own garden that peppers and tomatoes don't do well in close proximity, as it seems that the robust root systems of tomatoes seem to steal water and nutrients away from peppers. I am not sure if there is some kind of allelopathic release from tomatoes that affects peppers as well, but it sure looks like it. They are sometimes listed as companion plants, but it doesn't appear so from my experience.

You may have already had water transport issues (which is what wilts are), and the hot weather may have increased transpiration and made the issue show symptoms.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 11:35AM
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Thank you! The plant did seem to develop more difficultly after it was planted in the greenhouse and the soil is hard around it(that is how it is everywhere where i live ). I found out after transplanting the bhut from it's growing pot, what kind of soil it likes. The tomatoes are quite close and are fairly big plants (2 meters high). The bhut is not small either, at around 70 cm in high is one of the biggest peppers i have. The hot weather continues and again we have around 40-42 C temps. I will check to see if i can find the stem borer, as it does not seem to be a fungal disease. Thanks again !

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 1:02PM
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Good luck! Sorry I was being general, but wilts can be difficult to diagnose.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Yeah, pepper wilting is sort of like headaches in humans. Virtually everything causes it.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:44PM
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first i would try to pull some of the access leafs to see if that helps any if not and you cant find any bugs or such i would think the hard ground is not giving proper water and air flow to the roots

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 2:11AM
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Thank you Armageddon! I now have the same impression about the ground, and in combination with the super hot and dry weather that we are still having causes the bhut to wilt. It seems to be doing better now, after we started watering it a bit less. It has set a few pods (it now has 4) an is recovering in the evening when it cools down a bit. Have tasted the pod that was on the part that i cut down...it was hell hot although it was still very young.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 2:57AM
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