What are the signs of over fertilizing on chili?

chilliwin(EU DK 7)December 24, 2012

1. What are the signs of over fertilizing on chili plants?

2. How do I know the plants are over fertilizing?

3. Are there any side effects of over fertilizing?

4. What I have to do when the plants are over fertilized?

5. How often should I fertilize the soil mixed like Al's 511?

If we have this subject before then simply ignore me and help me to get the link.

Caelian

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Edymnion(7a)

The most obvious one is that the leaves shrivel up and fall off. Before that you will see the leaves start to crisp and die around the edges.

Generally speaking, you should not fertilize your peppers on any kind of a regular schedule. If you are buying premixed potting soil, it has all the nutrients in it already, there is no need to add more. If you are using your own mix that you feel may be deficient, then at most once a month with a dilute mixture.

The biggest side effect of over fertilizing is obviously that it will set your plant back a couple of weeks while it recovers from the shock of having to grow an entire new set of leaves.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 6:57PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Hello Edymnion, thank you for the information.

I think two of my ghost plants have problems of over fertilization and excessive light intensity. The leaves looked lack of moisture/shriveled and curved. I did over fertilize, I am a bit careless to use highly concentrate fertilizer. I used double dose when I mixed with water, my stupidity. I do fertilize once a week. The soil I use is mixed but it has nutrients already as you mentioned. I never think about the side effects of over fertilization. I feel these two plants are not looked normal they looks stress. Now I stop using the lights and fertilization. To prevent fungus gnats I spray peppermint tea, I hope it should not be a problem.

Regards,
Caelian

This post was edited by chilliwin on Tue, Dec 25, 12 at 0:25

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 12:20AM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

These are the plants I have suspicion of over fertilization and excessive light intensity.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 7:42AM
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willardb3

That's over-feeding.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 8:55AM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Hello Willard, thank you for your opinion, I agreed with you.

As a new container gardener I have started to experience such type of problems and I am expecting more.

I had a bit problems of APHIDS, FUNGUS GNATS, OVERWATER, SOIL MIXED AND now OVER FERTILIZING.

I have to wait for about 2 weeks to recover it as Edymnion mentioned. Is there anything else I can do to recover it faster from the shock?

Thanks,

Caelian

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 9:51AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Caelian!

I fertilize once a week, full-strength.
If you use a lean mix like the 5-1-1 - which I do - you will want to fertilize regularly,
even when incorporating a slow-release fertilizer directly into the mix at the time of planting.

You could try flushing your mix - pouring 7 times the container volume of water through the
container. This takes awhile, especially with a compacted, heavy mix. Adding a measure of vinegar
to your water can also help flush excess nutrients.
I would add only enough vinegar to bring the pH into the 5.2 - 5.8 range.

The best advice is to simply follow the directions on the fertilizer package.

Josh

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 1:05PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Hi Josh,

Thank you for the advice.

The soil is not exactly 5:1:1 but it has good aeration. Actually I would like to flush the soil but the problem is the containers are self watering without drainage holes.

Now the conditions of the plants are not deteriorating so I would like to wait for a few more days for any improvement. I will use vinegar to reduce the PH level.

I really appreciate your effort to help me.

Thanks,

Caelian

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 10:56PM
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Edymnion(7a)

Is there anything else I can do to recover it faster from the shock?

Leave it alone.

I know, I know, for a new gardener that is the single hardest lesson you're going to have to learn, but its the truth. Nature knows what its doing better than we do. Our job as growers is essentially to provide what the plant needs, and then get out of it's way.

Constant watering, feeding, and babying a plant is the best way to kill it.

Water only when it goes dry (get a dowel rod from the hardware store to put in the soil. Pull it out before you water and look at it. If the wood is dark colored and damp, then no matter how dry the surface soil is, don't water. When it comes up light colored and dry to the touch, then you can water.), and I would say at most water every third or fourth time (which should work out to once a month or less if you're letting it dry out correctly) with half strength fertilizer (half strength for the normal container dose). If you mix something like osmocote into the soil, then don't add more through watering at all.

The less you mess with your peppers, the better they will do.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:18AM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Thank you Edymnion for the advice.

These mistakes are going to be a good lesson for me. After I did a brief internet research about fertilization and I found that another mistake I did was I sprayed the fertilizer on the leaves too. Now I do not do anything else for these two plants except the soil keep a bit warm.

Happy New Year

Caelian

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 11:36AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Edymnion, your advice wouldn't work in a situation like mine, or for folks using 5-1-1.

Once a month fertilization, at half-strength? I consider that light even for an overwintering plant....
Twice a month at half-strength would be better; and better yet, a properly constructed soil that can be
watered once a week, and fertilized at, say, 1/4 strength with each watering (for overwintering).

If the weather is still conducive to pepper growth, as I assume it is in parts of India,
then peppers ought to be fed regularly - particularly in a mix like the 5-1-1.

Caelian, can you empty the reservoir in your containers? Maybe siphon the water out?
Either way, the reservoir should overflow if you apply enough water to the top, yes?

Josh

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 12:29PM
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Edymnion(7a)

Well in all fairness, 5-1-1 is basically a soiless mix in my opinion. There is nothing in it that even resembles nutritious biomass, its just some basic water retention materials. Of course you would need to fertilize that mix more often, it has nothing of it's own to offer.

I tend to assume that people use actual dirt for their plants, and that if they are experienced enough to be using something else, that they are experienced enough to know how to use it. =P

This post was edited by Edymnion on Fri, Dec 28, 12 at 15:45

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 3:43PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

The over fertilized plants are here in Denmark.

Josh my containers are so called self-watering, I cannot empty the reservoirs. It has some kind of indicator for the water level. In case of overwater, the indicator goes up and water overflowed from the reservoir to the soil. There is no way to drain the water normally. These containers are not so good.
Thank you for both of your advice and opinions.
Happy New Year
Caelian

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 5:35PM
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maple_grove_gw

Hello,

While the 5-1-1 mix does indeed need to be fertilized at leas once a week and better still at every watering (and Josh is an expert here), you'll need to take extra steps if using a self-watering container. What you want to achieve is a constant low nutrient concentration. One of the benefits of the 5:1:1 mix is that it's easy to flush the container, so if you always water with a dilute nutrient solution, then your soil mix will have adequate nutrients.
You SWC may be concentrating the fertilizer, hence the problems you're having. You should water from the top to flush out the container, to get rid of some of the excess salts that have been building up. This is what Josh was getting at. Best to completely displace the water in the reservoir and start with a clean slate, so that you know what your levels are. Then going forward, try not to let the fertilizer accumulate and levels rise with every fertilization. If you must use a SWC, you might want to invest in an electronic TDS/EC meter, so you can track what your levels are. It's best, of course, to fully flush out the old nutrient solution and apply new, dilute solution at each fertigation, so that you apply nutrients at the correct level and ratio each time.

Best of luck!

Alex

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 7:42AM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Thank you for the advice Alex.

I did repotting the three plants today. I know it is taking risk of possible losing the plants but I am very eager to know how do the plants response with the new soils.

The two pictures are before over fertilized and using less grow lights and the last picture is the present condition of the plants, I removed the old soil about 97 percent. The soil I use is not exactly 511.

After over fertilized. Repotted in new soil today again.

Thank you all for helping me.

Caelian

This post was edited by chilliwin on Sat, Dec 29, 12 at 10:11

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 10:09AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Caelian, the plants don't look too bad to me.

Sorry for assuming you lived in India....the Threads on the Bhuts threw me off.
So you're in Denmark, growing indoors then?

The soil mix in the last pic doesn't look much like 5-1-1 at all really.
5-1-1 is bark-based (70 percent), and so it is structurally durable, free-draining,
and doesn't hold much nutrient solution.

If you ever have the luxury, try intentionally overfertilizing a pepper plant....
it's one of the best ways to see what the actual effects are.

Josh

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 1:14PM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Hello Josh, it was some of my posts made you think that way; it was not your fault. I am growing indoors for the first time.

The soil is not 5:1:1 I cannot use it in my self-watering containers but I am very interested and I'd like to try in summer with the right containers. I have seen your Youtube 5:1:1 mixing demonstration it was very impressive and thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences.

I hope I had the experiences of over fertilizing and it is more than enough for me :).

The plants do not look too bad but they were very healthy and the growths were also very fast but because of mishandling they hurt so badly. Silly students made a lot of mistakes :).

Caelian

This post was edited by chilliwin on Sun, Dec 30, 12 at 15:19

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 3:11PM
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