Can't diagnose pepper problem

SeanM12December 7, 2012

Hi everyone! I'm new to the forums here and fairly new to pepper growing.

I have 2 out of my 4 Trinidad Scorpion plants starting to turn on me and I can't determine the cause. One is in a 1 gallon pot and the other is an in-ground plant. Initially, I thought the cause was disease, however these two problematic plants were in a small greenhouse in contact with 2 other larger potted plants (one was another Trinidad Scorpion, the other was a Bhut Jolokia). They were together for about 2 months but neither of the other 2 have shown any similar symptoms whatsoever! I even recently removed the problematic plants outside the greenhouse and next to one of my Habaneros...that hasn't shown any symptoms either.

I had been fertilizing with a 15-30-15 fert (same strength) once a week on all my plants. Could it just be fertilizer burn or the fert. locking up another nutrient in the plants? Could it be a sign of overwatering? ...The two plants did stay pretty damp in the greenhouse, but after checking the roots they are perfectly discoloration or smell.

Haven't seen any bugs on these two either...I did have an aphid infestation on my larger potted plants when they were all together in my greenhouse, but there were never any bugs on the two problematic plants.

Help is greatly appreciated!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos of the plants

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My first recommendation is to stop watering them and to stop feeding them. Peppers need to dry out between waterings, and just because the main roots look relatively healthy doesn't mean the feeder tendrils you can't easily see are healthy. If you're keeping the soil moist 24/7 you're doing more harm than good.

Also, they don't need constant feeding. You are probably building up to much fertilizer in the soil unless you are thoroughly flushing the soil out every time you do it. If you are going to fertilize, go with half of the recommended amount for containers, and do it every third or fourth watering (which you should only be watering once every 1-2 weeks, so only giving it a mild feeding every month or so).

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 5:11PM
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Your photos are not good enough to know for sure, but you might look up Pepper Mild Mottle Virus and see if the symptoms appear to be the same.


    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 11:08AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

That fertilizer is inappropriate for plants.

Plants never use that much P (middle number). So it could very well be a salt issue.


    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 1:40PM
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Thanks for the help all!

I had the hunch it was more likely a moisture/fertilizer problem, but each of my plants somewhat resembled the symptoms of disease, and upon inspecting a few of my other nearby plants I could see faint signs of chlorosis on the leaves (these haven't been fertilized in weeks and have just the right amt of moisture).

So rather than risk a possible disease in my plants/soil for next season, I figured better to be safe than sorry. I took out all suspicious plants and will be treating the soil for the next couple months just to be safe.

Thanks once again!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 2:30PM
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