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What's going on with these sick plants?

Posted by northerner_on Z5A ONCanada (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 4, 12 at 3:06

This year I have about ten hot pepper plants growing in pots, grouped in the same part of my patio where they get full sun. They were all doing fine until about ten days ago when the Trinidad Scorpion had a few crinkled leaves, at the very top of the plant, which I found odd since I do feed them CalMag, but I proceeded to wash the leaves with soapy water (thought maybe aphids or spider mites). The crinkling went away but then I noticed a strange colouring on the undersides of the leaves:
Photobucket
Photobucket
The leaves were at the top of the plant which was producing buds and then I noticed the buds were turning light brown, like the colouring on the leaves, so I removed the leaves and buds and my TS now looks like this. Note one brown bud which turned today:
Brown buds on TS
This 'disease' has now spread to an orange hab, and a lemon drop, but I have not removed the leaves.
Lemon Drop leaf front today:
Lemon leaf - front
Lemon Drop leaf underside:
Lemon leaf - back
Hab leaf top:
Hab leaf - front
Hab leaf underside:
Hab leaf - back
I have now isolated these plants from the others. They were next to each other and nearest to the lawn. All these seeds are from different sources and I really want to save the TS as it's the only one I have. The disease seems to be travelling top down, and is not visible from the top of the leaf at first. The lemon drop leaf pictured is the only one showing any damage on the front. I don't use any particular type of soil mix: they are just in a mixture of potting soil and composted cow manure. I am re-using the same pots as last year, but I did not sterilize them. I fertilize every two weeks or so with a soluble fertilizer with some CalMag added, and I water almost daily, but as needed. Any ideas?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What's going on with these sick plants?

Could possibly caused by edema. Edema causes crinkling leaves, and the brown areas could be cells that have burst because of edema.

Edema is caused by excessive water uptake, which is faster then the plant can transpire. This causes cells to balloon up and explode. Conditions that can cause edema are usually a combination of warm roots and cold, humid nights. Are your plants sitting on a warm surface that holds a lot of heat overnight such as concrete?


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RE: What's going on with these sick plants?

capoman - doesnt edema cause raised bumps? my thoughts were a phsiological problem due to the chemicals added. the top of the leaves look good for the plant.
aphids and spider mites do suck the nutrients out of the plant. when he added the soap it may have caused a chemical reaction causing enviromental stress. the puckered leaves could have been caused by aphids but more than likely it may have have been water stressed.


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RE: What's going on with these sick plants?

Raised bumps on the bottom of the leaves are one symptom of Edema for sure, but not the only one. But Edema also causes puckering of leaves as well. This is caused by plant tissues swelling, but not enough to form a bump or sac. They also cause brown areas where cells have exploded. I've seen this in different forms as well. Symptoms are different depending on the things like the amount of excess pressure and the elasticity of the cell walls. Not saying for sure this is edema, but the puckered leaves and brown areas make it worth investigating. I also see in one of the pics that it looks like he is on stone or concrete that can hold heat to the roots, a possible cause of edema.


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RE: What's going on with these sick plants?

Third pic looks like deer munching.


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RE: What's going on with these sick plants?

you may be right since the puckering is a sign of ireggular watering.


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RE: What's going on with these sick plants?

Thanks, guys. These pots are on a stone patio which gets very hot and holds the heat during the evenings. We do have quite cool evenings here.
I just find it strange that I had them there last year, and only 3 are affected. I do have a wooden spot that I can relocate them.
BTW the brown areas are not raised - they are perfectly smooth like it's part of the leaf structure.
The bites are caused by earwigs. We had lots of them this year and they are winding down because it is very hot here now.
I'll just watch these plants closely over the next few days and see if the change in location changes anything.
Thanks, all.


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RE: What's going on with these sick plants?

Could just be damage from the soap. If you don't rinse it off it can be pretty rough on the plant. Even if you do rinse it off, some leaf damage isn't uncommon. I don't know if that's the only problem, but, could certainly be part of what's going on.


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RE: What's going on with these sick plants?

Definitely get them off the concrete and onto wood. I've made that mistake myself when I had too many containers for my normal locations. The roots don't like the heat. You may also see other symptoms such as leaves cupping and stunting from sitting on hot concrete.


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RE: What's going on with these sick plants?

Capoman, you may be correct about the concrete. To isolate the 'sick' plants, I moved them to a wooden base, and after 5 days, I am seeing some 'healing'. Most of the leaf coloration is gone, and the yellowing leaf on the Lemon Drop is clearing up. Will be interesting to see how Mother Nature takes care of things.
Tsheets, I don't think the soap is an issue unless pepper leaves are more delicate than tomato leaves. In mid-May just before hardening off, 18 of my tomato plants were infected with spider mite, and I used the same soap solution for that, without rinsig. It was quite successful, lost only 2 plants.
Let's see what next week brings.


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RE: What's going on with these sick plants?

I was thinking the same thing as Tsheets - looks like insects did a bit of damage and then the drying soap added to it and finished off the parts that were already damaged by the insects. But who knows? At any rate, if the insects or whatever are gone, and the plants are recovering, that's what counts.


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