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Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

Posted by alexthehothead California (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 6, 12 at 7:20

Hi everyone! New member here :) so I have a different couple of chili plants I started to grow. Everything's was going fine until I seen that some of the leaves started to roll up and turn brown, an one of my plants completely dropped down as if its dying :(. Idk what's going on with them I water them about every third or fourth day and feed them every time I water. I'm giving them miracle grow liquafeed and it says 9-4-9 on it. I may have overdone it 2 days ago but idk if that's why their the way they are now. I keep them inside the house at an even 70 degrees F and take them out when the sun is out. They're getting around 15-18 hours of light sometimes even 20. Could someone please help me is really appreciate it. Thank you.

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

Here are some more pictures plus a picture of the feed
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RE: Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

Off the top of my head, I'd say you mixed the fertilizer up too strong and you burned the plant.

Good news is that it will rebound as soon as it regrows some new feeder roots.


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RE: Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

Is there anything I can do for now?


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RE: Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

Nothing that won't just make it worse. The solution is to actually stop doing stuff.

You could also be overwatering (the two have similar symptoms due to them doing basically the same thing to the plant). Plants this small being overwintered don't use a lot of water, and they don't need a lot of food.

My advice right now is to stop watering it and stop feeding it. Next time you go out, stop by a hardware store and get a wooden dowel rod (short piece will do, ask if they have scraps). When you get home, put the wooden dowel in the dirt about half way.

From then on, whenever you are thinking about watering the plant, pull the dowel out and look at it. If its light colored and dry, then you can water. If its dark colored, then do not water.

Don't feed because you don't really want the plant to grow much while overwintering, you just want it to more or less sit idle.

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Mechanically whats going on is that there is damage to the roots. It could be too much fertilizer burned them by destroying the tiny hair like feeder tendrils that come out of the more visible roots, or it could be too much water is drowning them.

Fun fact, plants require oxygen just like we do in order to convert food into energy. Its just that the top half produces more oxygen than it uses during photosythensis. The roots still require oxygen, but can't make their own. If the soil is too wet, then there is no air getting to the roots and they drown the same way we do. Thats what root rot actually is, the roots drown and then rot.

Either way, it takes a hell of a lot to actually kill a pepper plant.

Just stop watering it for a while until it dries out, stop feeding it, and probably want to pick that pod. You want the plant to focus on repairing itself and growing some leaves, not trying to ripen fruit.


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RE: Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

Thank you so much Edymnion I couldn't of asked for better detailed answer. :) now I know what to do thanks to you.


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RE: Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

First thing to do is take those ripe pods off. Reduce the demand on the plant as much possible. It looks like you have only a few unripe pods so you could leave those.


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RE: Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

  • Posted by robeb Kansas City area (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 7, 12 at 0:27

"First thing to do is take those ripe pods off. Reduce the demand on the plant as much possible. It looks like you have only a few unripe pods so you could leave those."

The ripe pods are not placing any demands on the plants. The plants are finished with those.

The unripe pods are still pulling energy from the plant. I'd snip those off and wait for your plants to heal up. The advice given by Edymnion is how I'd try to save them.


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RE: Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

Ok so I've been following edymnion advice and snipped off all the pods from all the plants. Hopefully I didn't damage them too much. Another question; should I trim/rip off any damaged leaves or stems? Especially on the plant on the 2nd picture from top to bottom.


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RE: Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

No, leave the leaves on there.

Even if they are damaged, they are still producing food for the plant. Once new leaves come in and it starts looking healthy again, then you can take the damaged ones off if they bother you, but the plant will know when the leaves are more trouble than they're worth and drop them on it's own if it needs to.

Right now the best thing you can do is leave your plants alone and let them sort this out by themselves. I know, thats the hardest part, but our part is to provide the plants what they need and then to get out of their way. The more we mess with them, the more damage we typically do.


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RE: Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

Prolly salt build up from the MG liquid in the soil. Get rid of that water retentive soil and replace it with one that allows excellent air exchange at the roots (search 5-1-1 mix here or in container growing on GW). Think about doing a soil flush once every 8-10 feedings or so. Water only when the soils needs it. Quit watering on a schedule. If your plants have not used all of the moisture from the last watering why would you water again just because its scheduled for a watering? Would you rather eat because you are hungry or because its scheduled? Use a wooded food skewer to check the soil at the root level for moisture. It it is damp don't water again until the skewer comes back mostly dry.

Above all else quit using peat based mixes that hold to much water and salts. And if I were you I would quit using that MG fertilizer and instead use something with more ca in it. If you have a grow shop close to home they have plenty of other options for quality fertilizer which will give you better results than MG.

2 cents


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RE: Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

I agree with earthworm, I would defiantly remove that soil. Looks like root rot to me not over fertilization because the leaves did not even get a chance to turn dark green from the center out. When you clean that bad soil off the roots get a good powdered mycorrhizal inoculant and powder the roots very well with it and also add it to your new well drained soil. Roots are the heart of any plant the dead dried up parts of the leaves are the way the plant responds to save its heart -the roots. I would trim off the dead parts of the leaves they are no use to the plant and will only hinder disease. Root rot is kind of like frost bite for a human; the plant will amputate its leaves to save its core just like our extremities loose circulation and will fall off to conserve heat for our internal organs.
Hope that helps, good luck!


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RE: Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 20, 13 at 12:07

That is always my thought. When someone suspects over use of nutrients or other chemicals I suggest re-potting the plant right away with new, clean soil. It could take weeks or longer for the nutrients to dissipate down to a normal level by themselves. It would also fix an over water problem immediately.
Bruce


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RE: Help! Chili plants in trouble! :(

Hey guys! Update 6 months later. Only 4 plants out of 9 survived :( BUT after taking your advice their healthier than ever!!! This past month they been growing chillies like crazy!! I'm just waiting for them to ripe up to start cutting them away. Thanks guys i couldn't of done it without you' I appreciate it alot


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