Vegetable Garden Troubleshooting for Peppers

Overview

Peppers (Capsicum) are members of the nightshade family. Native to America, peppers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and flavors. Pepper plants are easy to grow in the home garden, given the proper amount of water and care. For best results, plant disease- and pest-resistant varieties and those that are suited for growth in your region, and don't plant them until the weather warms up.

Step 1

Destroy insect larvae in early spring by cultivating the soil deeply.

Step 2

Remove weeds as they appear. Weeds harbor fungal spores and are hosts to several insects, such as thrips.

Step 3

Avoid overhead watering to discourage fungal diseases.

Step 4

Spray the pepper plant with insecticidal soap, according to package directions, if the leaves are wilted, yellow or appear to be scorched. These are symptoms of whitefly and leafhopper infestations.

Step 5

Look for small holes in the foliage, especially the lower leaves. This could be a sign of flea beetles. Pick them off the pepper plants and destroy them.

Step 6

Look for tomato hornworms (3- to 4-inch-long green insects that look like caterpillars) or Colorado potato beetles (1/3-inch-long yellow insects with black stripes) if the leaves appear to have been eaten. Pick them off the plant and destroy them. Dust the plants with Sevin, according to package instructions.

Step 7

Water the soil regularly to avoid blossom end rot. This disease is characterized by sunken spots on the blossom end of the pepper that turn black. Keep the soil consistently moist and mulch around the plants to conserve moisture in the soil.

Step 8

Grow peppers off of the soil. Anthracnose, a fungal disease, lives in the soil and will destroy the peppers. If you see sunken areas on the peppers, it may be a symptom of anthracnose. Remove and destroy all affected peppers and dust the plants with a copper-based fungicide, according to package directions.

Things You'll Need

  • Insecticidal soap
  • Sevin dust
  • Mulch
  • Copper-based fungicide

References

  • Harvest To Table: Pepper Growing Problems: Troubleshooting
  • West Virginia University Extension Service: Growing Peppers
Keywords: troubleshoot pepper plants, pepper plant pests, pepper plant diseases

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, providing writing services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for Ancestry.com, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.