Capsicum annuum plants are herbaceous perennials of the Solanaceae family. These plants come in three varieties: hot peppers, ornamental peppers or sweet peppers. Capsicum annuum peppers are commonly a defining ingredient in Mexican, Indian, Italian and Chinese food dishes.
Capsicum annuum plants are susceptible to Anthracnose (Colletotrichum), Phytophthora blight (Phytophthora capsici) and white mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum). Symptoms might include fruit lesions, general wilting and black sores on the stems and branches.
Common bacterial diseases include bacterial leaf spot (Xanthomonas campestris) and bacterial soft rot (Erwinia carotovora). Symptoms include water-soaked spots on the leaves and soft, rotting tissue that turns tan to cream in color.
Other common Capsicum annuum plant diseases include blossom-end rot, the pepper mild mottle virus (PMMoV) and the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). Symptoms include mottled leaves, water-soaked spots on blossom ends and stunted plant growth.
Potential pest problems include the pepper weevil, the broad mite, leafminers and aphids. Capsicum annuum plants are also vulnerable to caterpillar-type pests, particularly cutworms, loopers, melon thrips and various armyworms.
Capsicum annuum diseases can be controlled by planting disease-free seeds or pest-free pepper plant stock.
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Some Common Diseases of Pepper in Florida
- Mobot.org: Capsicum Annuum
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Anthracnose
- Cornell University Vegetable MD Online: Virus Diseases of Pepper
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Blossom End Rot
- Cornell University Vegetable MD Online: Pepper Disease Control
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About this Author
Cat Carson has been a writer, editor and researcher for the past decade. She has professional experience in a variety of media, including the Internet, newspapers, newsletters and magazines. Her work has appeared on websites like eHow.com and GardenGuides.com, among others. Carson holds a master’s degrees in writing and cultural anthropology, and is currently working on her doctoral degree in psychology.