Bell pepper plant pictures

Green Pepper Capsicum Seedling Stock Photos and Images

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  • Capsicum annuum. Orange baby pepper seedlings
  • Pepper growing on plant
  • Bell Pepper seedling planted in plastic mulch.
  • Small chili pepper plant planted in the soil – late may- Capsicum annuum
  • Pepper plant (Capsicum annuum)
  • Close-Up View Of The Small Green Vernal Seedling Plant Of Capsicum, Pepper Or Capsicum Annuum Planted In Open Ground Moist Soil
  • Small chili pepper plant planted in the soil – late may- Capsicum annuum
  • Pepper plant (Capsicum annuum)
  • Close-Up View Of The Small Green Vernal Seedling Plant Of Capsicum, Pepper Or Capsicum Annuum Planted In Open Ground Moist Soil
  • Young Bell Pepper seedlings planted row crop.
  • Trinidad Moruga Scorpion (Capsicum chinense) chili pepper plant. Closeup picture, green big leaves. 9 weeks old seedling.
  • Chili pepper seedlings in green glass pot in home interior
  • Bell Pepper seedlings (Capsicum annuum) in a nursery. Pongola, Kwazulu Natal Province, South Africa
  • Chili pepper seedlings in green glass pot isolated on white background
  • Seedlings of bell pepper
  • Capsicum annuum Chili pepper on Plant
  • Green chili pepper sprouts on white background close up with a copy space
  • Pots of seedlings of pepper, standing on a wooden table
  • Rising young chili pepper seedlings in green glass bowl isolated on white background
  • Pots of seedlings of pepper, standing on a wooden table
  • Bird chilli and chilli Capsicum frutescens, Close up
  • green pepper plant on plastic pot with white blackground
  • Seedlings of bell pepper prepared for transplantation
  • Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chili pepper (Capsicum Chinense) Plant in a pot. 4 weeks old.
  • Chili pepper seedlings in green glass pot isolated on white background with a copy space
  • paprika seedling planting in pots indoor
  • Pepper seedlings for sale on red wooden background.
  • Young capsicum plants in the garden covered with straw mulch to protect from drying out and weed control.
  • Seedling of paprika growing in pots indoor
  • Pepper seedlings for sale on red wooden background.
  • paprika plants growing in pots indoor
  • Young capsicum plants in the garden covered with straw mulch to protect from drying out and weed control.
  • paprika plants growing in pots indoor
  • Black and green hot chili pepper plant
  • Covering young capsicum plants with straw mulch to protect from drying out quickly ant to control weed in the garden. Using mulch for weed control, wa
  • Fresh green chili pepper with raindrops in the tree
  • Seedlings of bell pepper in sunlight. Selective focus
  • Covering young capsicum plants with straw mulch to protect from drying out quickly ant to control weed in the garden. Using mulch for weed control, wa
  • paprika plants growing in pots indoor
  • Single seedling of a bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) in a black plastic pot ready for transplanting into a home garden
  • Covering young capsicum plants with straw mulch to protect from drying out quickly ant to control weed in the garden. Using mulch for weed control, wa
  • Shoots of bell peppers sprouts
  • Single seedling of a Jalapeno pepper (Capsicum annuum) in a red plastic pot ready for transplanting into a home garden
  • Covering young capsicum plants with straw mulch to protect from drying out quickly ant to control weed in the garden. Using mulch for weed control, wa
  • Shoots of bell peppers sprouts
  • Single seedling of a hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) with buds and developing fruit in a red plastic pot ready for transplanting into a home garden
  • Covering young capsicum plants with straw mulch to protect from drying out quickly ant to control weed in the garden. Using mulch for weed control, wa
  • Shoots of bell peppers sprouts
  • Closeup of Chili Pepper seedlings sprout (Capsicum annuum) on a black seedling tray, shallow depth of field – Image
  • Hot chilli peppers red, orange, yellow on plant in pot isolated on white background.
  • Three young and growing chili peppers in the pots on white background
  • Red hot chili pepper plant, fresh red chili
  • Hot chilli peppers red, orange, yellow on plant in pot isolated on black background.
  • Bell chili pepper
  • Black and green chilies growing in a vegetable garden
  • young sweet pepper sprout at spring. Growing plant close-up
  • Bell chili pepper
  • Fresh green black chili growing in a vegetable garden
  • hot pepper plant closeup indoors
  • Pack of three pepper seedlings isolated against white
  • Shoots of bell peppers sprouts. Selective focus
  • Two seedlings of sweet bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) in black plastic pots ready for transplanting into a home garden
  • Serrano Chili Pepper seeds in a pot.
  • Shoots of bell peppers sprouts. Selective focus
  • seedling of paprika plant with red paprika in a basket. gardening background.
  • Serrano Chili Pepper seeds in a pot.
  • plant seedlings, padron peppers – pimiento padron,
  • Young pepper cultivation in seed trays
  • Chili Pepper seeds inside new pots in the garden.
  • Chilly peppers in a pot
  • Young pepper cultivation in seed trays
  • Chili Pepper seeds inside new pots in the garden.
  • A shot of some naga chilli seedlings growing in a small pot.
  • Young pepper cultivation in seed trays
  • Fresh black chili growing in a vegetable garden
  • Colourful paprika chilli tree
  • Young pepper cultivation in seed trays
  • White chili tree in the vegetable garden
  • Hot chilli peppers red, orange, yellow on plant in pot isolated on black background.
  • Young pepper cultivation in seed trays
  • White chili growing in a vegetable garden
  • Sprouts of Bulgarian pepper,
  • Red chili with raindrops, Red hot chili
  • Seedling of paprika growing in pots indoor .
  • Small yellow chilli pepper growing in nature on a bush
  • Seedlings of bell pepper, close-up of young foliage of pepper, fresh spring background
  • Seedlings in the greenhouse. Pepper seedlings, close-up young leaves of pepper, fresh spring background.
  • Chilli pepper ‘Apache’ seedlings in pot
  • Seedlings of bell pepper, close-up of young foliage of pepper, fresh spring background
  • Seedlings in the greenhouse. Pepper seedlings, close-up young leaves of pepper, fresh spring background.
  • Seedling chili pepper plant isolated on white background
  • Seedlings of bell pepper, close-up of young foliage of pepper, fresh spring background
  • Saplings in the greenhouse. Pepper seedlings, tomato seedlings, closeup of young leaves of pepper, fresh spring background.
  • Capsicum seedlings growing in a garden allotment plot
  • Seedlings of bell pepper, close-up of young foliage of pepper, fresh spring background
  • Two capsicum seedlings growing in a pot
  • Planting vegetable garden
  • Seedlings of bell pepper, close-up of young foliage of pepper, fresh spring background
  • Planting vegetable garden
  • paprika plants growing in pots indoor . Close up.

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Common Pepper Plant Problems – Pepper Plant Diseases And Pests

Pepper plants are a staple in most vegetable gardens. They’re easy to grow and add great flavor to countless dishes. Mild varieties, like bell peppers, are essential in many kinds of salads and for healthy snacking. Pepper plants are easy to grow, but once in a while a problem will arise. It’s good to become familiar with some issues with peppers in case this happens. If you’re able to identify the problem, it’s easy to search for a solution on Gardening Know How.

Problems Growing Peppers

Whether it’s pepper plant bugs attacking them or the numerous diseases that can affect pepper plants, your first line of defense is knowing what to look for.

Common Pepper Plant Bugs

There are several insects and creatures that enjoy feeding on pepper plants. Most of them can be easily removed by hand or with a spray of soapy water. You’ll need to check your plants frequently for bugs and worms to make sure they don’t proliferate. Keeping the garden area around your pepper plants clean and free of dead leaves and debris is important – insects love to hide and breed in dead or decaying plant material.

Here are some pests that love pepper plants:

  • Cutworms are usually the most damaging to peppers and they especially like the young seedlings.
  • Aphids will cluster beneath pepper plant leaves, excreting honeydew, which attracts other insects. Aphids create spots, distort the plants’ leaves and will make them wilt.
  • Both armyworms and fruitworms love to feed on new, tender pepper pods, and will also occasionally munch on the foliage.
  • Flea beetles attack young plants. If they’re present, you’ll see distinct holes in the foliage.
  • Corn borers find their way to the inside of the pepper pods and destroy them.
  • Hornworms can decimate a pepper plant, but they’re so large you can pluck them off by hand.
  • Whiteflies can be extremely destructive to pepper plants. They can transmit harmful viruses, and cause leaves to shrivel, yellow and drop.

Pepper Plant Diseases

When choosing your pepper plants and seeds, try to stick with disease-resistant varieties. You can look on seed packages for a code to tell you about this. For example, codes like HR: BLS 1-3 or IR: TEV mean that plants grown from these seeds will have a strong resistance to bacterial leaf spot and certain viruses. Bacterial problems with peppers often come from planting infected seeds. One virus can destroy an entire crop of peppers.

The most common diseases in pepper plants are fungus related. Plants may get discolored, grow poorly and develop spots. You may see leaves turning yellow and dropping. Don’t forget that healthy pepper plants require loose, well-drained soil. Destructive strains of fungus can flourish in an environment where there’s too much water.

Here are six of the most common pepper plant diseases:

  • Bacterial leaf spot is one of the more common infections in pepper plants. It causes yellowish spots on the leaves which may turn brown or enlarge, and will cause leaf drop.
  • Mosaic virus is also a common viral infection that attracts insects. There’s not much that can be done to alleviate this one because once it’s invaded the plant, it’s already too late to treat it. It causes limited production and stunting of the plant and its leaves.
  • Southern blight is a fungal disease that’s prevalent in warm climates. Stems rot and the plant wilts, eventually dying.
  • Powdery mildew can appear mostly on the undersides of leaves. It’s associated with warm, humid conditions.
  • Blossom end rot is due to calcium deficiency and sporadic watering. Ripe rot occurs on ripening peppers growing in warm, humid conditions. Harvest peppers prior to use and store any unused peppers in a cool area away from direct light.
  • Sunscald is a result of too much exposure to direct sunlight. The fruit may become light colored and feel dry and papery.

Preventing Pepper Plant Problems

Rotate your vegetable crops each season to prevent buildup in the soil of diseases or insects. Grow disease-resistant pepper varieties. Keep the pepper garden free from debris. Make sure your plants don’t get excessive moisture and soil is well-draining.

Fungal Diseases

Damping-off
Damping-off is a disease of seedlings and occurs on the seeding table when the young plants are just beginning to grow. The disease is caused by a number of species of Pythium as well as Rhizoctonia solani. If the disease attacks the young plants as they are just emerging from the seed, the symptoms of this pre-emergent damping-off is simply seen as areas where no seedlings have emerged. Damping-off in young, emerged, seedlings is seen as a toppling over of the seedlings as the root systems are destroyed by the fungi. It is possible for some plants to be affected by these fungi and still develop into mature plants. If these plants are stressed later in the season the fungi can begin to progress in the plants causing a root rot which can eventually kill the mature plant.
Damping-off is not common when seedlings are grown in inert media such as rockwool, it is more common in soil-based media. The disease is more common where greenhouse sanitation practices are poor (Howard et al 1994) or where growing conditions i.e. soil temperature, watering etc. are not optimal, and the young plants are stressed.
As commercial greenhouse vegetable seedlings and transplants are grown in rockwool, under optimal conditions with proper plant spacing, this disease is generally of minor importance. However, if the young plants are exposed to stress conditions, particularly conditions of cold, excessively moist root zones, then the disease can occur.
The best control for this disease is prevention, obtained by using high quality, fresh seed, and by maintaining optimal growing conditions for the young plants.
Pythium crown and root rot
Pythium crown and root rot caused by a number of Pythium spp. is not common in greenhouse peppers, however it can occur as an extension of an early damping-off problem in the seedlings or as a result of stressful conditions in the greenhouse at transplanting. Transplants infected by Pythium spp. develop slowly, are slow to root into and establish on the sawdust bags, and in extreme circumstances, wilt and slowly die.
The early stage of the crop cycle often determine the success of the entire year as it is important to go into the production cycle with strong, well established plants. The best method for the control of Pythium root rot is to ensure that optimal growing conditions, particularly root zone temperatures and watering, are maintained.
Fusarium stem and fruit rot
The appearance of soft, dark brown or black lesions on the stems at nodes or wound sites are symptoms of Fusarium stem and fruit rot caused by Fusarium solani (Howard et al 1994). Black water-soaked lesions may also develop around the calyx, eventually spreading down the sides of the fruit (Howard et al 1994). Under conditions of high humidity the fungal mycelium is quite apparent on the lesions (Howard et al 1994).
Maintaining a clean greenhouse and good sanitation practices are key factors in preventing fusarium stem and fruit rot. Infected plants should be carefully removed from the greenhouse and buried in a landfill. Maintain good air circulation and avoid conditions where the relative humidity rises above 85%. Avoid wounding fruit and excessive wounding to the stems.
Gray mold
Gray mold, caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, is a common disease of greenhouse crops grown under conditions of high humidity and poor air circulation. The fungus enters the plant from wound sites and olive-green lesions develop that can eventually girdle the stem causing the plant to die (Howard et al 1994). Fruit infections commonly begin at the calyx or at wound sites.
Ensure good air circulation within the crop, maintain the relative humidity in the greenhouse below 85% and avoid the formation of free water on the plants and fruit (Howard et al 1994, Lange and Tantau 1996).
Powdery mildew
Powdery mildew of greenhouse pepper, caused by Leveillula taurica, is not a common problem in Canada. The first report of this disease in Canada was in 1999 in two separate greenhouse locations in Leamington and Vineland, Ontario (Cerkauskas et al 1999). Yield losses of 10 to 15% were associated with the disease in these greenhouses (Cerkauskas et al 1999).
Spots with a white powdery coating develops on the lower surface of the leaves, a slight chlorosis of the upper leaf surface is associated with the spots (Cerkauskas et al 1999).

Virus Diseases

Pepper mild mottle virus (PMMV)
Pepper mild mottle virus occurs practically everywhere that pepper is grown and was first reported in Canada on field grown peppers in 1985 (Howard et al 1994). The first confirmed report of this virus in Alberta greenhouse sweet peppers was in 1998 (Calpas 1998). The presence of the virus is difficult to detect in the greenhouse until the plants begin to bear fruit. Leaf symptoms are easily mistake for other problems such as magnesium and manganese deficiencies. As the disease progresses in the plants, the new growth can be distinctly stunted with a clear mosaic pattern of yellow and green. Fruit symptoms often occur well in advance of the stunting symptoms and include the development of obvious bumps on the fruit as well as colour streaking and green spotting as the fruit matures to color. Fruit tend to have pointed ends and may also develop sunken brown areas on the surface (Howard et al 1994).

Routine use of skim milk (100 gms / 1 Liter) as a dip while handling the plants acts to prevent any potential spread of the virus in the crop. The protein in skim milk binds to the virus and inactivates it. The virus is very stable in plant sap and it is easily spread from plant to plant. Once the plants begin to bear fruit, PMMV infected plants are fairly easy to recognize from symptoms on the fruit. Infected plants should be carefully removed and destroyed as the virus can survive in dry plant debris for up to 25 years (Portree 1996). If all plants bear normal fruit, dipping the hands in skim milk can be discontinued.

Figure 49. Pepper mild mottle virus symptoms.
Pepper mild mottle virus enters the greenhouse primarily on infected seed, transplants, plant sap and plant debris (Howard et al 1994, Portree 1996). The virus is not known to be spread by insects, but is very easily spread the routine handling of the young plants, especially at transplanting (Portree 1996). Many other plants in the Solanaceae family are susceptible, but tomato is not a host of PMMV.
Pepper mild mottle virus is related to tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and pepper cultivars with TM resistance also have a level of resistance to PMMV (Howard et al 1994, Portree 1996).
Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)
Tobacco is not a common disease problem in Canada although it occurs on greenhouse pepper throughout the world (Howard et al 1994, Portree 1996). The symptoms of infection first appear on the leaf as a necrosis along the main veins accompanied by wilting and leaf drop (Howard et al 1994, Portree 1996). New growth on the plants may exhibit mosaic symptoms as well as distorted growth (Howard et al 1994, Portree 1996).
Use disease-free seed and ensure that resistant cultivars are grown. Use a skim milk dip when handling the plants and remove and destroy any infected plants that develop early in the season (Howard et al 1994, Portree 1996). Mature plants can be symptomless carriers of the virus and escape detection later in the season (Portree 1996).
Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV)
Tomato spotted wilt virus has a wide host range, affecting approximately 300 species in 34 families of plants (Howard et al 1994). The virus is spread primarily by thrips, particularly the western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis), and will only become a significant problem in greenhouse pepper crops if the thrips vector is present (Howard et al 1994).
Symptoms of infection on the leaves includes blackish-brown circular spots, or tan spots bordered by a black margin (Howard et al 1994). Symptoms on ripening fruit are quite dramatic with orange to yellow spots surrounded by a green margin, or green spots on a background of the ripe fruit colour of red, yellow or orange. Not all fruit from infected plants may develop fruit symptoms, experience in Alberta pepper greenhouses has shown that only about one-third of the fruit from infected plants will develop symptoms.
Control of this virus is obtained by controlling the thrips vector. Thrips biocontrol programs should be initiated at the beginning of the season. Weeds should be kept under strict control as they can serve to harbour both the thrips vector and the virus. Maintaining a 6 meter weed-free buffer zone around the greenhouse will help prevent the introduction of thrips into the greenhouse, as well as preventing the establishment of virus infected weed plants around the greenhouse which could serve as a source of the virus. Avoid having any ornamental plants in the greenhouse as they can also serve as reservoirs for the virus.

Figure 50. Tomato spotted wilt virus symptom
Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV)
Tomato mosaic virus is not a common problem in greenhouse pepper and causes symptoms very similar to those caused by tobacco mosaic virus (Howard et al 1994).
Control measures are the same as for tobacco mosaic virus. Use disease-free seed and remove and destroy infected plants (Howard et al, 1994).

Physiological Disorders

Blossom end rot
Blossom end rot (BER) is a common disorder of greenhouse peppers, with the symptoms occurring on the pepper fruit. The disorder is associated with a number of environmental stress triggers as well as calcium deficiency (Howard et al 1994). Any condition which causes water stress or a reduction in transpiration, and resultant movement of nutrients through the plants can bring on symptoms. Under watering, fluctuating water conditions, from dry to wet to dry etc., damage to the root system high E.C. in the root zone can cause BER (Howard et al 1994, Portree 1996). An actual calcium deficiency to the plant is rarely the primary cause of the disorder as BER can develop when adequate levels of calcium are being fed to the plants. The environmental factors that can trigger the disorder interfere with the movement of calcium within the plant, causing less calcium to reach the fruit. Some cultivars are more prone to this disorder than others (Portree 1996).
Symptoms of BER begin as soft spots on the fruit which develop into sunken tan-brown lesions with a very distinct
border between affected and healthy tissue. The spots usually occur on the bottom third of the fruit and are not strictly confined to the bottom, or blossom end of the fruit. Affected fruit are unmarketable.
Control is obtained by avoiding conditions of moisture stress or conditions of reduced transpiration in the crop, ensure that the plants receive adequate water and that vapour pressure deficit (VPD) targets are met. Weekly foliar applications of calcium nitrate can have a significant impact on reducing the amount of BER ( Schon 1993).

Figure 51. Blossom end rot.
Sunscald
The symptoms of sunscald on the pepper fruit are very similar to those for blossom end rot. Soft, tan coloured sunken lesions develop fruit that are exposed to direct sunlight. It is important to adjust pruning practices to ensure that all fruit are shaded from direct sunlight. Applying shading to the greenhouse during the summer months will also help reduce the incidence of sunscald. Temperatures of exposed fruit can often be 10 °C higher than shaded fruit, reaching over 35 °C during the mid day of a typical hot, sunny Alberta afternoon, even when air temperatures in the greenhouse are maintained below 27 °C. Fruit temperatures over 35 øC should be avoided (Portree 1996).

Figure 52. Sunscald.
Fruit cracks
This condition is characterized by the appearance of very fine, superficial cracks on the surface of the pepper fruit which gives a rough texture to the fruit (Portree 1996). The development of these cracks are associated with sudden changes in the growth rate of the individual fruit. The appearance of fruit cracks can follow periods of high relative humidity (over 85%), changes from hot sunny weather to cool cloudy weather or vise versa (Portree 1996).
Maintaining a consistent, optimized growing environment is the best way to prevent the development of fruit cracks.
Fruit splitting
The development of large cracks in the fruit is a direct response to high root pressure. Factors that contribute to the development of high root pressure directly impact fruit splitting (Portree 1996). Ensure that optimal VPD targets are met at all times. Adjust the timing of the last watering in the day so as not to water too late. Eliminate any night watering cycles.
Fruit spots
The appearance of small whit dots below the surface of the pepper fruit is associated with excess calcium levels in the fruit, and the subsequent formation of calcium oxalate crystals (Portree 1996). Conditions that promote high root pressure will also favour the development of fruit spots.
Misshapen fruit
The development of misshapen fruit is generally associated with sub-optimal growing conditions at flowering and pollination which result in poor flower development or poor pollination. Section 6.3.7 discusses some of the common causes of misshapen fruit, which include the temperatures being either too cool or too warm. Ensuring that all environmental targets are met and maintained will reduce or eliminate the development of misshapen fruit.

Figure 53. “Wings” on pepper fruit due to low temperatures during pollination
Internal growths in the fruit
The development of growths within the pepper usually appear early in the cropping cycle, generally on the first fruit set (Portree 1996). This results from abnormal tissue development in the honey gland of the fruit (Portree 1996).

Authored by Dr. James Calpas.

A Guide to Pepper Plant Diseases

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Hot, sweet, purple, yellow, wrinkly or bell – I love all peppers. If you find yourself wanting to harvest your peck of peppers, but are having trouble with plant blight, here are some troubleshooting solutions to fight pepper plant diseases.

Blossom End Rot

Blossom end rot is associated with low levels of calcium. Irregular watering and temperatures above 90°F will also cause sunken, water-soaked spots to develop on blossoms or the tips of fruit. Keeping soil evenly moist, mulching around plants and adding limestone if the pH is below 6.0 will reduce this pepper plant disease.

Root-Knot

Plants infected by root-knot nematodes grow less than healthy plants. The range of nematodes is very large and can affect many food crops in addition to peppers. Due to the reduced role of the root system, the leaves show nutrient deficiencies and daytime wilting. Gently digging up the roots and observing the bead-like galls will give you confirmation of the presence of nematodes. This disease is most commonly seen in warm areas with long growing seasons. Light, sandy soils (like Florida) also favor nematode infections. To reduce my chances of pepper plant diseases I plant in new beds or large pots with rich soil. I also companion plant marigolds near the peppers to deter the nematodes. Planting root-knot nematode resistant crops such as “Charleston Belle,” “Carolina Wonder” and “Carolina Cayenne” will also help.

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Pepper Plant Pests

Aphids, leafhoppers, thrips, and whiteflies are common vectors of viruses that can cause severe damage to pepper plants. Aphids, in warm climates, can reproduce asexually. Aphids can be found on the underside of newer leaves and can cause spotting or chlorosis – a condition that makes the leaves not capable of producing sufficient chlorophyll. This causes the leaves to turn yellow-white or pale. Leafhoppers, found worldwide, also cause yellowing of the leaves. In extreme situations, interveinal yellowing and necrotic areas that look like nutrient deficiencies will develop. Whiteflies whose lifecycle can be as quick as 20 days can attack over 500 ornamental, agricultural and agronomic crops. Whiteflies feed on the phloem and can have similar effects to the pepper plants as aphids. Whiteflies can also slow down the growth of the plant and cause defoliation. Using insecticidal soaps controls the virus vectors and reduces disease incidences. Eliminating virus reservoirs such as ornamentals and weeds near the peppers will also help reduce viruses. Releasing predators such as lacewing flies, ladybugs, and praying mantis is one example of natural pest control for gardening. Inter-planting, rotating crops and keeping the foliage dry are other examples of how to naturally reduce pepper plant pests.

Bacterial Spot

Symptoms of Bacterial Spot are first seen as tiny irregular water-soaked areas. The lesions enlarge and turn brown or black with a pale tan center. This occurs on the leaves, stems, and fruit of sweet peppers and are not as severe in hot peppers. High humidity and heavy dew formation on leaves, as well as warm weather, increases the development of Bacterial Spot. The bacterium can be easily transferred by water splashing from infected debris or transplants on to healthy plants. Pepper fruits are infected through fissures, scuffs and insect punctures. Once Bacterial Spot is present, it is difficult to control. Copper-based sprays can help reduce the development of the disease as well as using clean equipment.

Damping-Off and Root Rot

Damping-Off can affect seedlings pre- and post-emergence. Seeds may rot before germinating or young seedlings develop rot at the crown. Eventually, the tissue becomes soft and restricted making the plant wilt and fall over. In addition to peppers, these fungi have a wide host range and can survive for long periods in soil. I have had good luck using pasteurized seeding mix for sowing seeds rather than trying to save a few dollars by using a regular potting or garden soil. Once the seedlings have emerged and have been transplanted, I dry out the seeding mix completely before reseeding. I use the same seeding mix for a few times and then replace the medium. Damping-Off is at its highest when the soil moisture is high, compacted and there is poor ventilation. Overcrowding of seedlings plus cool and damp weather can also aid in seedlings not growing properly. Water splashing moves diseased soil from unhealthy to healthy plants. The main reason why sterilized seeding mix reduces Damping-Off is that it improves drainage and moisture regulation to help prevent soil saturation.

How to Grow Peppers Disease Free

When learning how to grow peppers, it’s important to note that peppers require soil temperatures to be at a minimum of the mid-60s to grow healthy. When growing seedlings indoors, start your seeds 8 to 10 weeks indoors prior to the transplant date will result in more yields. For the best harvest, plant in full sun. Consistent watering and moisture are important for pepper growth. Keeping peppers upright, by staking or caging, will help the leaves stay dry and reduce the chance of fungus, mold, and pests.

Some of my favorite peppers, which have shown no signs of pepper plant diseases thus far, include variegated foliage and fruit fish pepper and an ornamental, yet extremely hot edible, pepper named “Calico.”

What’s your favorite pepper to grow? Do you struggle with pepper plant diseases? Let us know in the comments below.

Pepper

Bacterial Leaf Spot (bacterium – Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria): The bacterium causes spots on both foliage and fruit. Small, yellowish green to brown spots develop on the leaves. Under favorable weather conditions, spots become numerous and sometimes coalesce into large spots. Infected leaves turn yellow and fall off. The disease is seed and soilborne. Infected seed serves as source of infection to emerging seedlings. Splashing rains spread the organism from diseased to healthy plants in the field. Control can be obtained by using disease-free seed and starting a preventative fungicide program early in the growing season. Applications should be made at periodic intervals and continued during the growing season. Genetic resistance may be available in certain types of peppers, however, most of the common green pepper types are susceptible.

Black Spot (unknown, possibly physiological): There are black circular or irregular-shaped spots on mature fruit that are beneath the epidermis and are not raised. The discoloration extends to the interior of the fruit. No pathogens have been found in association with this disease and factors required for its development are not known. The disease occurs occassionally in Texas.

Damping Off (fungi – Rhizoctonia, Pythium spp.): Small, emerging seedlings wilt and die soon after emergence. Root systems of surviving plants are damaged, resulting in stunted plants and poor yield. Use high quality seed that have been treated with a fungicide and plant on a well-drained bed.

Herbicide Injury: Trifluralin (Treflan) injury can cause swelling of the stem near the soil line.

Leaf Spot (fungus – Cercospora capsici): This disease rarely occurs in Texas. Spots on leaves are large and oval or somewhat oblong, with light gray centers. Spots may also be present on the stem. Severely infected leaves turn yellow and drop. The fungus does not live in the soil but is carried in the seed. Most field infections can be traced to infected seed. The spores of the fungus can be carried by wind and splashing rains. Control can be attained by using disease-free seed that are treated with a fungicide. Fungicide applications at 7 to 10 day intervals will check the disease in the field.

Phytophthora Blight (fungus – Phytophthora capsici): The disease is caused by a fungus that lives in the soil and may be carried in seed. Infection usually takes place at the soil line; diseased plants may be girdled at the base causing sudden wilting and death of plant. Diseased parts of the stem shows a dark green, watersoaked band extending from the soil line to several inches up the stem. This band later dies and turns brown. When peppers are grown with furrow irrigation, sometimes a single infected row is observed in the field. This is the result of the fungus being carried by water down the furrow from a diseased plant and resulting in the infection and death of several plants in the same row. Planting on a raised bed and avoiding excessive moisture in the plant bed are the best means of controlling this disease.

Powdery Mildew (fungus – Leveillula taurica): Yellow areas that may become brown occur on the upper leaf surface. A white, powdery growth occurs on the underside of the leaf. Heavy infection may result in defoliation. The disease is favored by warm, humid conditions. It is not a common or significant disease in Texas.

Southern Blight (fungus – Sclerotium rolfsii): The fungus attacks the stem of the plant at or near the soil line, causing the plant to wilt and die. A white, cotton growth is observed on the surface of the stem. Later, pink to brown bodies resembling radish seed appear in the fungal growth. Crop rotation and deep plowing are means of controlling this disease. Soil fungicides may be helpful where Southern Blight has been a problem.

Sunscald (physiological): Portions of the fruit have a dried, bleached appearance and are sunken. The tissue is often colonized by saprophytic fungi, which give it a black, velvety appearance and lead to the wrong conclusion that a fungus is the cause of the problem. This disease occurs as a result of exposure of fruit to direct sunlight and can be a consequence of the defoliation caused by leaf-infecting pathogens.

Mosaic (virus): Several viruses are known to attack pepper. Often plants are infected by a combination of viruses, rather than by a single strain. Young leaves of affected plants show a greenish-yellow mottle and may be curved and irregular in shape. Leaves curl upward and under severe infection are bunched, very small and discolored. Plants are stunted and have a bunched appearance. Fruits are small, misshapen and of poor quality. Severe infection can result in the complete failure of the crop. There are no effective means of control. The virus overwinters in perennial weeds and is transmitted from weeds to healthy plants in the fields by aphids. Environmental conditions favoring aphid multiplication and migration into the field will result in severe outbreaks of the disease. Keeping fields clean of weeds around the edges and turnrows and controlling insects may help in reducing spread of the disease. Resistant varieties are now available in limited supply. Check with your county Extension agent on currently used varieties.

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