Bell Peppers Rotting on Plant

desertfarmerjohnJune 29, 2008

I am having very poor luck with a sweet bell pepper that I planted this year. It is planted in a half whisky barrel with wood chips as mulch. I water the plant daily, as the hot and arid climate of southern Nevada requires. It has grown fine, but produced only one pepper. This pepper grew quickly to about 2 inches by 2 inches and then just rotted without ever ripening. Could excessive heat have caused this? It was over 105 consistently for about a week when the pepper rotted.

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I'm not sure exactly what causes it, but I'm pretty sure that peppers can suffer from blossom end rot like Tomatoes.
Watering every day seems a bit excessive for a bell pepper.
Maybe look up blossom end rot in peppers and hopefully you'll find some good info

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 9:51AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Peppers are indeed subject to both BER (blossom end rot) and Blossom Drop, 2 conditions you may want to research more.

But they can also get plain old sun burn (called sun scorch) and root rot from overwatering. Peppers prefer to dry out a bit between waterings so you might want to check the actual moisture level of you deeper soil by sticking your finger deep into the soil before watering.

In a container that large I wouldn't think they would need daily watering either, no matter hot hot it gets. Try cutting back a little as they will tolerate too little water much better than too much water. Mulching the top of the container will also help.


Here is a link that might be useful: Forum FAQ's: BER

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 11:48AM
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tdscpa(z5 NWKS)

I have grown a lot of peppers for a few years, but never in a container. I know you need to water much more often in containers, but peppers do not like to be real wet.

Also, some varieties I have tried seem to rot as soon as they ripen. I grew one last year, called Orange Sun, that would rot as soon as it turned color.

I have heard you can grow them successfully in containers, so you might try different varieties with a little less water. Mine seem to do fine with much less water than many other similar crops.

In the past, I had great results with "Brigadier" (green to red) and "Gold Standard" (green to yellow). I would suggest you try different varieties, and less water, if you can keep the plants alive. Your temperature should not be a limiting factor. It is over 100 degrees most of the summer here, and my peppers do better than almost anything else I grow.

I would be careful not to wet the plant or the fruit. I have had some rot if it rains when they are almost ripe, and have some folds that hold water. I use drip irrigation only.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 7:00AM
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blossom end rot sounds like what you are experiencing and the cause is not enough calcium reaching the developing fruit. Does the rot start at the bottom of the fruit? If so that is BER.

There are many cultural conditions that can result in not enough calcium getting to the developing fruit, but in a container unless you are using a fertilizer that supplies ample calcium it could be as simple as the potting mix not having enough.

You don't indicate what you have filled the container with as a growing medium. What most container growers do to supply calcium is add either lime or gypsum to the mix at the rate of 1/4 cup per cubic foot. A whiskey barrel half holds (if memory serves) around 3 or so cubic feet.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 8:24AM
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Does this look like BER on lowest flower (at V)? These pics is about two weeks old. That flower is now a bell about 1 & 1/2 x 3/4 inches. The BER seems to be going away on that one bell/blossom...I want to make sure it does, as this is now a very productive plant (5-6 flowers already turning & several more close behind). Third pic shows it the best. Please let me know. Thanks! - Steve

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 12:55PM
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Steve -
To me, it just looks like the flower is dying away, as it should.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 1:05PM
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Ok...I didn't know where BER could be at. Right at the tip of the V where the stem meets the plant of that dying flower is the area I was speaking of. Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 1:20PM
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Sorry, I misunderstood. That coloration that you're seeing is normal and nothing to worry about.

BER will show it's ugly face on the bottom of the fruit itself. Personally, I just cut out the rotted part and use the rest of the pepper.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 2:00PM
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Awesome...thanks! Below are a few updated pics of this plants progress. It seems to be doing great!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 6:35PM
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I might be wrong, I'm no pepper expert but that pot looks super small to me for a full sized pepper plant. Unless that's a dwarf variety (do they make dwarf peppers?) I think it needs a bigger pot. It should self-limit but you'll get more peppers if you give it room to grow.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 7:00PM
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Yea, it's wicked small for these plants. :) I'll be happy with a small yield though.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 12:39AM
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I think the problem is a fly that lays eggs on the pepper. the eggs hatch into maggots that dig inside of the pepper and eat out the inside and the pepper rots.

Here is a link that might be useful: pepper maggot

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 9:18AM
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I'm not sure if you guys can help, but I'm hoping to bring this post up to get help. Is this blossom end rot on my peppers. I know for a fact the answer is yes for my tomatoes, I have done enough research to figure that out. It mostly happens to my early girl, but I think I got a few off my Better Bush as well. Anyway, here are the pictures, any help would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance!

MORE IMPORTANTLY: Can I eat these after I cut off the bad part?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 10:16PM
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You will have much less trouble with chile peppers. there are completely mild chile peppers. bells are so boring and blah. I would never grow bells again. chiles give big big crops. try a very mild new mexico chile. if you want flavor try Chimayo. very mild with super flavor. You might never eat a bell pepper again. you can find them by doing a chimayo search on garden web.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 9:38AM
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Chimayo...i'll have to remember that as something to try next year. I do loooove bells though for certain recipes.

jonesfam: I would guess & say yes it is BER, but I know little to nothing about BER, so hopefully someone else will see this post if we keep discussing bells on it & answer. :)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 12:01PM
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I do need to branch out and think about other peppers, thanks dangould.

tn veggie gardner, i hopes someone call give a reply...i want to eat the yellow pepper!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 9:39PM
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Yea, it does look quite yummy, not counting the little spot. :)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 12:40PM
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flora2b(z6a bc)

I not an expert, but would say the first green pepper looks to me like sunscald, and I would say your tomatoes are suffering from BER, I can't tell what is wrong on the third picture...not clear enough, but I have always just cut these areas out and eaten the fruit if it has no bugs inside.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 12:59PM
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blossom end rot appears at the very bottom of peppers as it does in tomatoes, where the blossom falls off. It can and often does progress to the parts of the pepper, however. If that part of your pepper (the very bottom) looks fine, and you have dark and rotted areas on any other section, then it isn't blossom end rot.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 1:17PM
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I have the same exact type spot on a few of my bell peppers. The spots are not on the blossom ends either, but on the sides.

Could it be that a bug chewed at those parts and as the fruits developed the spot became rotten? I noticed that my latest peppers, the ones that formed in the last couple weeks, have not had such spots. Maybe those type bugs went away? Just a guess?

It looks like I'm going to have a lot of peppers from now until mid-Fall. My plants are starting to really produce. They are about three feet tall and even starting to lean over. I grew peppers for the first time last year and the plants didn't really pump out the peppers until late summer and early fall. At least something grows well in Texas.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 3:28PM
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thanks everyone!
suburbangreen-i grew peppers for the first time last year and i started around this time, so i didn't get much.

i have red, green, yellow, and yummy (mini) peppers growing. they are doing well now.

i wish you well, post pics soon!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 4:58PM
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jonesfam: Ever have a problem with spider mites? I've tried literally ever possible solution presented on Gardenweb to try and get rid of them w/ no luck (couple different sprays including one w/ Neem Oil, soapy water, binegar on pot lining, etc., etc..). :( Fortunately, they are only on my hot peppers & not my bells.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 5:33PM
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don't really know what they are! all my pepper plants are in one big pot, so it's hard for me to see what is going on...probably won't do that next year! this has only happened to a few and my red bells are just beginning to turn and i dont see the spots on them or the yummies (2 so far).

i tried the soapy water on my romas because they were getting attacked when they first started growing and i used some cheap stuff from target. i have two plants in one pot and they are doing quite well, no more stink bugs!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 9:14PM
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The pepper picture posted by jonesfam is exactly what I am dealing with on my bells. I usually have great luck with them but I do wonder if it is the hot weather and too early summer rain here in Maryland (although now it's just hot with little rain) that is causing it. My peppers usually hit a stride this time of year and into the fall. But I would say half of the peppers on my 20 plants have rotting spots. Very disappointing!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 11:27AM
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I have 4 rows of various peppers in my garden. They are all doing well except one of the cayenne peppers had about half the peppers on it rotten. Why is it just one plant that is hit with this and what could be the cause. It isn't the only cayenne I have in the garden and the others are fine.

Here is a link that might be useful: IndianaNature

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 11:19AM
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