Healthy dark green leaves fell off Pepper Plants?

musickep(7)June 1, 2011

After planting several red pepper plants that were healthy, and a garden that everything else is doing fine, all of a sudden, the leaves fell off my pepper plants (2). Not sure why? Will some grow back? Will the plant produce?

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Do you have starlings nesting nearby?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 10:12PM
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No, Im not sure what starlings are? I had tomatoes in the same spot last year. Not sure if that matters...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 10:21PM
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Some birds such as starlings and magpies may pull the leaves off of young plants, either to look for bugs or because the devil makes them do it. When I found leaves picked off my peppers, I put closed top cages over them. Problem solved.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 11:07PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

No, Im not sure what starlings are?

Um, possibly the most numerous bird in the U.S.? Brought here from England on a whim and quickly became a destructive pest and you can't swing a dead cat anymore without hitting 20?


    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 1:20AM
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I never saw any birds near the garden. (I have a cat anyhow that would take care of that) When I went to touch one of the pepper plants - another leaf fell off. So Im sure it wasn't a bird. Its not birds or bugs. It has to be in the soil because none of my pepper plants are doing well. And I planted a slew of them! Everything else is doing well though. I am wondering if because the leaves fell off, if the plant will produce? will it grow new leaves etc? Or should I just replace them with new plants?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 2:02PM
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I'm having the same problem. I watered my plants with water mixed with miracle grow and the next day I noticed I had aphids. So I looked online and found a mix to get rid of the aphids. It was just water, dish soap, and olive oil. It killed the bugs but I read that the oil could kill the leaves if in direct sunlight so I kept them in the shade. My friend who has been growing the peppers said they need sun to grow and flower. So I moved them back in the sun. I sprayed with regular water because I was still worried about the oil on the leaves. Now I think I've over watered because the leaves are curling up and falling off. They even fall off just by barely touching the leaves. I have them in the sun now. And hoping if I don't water them for a few days if this will help. I'm new at gardening so I think my extra care is what is killing my plant. I hope I can save them but we'll see

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 2:14PM
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Im too am having this problem with my leaves I have many types of peppers ranging from sweet banana to bhut jolokia any tips will b helpful I am pretty watchfull of mine and I can say its not birds insects or cats

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 2:38PM
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I had all the leaves on my bell pepper plant wither and fall off after three days of heavy rain. All my plants looked wilted but perked right back up--except the bell pepper. It just got worse and then all the leaves fell off. I'm hoping somehow it can be saved. I have another type of pepper growing too, and it is still doing just fine.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 2:51PM
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Maybe some kind of blight or virus or fungus? Maybe spray them with a fungicide that is safe for vegetables? Maybe prevent soil from splashing up on the lower leaves by using mulch, since some diseases are harbored in the soil. Maybe don't plant peppers in the same spot every year. Maybe put a spoonful of epsom salts around the base or water them with dissolved epsom salts, it is supposed to make cell walls stronger.

Good luck, I don't know what is causing your leaf fall, it sounds like damping off disease, but I thought that mostly affected young plants. Maybe some pictures would help if you could post them.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 4:17PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

My pepper leaves fell off too! We were in a drought then and I thought maybe hubby wasn't watering enough. Mine were California Wonder bell peppers.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 5:25PM
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Several people in more than one thread are having pepper leaf loss. Wonder if a virus spread in commercial greenhouses the pepper starts were raised in, or if there is a genetic defect in the seeds sold nationwide, some kind of GM weakness.

I bought my pepper starts at Menards, they are Red Valencia, only lost about 5 out of 36 of them. They looked poorly for a while but much better after a rain and spraying with fertilizer and epsom salts.

Where did everyone else get their pepper starts and what kind are they? Is anyone growing heirloom or OP from seed and not having problems?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 12:42AM
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tdscpa(z5 NWKS)

I too lost a lot of leaves from pepper plants shortly after I planted them out in mid-May. It was very windy, and the plants were fully exposed to the outside for quite awhile before being set out, but had been only partially exposed to our wind, that really picked up soon after I set them out.

Many of them got down to just a stem and half a dozen leaves near the top. It took them a while to start to grow, but now they are all very bushy and two feet tall or taller, and almost all have set on at least a few peppers.

They are now on the way to producing another bumper pepper crop.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 5:46AM
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i am havinh a issue similar to teh above. I got my seeds at wal mart. first thing i want to say is these are really difficult plants to grow. they take forever to germinate and are easily stunted by the harsh new england weather.

so despite thier dificulty to grow i am determined to get a good harvest out of a bell pepper plant. i germinated a couple seeds. the dog ripped one out of the pot and i put the pother inside a small grow box with the lights on 12/12 (first mistake) after doing a bit of reading i switched the light schedule to 18/6 and now the leaves are falling off. I believe it may be overwatering though i havent been watering much and they are in well drained soil, above mentioned light green leaves (which mine are turning light green) and then falling off, they are all sitting right in the bucket. i do know i have a couple fungus gnaats kicking around and i spray a pesticide to kill them but it is rated for vegatable plants. it is called Eight insect control, and says trusted by bonide since 1987 (or something like that).

my pepper plants are starting to blossom at a mere 8 inces tall. i think the plant is short because of the 12/12 light schedule i had it on in the begining wich forced it to stop vertical growth and begin its flowering period. (i am assuming bell pepper plants are a photoperiod plant)

so the question is, is it bad genetics?
is it overwatering?
is it the change in light schedule and the plant reverting back to a vegatative growth stage?
is it insect damage (i really dont think it is)

just figured i would put my 2 cents in maybe it will help someone else along the way :)

any responses will be greatly appreciated.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 10:32AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

Hey Matt! You may not a get a lot of reaction since this thread was started so long ago... Have you done a few searches of the Hot Pepper forum? There is a wealth of information about growing these plants in all sorts of conditions over there, very detailed. And if you still need to ask questions, that forum is pretty active right now, so you'll likely get a reply quickly. Anyhow, I know it is not unusual for peppers to bloom while smaller. I don't believe this stops their growth, but it is not my area of expertise. Leaf drop is certainly a sign of stress and from your description so far, too much water or too cool temperatures for the amount of water sound possible. Take a tour of the Hot Pepper forum, you'll enjoy it. Cheers!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 11:06AM
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Some pepper plants will start to flower early, it's not uncommon. Land-race "Chimayo" peppers are notorious for very early flowering extremely low-set on the plant (enough were pods will drag the ground at full expected size).

You can just pick the flower off the plant since it's unlikely you want your plant devoting energy to that right now.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 6:12PM
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tryinginfla9b(9B North Port, FL)

I've had the same problem for the past 2 years, my peppers are full of leaves and look healthy and then the leaves start wrinkling and falling off. It didn't seem to affect my harvest as new growth seemed to come back rapidly, but the plants just look ugly. I put it down to them being extremely fussy about watering, mainly over-watering. I let a few of them go without any attention and they are now loaded with peppers, but the leaves are still ugly and fall off easily when touched.

I check them for aphids, spider-mites, and fungus, but am stumped, I tried different fertilizer regimes on different plants, but to no avail. I wondering if it's some kind of virus.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 9:36PM
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