What's wrong with my pepper plant? ;_;

Raptor666July 18, 2014



It's a "Big Bertha" pepper plant. I was all happy it had a pepper on it, but so far it's the ONLY pepper and now it has that nasty brown spot. I Googled for brown spots on peppers and only came up with bacterial disease and the suggestion was to rotate crops etc but this is my first year of planting _anything_ at all and it's not affecting the leaves that I can tell, though oddly some are twisted so the undersides are facing up, but all new leaves since I bought it are normal.

I also just noticed that although it had lots of flowers, they fell off or became little green nubs that would become peppers then fell off in various stages, the largest being the size of a US nickel. I thought maybe lack of pollinators, but there's shedtons of bees in the yard on the clover and bumble bees love the cantaloupe flowers nearby, and I see sweat bees hanging around the pepper plants. Besides, I thought pepper plants were self-pollinating.

Whatever this is, it won't spread to the "sweet bell" pepper nearby will it? I'm assuming to cut off the diseased pepper.

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Peter1142(Zone 6b)

Looks like sunscald, but I am not an expert (yet) :) ...

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 12:32PM
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Hi, thanks for the reply. I googled sunscald but that looks much different than whats on my pepper. Sunscald appears to be more white, while this is sort of a nasty brown. But I had no idea peppers could get too much sun, especially since the tag and websites say full sun! Also the fruit had a lot of leaves around it and all the flowers/pepper buds fell off. Can that happen with sun scald?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 12:53AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Sunscald starts as a softened & bleached area, may turn brown, then eventually white -- unless of course, it just plain rots.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:02AM
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Can you get a closeup please?


    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 1:43AM
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I vote sunscald...I too have been having issues with that this year. If your plants are in a cage, put something on top to block the sun when it is hottest. The combination of sun and high temperatures is the culprit...not much you can do about the temperature.

You can pick it and cut off the sunscald...eat the unaffected part of the fruit.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:45AM
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annew21 (zone 7b NC)(7b NC)

Regarding the blossoms, you're correct that peppers mostly self-pollinate. So that's not the problem. What has the weather been like? I have problems with blossom drop when it's too hot.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 12:51PM
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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v140/AzraelVanth/Garden/July2014016.jpg~original is actually about as close up as I can get (the previous links, I didn't notice, but you have to click the magnifying glass icon a few times to zoom all the way in).

The weather was pretty hot, like 87-90F I think, then after I took the pic, these past few days it was all cloudiness and rain, and now we have temps in the 70s by days and 60s by night. :/ *shakes fist at the weather*

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 8:31PM
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Blossom end rot (BER). Most often seen on tomatoes early in the season, just as the first ones are ripening. The Virginia Tech publication linked below gives details. Google to find pictures of BER on peppers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blossom end rot of tomato

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 1:55AM
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I'm not convinced it's BER.

Thanks for the better pic. That was the reason why I asked for a closeup.

It COULD be BER, but the beige portion leads me more towards what everybody else thinks.. sunscald. Happens more to large fruited annuums, like bells. Best way to deal with it is acceptance.. You're almost always going to get a fruit or 3 that get it. Another way is shade cloth -- Peppers love sun, but some shade cloth during midday will help.

If it's BER, you'll see see rotting at the tips on many, if not all, the fruit. Hard to deal with BER once it's there since most forms of Calcium take so long to break down and be usable. Bone meal(or lime, but lime raises ph) added months in advance of planting is recommended to gardeners with Ca deficiency.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 1:53PM
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