why do all my pepper plants keep dying!

michelelcJuly 31, 2011

This was supposed to be the year of the pepper for me! I grew a lot of peppers from seed, which was mostly a failure. Some died during the hardening off process, and most of the others wilted and eventually died. I bought a number of different hot peppers and bell peppers. I have them in a mix of pots and in the ground. Over the last several weeks, one by one, the pepper plants in the ground have wilted and died. Now, 2 of my potted peppers have wilted and died. All were looking great, then I'd look one morning, the plant would be drooping and by the end of the day it was clearly dead. I pulled up and inspected the roots, after reading about nematodes, but I had no nodules on the roots. I don't have spots on the leaves, the leaves are nice and green. I just don't understand what is going on. I don't over or under-water, which is what was suggested a week ago on the pepper forum. Here are pics of the latest victims, can anyone offer any possible cause? It just makes me want to cry. The first one died the next day.

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They really do look either over watered or under watered.

If it's any consolation, I'm have a bad time with my peppers this year too (never had problems like this in the past). I think our lack of sun in April with so much rain and the last two months being the exact opposite has really taken a toll on a lot of plants - particularly tomatoes & peppers.

One other thought, it looks like your deck is a dark color. With the heat that we've been having, it can actually cook your plants and the soil (the dark deck color absorbing the heat & sunlight). I've been watering my deck plants almost every day. The garden gets watered twice a week, but I have clay soil which holds some of the moisture.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 2:43PM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

When one of your pepper plants does it, don't be too fast to just pull it up.

Get a trowel and dig a trowel-wide hole near the roots, and about 6" down. Are you getting moist soil all the way down?

If it's dry at all, that could be the problem. Some soils just don't absorb water as well as the owners think, or they're just watering the top and not enough water is getting down to the roots.

If the soil is moist enough, they may be infected with Fusarium or Verticillium wilt. (see link below from Ohio State U.)


Here is a link that might be useful: Fusarium / Verticillium wilts

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 2:57PM
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My pepper plants are doing the same!!!!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 5:00PM
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It looks like over watering to me....

General rule of thumb is to only water when the leaves show the first sign of wilting... water for like 20 minutes and if after an hour they are still wilted then water another 20 minutes... Check again in an hour...

It ends up being that I only need to water about once a week, and only for about 20 minutes.

I have 34 varieties of hot peppers growing, and started them back around october :D.

There is a specific forum here on GW where the people specialize in peppers... You might think about asking there as well... Though you've already gotten some good advice from some of the previous posters.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 6:22PM
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Yup, that definitely looks like a watering issue. Peppers are pretty susceptible to overwatering, and the confusing part is that the symptoms of overwatering are the same as they are for underwatering.

Always let your peppers dry out and start to wilt a little before watering, then give them a good soak and go back to waiting for them to wilt again.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 11:30AM
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At first glance it most certainly does look like a watering issue, but then why does the plant immediately next to it appear so healthy?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 5:35PM
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Mich I interplant Moss Rose with my peppers. The Moss Rose will wilt before the peppers when drying out. Kinda like an Organic early warning system. Your Peppers look over watered to me to. Mine are in a rock garden. That rock wall should help the peppers for tempature control


    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 6:03PM
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I grow Jalapeno, Chile Grande, Cubanelle, Hungarian Yellow Wax, New Mex Sunrise, Colossal, California Wonder, Diamond, Golden California Wonder, Orange Sun, and Purple Beauty. In separate containers on a Deck. When my peppers start looking like the ones in the above photos it's because I haven't watered them enough. They all seem to require more water during periods of long, hot, days Regardless of variety. When watered and moved into the shade for a day they come right back. I'm not saying they can't show similar symptoms due to over watering, It's just that mine always wilt pretty much in unison With all varieties showing similar symptoms within hours of each other.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 11:57PM
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"General rule of thumb is to only water when the leaves show the first sign of wilting"

This is all you need to know!!!! ;)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 10:47AM
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