Leaves falling off pepper plants are caused by many factors, like improper watering, mineral deficiency, temperature stresses, insect infestation, and disease infections.

Leaves Falling off Pepper Plants

Don’t worry; each of these reasons is curable. Continue reading to learn what causes leaves to drop and how you can deal with them easily.

What is the Reason Behind Leaves Falling off Pepper Plants?

The reason behind the shedding of pepper plant leaves is not applying water adequately. In addition, insect pests, infections, and nutrient stress can cause leaves to fall off. Furthermore, if there are any temperature fluctuations, every leaf will be affected and may detach from the plant.

– Overwatering

The most common reason behind the leaf dropping of pepper plants is adding more water than required. Peppers love moist soil, so you must add more water to them than other plants. But sometimes growers need to be more careful with the watering as they make the soil overly moist.

Over-adding water can cause many problems, and the most damaging are fungal attacks and oxygen stress. Fungus loves the wet environment, so their growth fastens up and eventually attacks the plants when you make soils excessively moist. Similarly, the roots will stay submerged when you pour more water, limiting oxygen availability.

Both fungal growth and oxygen restriction can impact root performance. In addition, the root hairs will find it hard to absorb moisture and minerals from the soil, stopping the plants’ physiological functions. As a result, the leaves will start to fall off with time.

– Underwatering

As mentioned above, pepper plants like to be grown in moist soil. So, if you don’t give them water when the soil gets dry, underwatering or drought stress will occur. Since water is the main part of all the physiological functions happening in plants, a lack of it will halt them.

When the physiological functions stop, leaves curl with many wrinkle lines. In most cases, plants lose their vigor when leaves curl up, giving them a sick and fragile look. Eventually, the leaves will droop down and detach from the plant.

– Adding Hard Water

When you grow peppers, adding only soft water with no impurities is important, or else get ready to face pepper plant leaf problems. It is because adding hard water can cause leaf discoloration and shedding. Let us explain.

Hard water is high in salts, lime, and other minerals. When you add these substances to the soil, these substances will accumulate near the roots. This will make it hard for the roots to absorb water smoothly, leading to drought stress.

Furthermore, roots will also uptake hard water’s excessive salts and minerals. As a result, they will travel to the leaves and impact photosynthesis. When this happens, leaves will weaken and fall off the ground.

– Temperature Stress

When you notice pepper plant drooping leaves, they might face temperature stress. A pepper plant grows in a somewhat warm climate and is sensitive to cold. It ideally prefers 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is not within this range, it’s a no-brainer that leaf problems will occur.

The Reasons Behind Leaves Falling off Pepper Plants

California pepper is known to tolerate a little higher temperatures. Still, if the heat or cold stress persists, you will ultimately see a California pepper tree losing leaves. Want to know what these temperature fluctuations do to the peppers?

When the temperature goes higher than 80 degrees Fahrenheit, leaves will start evaporating moisture to cool down. A time will come when there won’t be enough water within the plants, so leaf curling will start to happen. With time, these leaves will detach and die.

In cool temperatures, the physiological processes slow down. Since plants depend on these processes for energy, they will start getting weaker day by day. The first sign of weakness will be leaf twisting. Such leaves will then drop off.

– Disease Attack

Pepper plants might get infected with bacterial and fungal infections if you are not careful. Let’s have a look at bacterial disease first. Bacterial leaf spot is a common pepper disease that mainly affects the leaves. 

To identify this disease, look for water-soaked spots on the upper side of the leaves. With time, the plants will have brown spots, which you should take as an indication that the disease has gotten severe. If you don’t do anything, the leaves will start shedding.

When you see pepper plant leaves turning yellow and falling off, chances are root rot (a fungal disease) has attacked. Plants usually face this problem when they overwater the soil regularly. 

The fungus attacks the root, and you can smell a foul odor near the soil. Such roots cannot uptake water and nutrients, so leaves die after some time. The dying leaves will also have yellow to brown blotches.

– Pest Attack

If you see pepper plants turning yellow with many insects around them, they are under pest attack. Aphid is the main enemy, and you will most likely see lots of them on the underside of the leaves.

You might also see thrips and spider mites on the pepper leaves. They puncture the leaf and drink the cell sap, weakening it. If their infestation gets severe, leaf falling will be common.

– Lack of Nutrition

Nutrient deficiencies are the last main reason behind the leaf deterioration of pepper plants. When soil lacks critical nutrients, plants will face lots of complications. Stunted growth is one of them.

But the one that hurts peppers the most is leaves shedding. It happens because plants need nutrients (especially nitrogen) to conduct photosynthesis. Lack of these nutrients will slow down or completely stop this food generation process. When this happens, leaves cannot sustain for long and eventually fall off.

So, can a pepper plant survive without leaves? Yes, they can, but there’s a problem. Such plants won’t produce any flowers and fruits. So, using your effort and resources sparingly on leafless peppers is better.

How Do You Stop the Leaves of Pepper Plants From Falling?

To stop the leaves from pepper plants falling, you should give proper water to the plants. It’s also important to choose the right spot to grow them where they receive lighting without facing any temperature stress. Furthermore, use organic insect repellents and follow care measures to control pests and diseases.

– Apply Accurate Watering

When growing peppers, it is important to take care of the watering. These plants are always thirsty, so ensure the soil stays partially wet. The best way to ensure this is to add water regularly in controlled quantities. You should first check how much moisture is present in the soil.

Don’t add water if you sense it is plenty; otherwise, overwatering problems will arise. Long story short, wait for the soil to dry, and then apply pure water.

– Protect Plants From Stressors

You should protect your plants from environmental stresses as much as you can. For example, if there is high-temperature stress, you should relocate the pots to shady areas, especially during the peak sunny hours. If you can’t, then provide shade using some material or cloth. You can also spray cold water when there is heat stress.

The Reasons Behind Leaves Falling off Pepper Plants

If the temperature is cold, then bring the pots inside your home. You should also use heaters and grow lights so plants get the environment they need to thrive. We also suggest mulching the soil to increase its temperature to optimal levels.

– Add Nutrients Timeously

Yellow leaves on any plant are undesirable (unless it is their natural color). It is because when leaves discolor, the next step is their shedding. Generally, leaves become yellow when you don’t give a dose of fertilizers.

So, if the whole leaf is yellow or has yellowish spots and you haven’t applied fertilizers in the last few weeks, there are higher chances of nutrient stress. You should give the nitrogen-rich fertilizers as peppers need this nutrient the most as nitrogen forms chlorophyll, which is responsible for photosynthesis. That is why leaves grow more and look greener after nitrogen application.

– Control Insect Population

To control insects, the best thing to do is to use organic repellents to shoo them away. We recommend you use neem oil, diatomaceous earth, and baking soda. If every plant in your garden is affected by these insects, spray chemical insecticides.

– Deal With Plant Diseases

When fungal and bacterial diseases attack plants, it is important to start the treatments immediately. First, remove wilted leaves and shoots to stop the spread. Next, let the soil dry, as pathogens love the humid medium. You can also replace the wet top layer of soil with compost.

If the disease spreads and more leaves drop, apply appropriate fungicide and bactericide. You should also keep weeds from growing in your garden as they compete with the main plants for water and nutrients. Moreover, for healthy pepper plants, you should also maintain pot-to-pot or plant-to-plant distance. This will improve aeration, and no plant will face light stress either.

Conclusion of Leaves Falling off Pepper Plants


All in all, leaves must stay attached to pepper plants if you want to get top-quality yield, and this is exactly what we discussed here.

Check out the main points of the whole article to refresh every important detail:

  • Ensure the soil stays partially moist to avoid overwatering and underwatering.
  • Add fertilizers regularly to make sure they don’t face mineral deficiencies.
  • Use organic insecticide repellents to keep insect infestation in check.
  • Remove any infected part and apply appropriate fungicides and bactericides to cure diseases.

Follow these points carefully if you want your plants to be top-notch.

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