Leaves on pepper plants turning yellow are no rare thing, yet they should always look alarming to us! Still, many gardeners react too carefree when these issues emerge; either that or they overreact.
Come what may, those leaves should be studied closely before any action is taken. Proper identification of the root cause will help you take care of your pepper plant better.
- What Are the Causes Of Pepper Leaves Turning Yellow?
- How To Deal With Yellowing Leaves on Pepper Plants?
What Are the Causes Of Pepper Leaves Turning Yellow?
The causes for pepper leaves turning yellow are due to watering stress, issues in the nutrients, or even impacts of different diseases. In addition, they could also be due to bad environmental conditions, or even pest infestations that have discolored the leaves.
– Watering Stress
Overwatering should be your primary suspect when yellow leaves occur! Our approach to watering will almost always be a giant factor in the lives of our plants. Every plant has its own watering requirements and failing to deliver on those by overwatering can trigger water stress and potentially kill the plants!
Peppers also can have too much of a good thing, so you always have to begin with yourself and cut back on watering as soon as you spot yellowing leaves. However, if you have watered it too much, the plant will go through significant stress that would weaken it, due to excess moisture.
– Nutrients Issues
Nutrient deficiencies are another common problem causing pepper leaves to turn yellow. Think of your plants like children — you have to provide some food for them to thrive. The best mineral that would boost its growth would the macro minerals, which, in this case is nitrogen.
Nitrogen is an element any plant cannot do without. This means that when it doesn’t have enough of this mineral, your pepper plants may not grow properly, have their leaves turn yellow, lack fruit production, and develop other poor health-related issues.
If you have nitrogen deficiency, you will easily recognize it by leaves going yellow from bottom to top, as they would appear lighter in their color.
Moreover, the second key element that is necessary for the vibrancy of foliage is calcium, and this one helps your pepper plants to develop healthy fruits and cell structures. A calcium deficiency will usually manifest as curled up and yellow, and brown leaves. Some more mature conditions include blossom rot and black circles on pepper fruits!
Lastly, you would also see your plant getting weak and looking dull from the lack of magnesium. Almost every plant will turn yellow when it is in a magnesium deficiency state while the veins will stay green. If leaves stay yellow for some time, they will entirely turn yellow in no time.
– Impacts of Diseases
One of the most common and destructive diseases attacking your pepper plants is bacterial leaf spots. It can do damage to leaves, causing them to fall, ultimately causing fruit discoloration and malformation too.
Other diseases include fusarium and verticillium wilts which will come from the root area. These diseases disrupt the flow of water and nutrients in plant cells. This condition ultimately shows as wilting, curling, yellowing, and falling of the leaves, in the long run.
Wilt will have your plants acting all strange; during the day they will be wilted, then spring to life in the evening, only to appear sick again or discolored in the morning. The matter is because the plant is in a vulnerable position, and it cannot handle the state it is in.
One more mention has to go to phytophthora blight. This is a rather later impacting situation, which would often occur in the fall and rainy seasons, but will affect your pepper fruits mostly. Just like any other fungal disease, it will begin in leaves, yellowing and graying them, and spreading to fruits in the later stages.
– Bad Environmental Conditions
Even if your watering regime is the right one for your plants, and you water the soil only when it gets dry, yellowing can still creep up on you with seasonal rains or cold spells. Pepper plants enjoy hot and sunny weather when developing and growing, and cold weather spells with temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit will take a toll and yellow those leaves.
Nothing you can do against these, but wait them out and hope your plants come out alive and kicking. No one likes to see those yellow leaves on our pepper plants, and if it weren’t for these, growing peppers would be incredibly easy, but again the environmental conditions would impact it because it is getting out of its norm, and the result of its stress is changing colors. Yellow leaves stay on the plant for some time, giving you enough time to think them through.
– Pest Infestation
Pest infestations are a big problem that can yellow up and curl your leaves when they’re through. Oftentimes, your worst enemies will include aphids, mealybugs, or even spider mites. These are extremely difficult to spot and fight off, but there’s always a way.
These pests would attack and infest the plant, and as they find the habitat a place for them to thrive, they would also increase and develop. On this notion, you would also see the plant stressing, because they are growing, and eating the leaves, which is why the leaves will become vulnerable and weak, showing in their color.
How To Deal With Yellowing Leaves on Pepper Plants?
To deal with yellowing leaves on pepper plants, you must adjust the watering schedule of the plant, and try to fix the nutrient deficiency that it has. You can also try to fight against the diseases with chemicals, and apply some pesticides.
– Adjusting Your Watering Schedule
If you’ve been overwatering your plants, it’s time to stop as this may lead to all of the other problems listed above. To make sure you avoid overwatering is to check your soil every day. Simply inspect your soil and if it appears dry and is dry to the touch, it’s time to water it. If it’s not then you should come back the next day.
However, you must be careful, as different seasons will require different watering regimes. Noting the matter, you should bring it indoors when the weather drops and becomes colder, or you can also schedule when you should water it, and keep it properly irrigated.
– Fixing The Nutrient Deficiency
Seeking balance with a watering can easily be transferred to how you fertilize your plants. Pepper plants won’t be too fussy about additional nutrients, but they still like some amount to be present in the soil to avoid calcium, nitrogen, and magnesium deficiencies.
A well-balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer should be applied twice a year, once in spring and in summer. Cut back on fertilization as soon as plants begin to enter dormancy which is almost exclusively in the fall and winter so that in spring they would thrive with the right health.
– Fighting Against Disease
Sometimes, yellow leaves will be caused by a fungal disease. What’s important to notice is that these won’t kill your plant necessarily, but they won’t allow for a healthy life either. That’s why it’s essential to use fungicides on your pepper plants; however, most store-bought fungicides contain powerful chemicals that can ruin the soil and even harm plants and other crops.
That’s why it’s always best to go with milder, homemade remedies. To prepare your fungicide at home, neem oil and baking soda will do the trick. Simply mix neem or horticultural oil, and even some baking soda with a large part of water and give it a generous splash over your plants every month during the growing season. Wilts won’t be of issue, but you definitely would want to avoid that dangerous leaf scorch!
– Apply Some Pesticide
You don’t always have to reach for those harsh chemicals to treat insect infestations. Especially when it’s about crop-producing plants like pepper. We recommend a more natural solution, and neem oil is the perfect one.
It’s highly efficient when mixed with water and sprayed generously on the plants. Attracting some larger insects can be a beneficial idea, as these will feast on these sap suckers. Don’t worry, they will not harm your plant, they are just the ones responsible to get rid of the pests.
Pepper plant leaves turning yellow isn’t a sight we like to see. We’ve struggled to grow our bell peppers only for them to succumb to this yellow condition! Well, before you make any rash decision try to assess what’s going on:
- Yellow leaves will almost always come as a result of a poorly done water regime, so stop watering plants immediately and look for further symptoms.
- Yellow leaves don’t have to be deadly, but you can experience a fungal disease that can kill and stunt your crops!
- To avoid having to go through any of the trouble with yellow leaves, adjust your watering to the season, feed your plants, and use mild homemade fungicides to keep them healthy.
Now that you know how to handle yellow pepper leaves, we’re sure that your next growing season is going to be successful.
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