White spots on pepper leaves mean that your peppers are either attacked by pests or are growing in the wrong conditions.
This means that you want to act quickly as soon as you see white spots on your pepper leaves. Read this article to learn why pepper leaves get white spots and how to fix the problem.
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- Why Are There White Spots on Your Pepper Leaves?
- How To Fix the White Spots on Your Pepper Leaves?
Why Are There White Spots on Your Pepper Leaves?
There are white spots on your pepper leaves because of insects, bacteria, and other pest attacks. Your pepper leaves can also get white spots when they grow in the wrong light and humidity exposure. Also, if you over- or under-feed the peppers, they could get white spots.
– Powdery Mildew and Other Fungal Attacks
Powdery mildew is indeed the most popular reason why there are white leaf spots on your peppers. The small white spots are caused by white mold or fungi which you can easily recognize if you look at the leaves closer. This fungus mostly attacks plants that do not grow in the right conditions.
While there is powdery mildew on pepper plants, your peppers can also be attacked by the phytophthora blight (a fungus) which can also cause pale or white spots. Note that peppers easily spread fungi from one plant to the next, so you should check other plants in the garden if they have the infection or not.
– Nutrient Deficiency
If you see white spots on your pepper leaves, it could be due to calcium deficiency. If the spots are somewhat pale and look large, it could be nitrogen, iron, manganese, or magnesium deficiency. Plants need nutrients for almost everything, so if your pepper plants look sick, it will be good of you to check what you are feeding them.
When last did your peppers get a quality balanced fertilizer or one recommended for their specific growing phase?
Is their soil amended with rich organic nutrients? Putting the nutrient needs of your pepper plants into consideration can help you know if your peppers have spots because of nutrient deficiency or not.
– Light Problems
Another common reason why pepper plants have white leaf spots is their exposure to light. You can see yellow spots on pepper leaves when you grow your pepper plants in too little or too much light.
When the light is not enough, the spots appear then the entire lead becomes pale. You should also notice that the pepper plants will become stretchy and weak.
When the exposure to light, especially the summer sun is too much, the spots appear then are followed by brown and curled leaves.
These sunscald spots will usually appear around the edges of your pepper leaves. You should also notice that pepper substrate dries up quickly if the sun is too much for the plants.
– Humidity Problems
Humidity problems can lead to plant edema on your pepper leaves. This shows tiny white or yellow spots in your pepper leaves, especially around the tips and edges.
This usually occurs when transpiration does not take place because of an excessively high level of humidity in the atmosphere, causing water to be trapped in your pepper plants. Note that this can lead to secondary diseases.
Many gardeners do not consider humidity when growing their peppers and other plants because they do not see humidity or think that it is important. Well, it is important and may be the reason why your peppers have spots in their leaves.
– Overfeeding the Peppers With Organic Fertilizer
Nutrient deficiency causes pale spots on your pepper leaves, sure. What about too many nutrients? Well, if the nutrients are inorganic, your pepper plants may look pale and their leaves will burn.
For organic nutrients, however, too many of them can burn your peppers and also attract fungi such as powdery mildew to attack your peppers.
Understand that the role of most fungi species is to decompose organic materials. This means that when the fresh organic nutrients in the soil are too many, you will see fungi covering the soil and some parts of your pepper plants.
This is why you must ensure that your animal manure gets fully rotted before you use it as fertilizer for your plants.
– Pest Attack
Pests like spider mites, aphids, and thrips love attacking peppers. They suck the juices of your pepper plants and the plants will look pale and weak.
Most of these pests do not give your pepper leaves bite marks, so you may think that the plants are attacked by microbes. However, you only need to turn the pepper leaves or examine their petioles to see white spots that can be invertebrate pests.
Insects like weevils lay their white eggs on pepper leaves while spider mites cover themselves in white web-like silk. As you can see, these pests may just be the reason why you are seeing white spots on the peppers.
– Bacterial and Viral Infections
Bacterial attacks on pepper plants such as bacterial leaf spot are very common, especially in pepper plants growing in poor soil.
You should first spot white, pale, yellow, or brown spots on a pepper leaf and then see the spots multiplying to other leaves. As soon as you see a bacterial spot, check other plants in your garden and try to find the source of the disease.
You may also see viral attacks like the mosaic virus which makes white, pale, brown, and black spots on bell pepper leaves. The tiny brown spots on pepper leaves will usually have a white or pale flaky center as the plants will try to dry up the parts of the leaves with the infection to try to trap the virus.
– Could Be Dust or Paint
Have you thought for a second if the white spots on your pepper leaves are just dirt, paint, or dust? It could be that someone splashed paint or any white liquid on the leaves and now the spots are stuck on the leaves. Do you have paint nearby? Do your kids have access to white paint? If yes, do not strike out this possibility.
If the little white spots on your peppers are just dust, they should be easy to wipe out. If they are painted, you need to check that the plants are okay because paint may be toxic to peppers.
How To Fix the White Spots on Your Pepper Leaves?
To fix the white spots on your pepper leaves you make use of fungicides, properly feed your pepper, treat the bacterial and fungal infection, use baking soda or neem oil and, if all else fails, dispose of your sick peppers.
– Isolate and Prune the Affected Peppers
Immediately after you see white spots on your pepper leaves, you should either isolate the plant, prune it, or both.
If you can change the growing location of the plant, that would be great as it can help you to examine the plant while keeping it far from others. If you prune it at the same place, you have no guarantee that the white spots will not return unless you treat the plant.
The purpose of examining the plant before pruning them off is to help you know the exact cause of the white spots so that you can find a solution.
– Make Use of Fungicides
Ever wondered how to treat fungus on pepper plants? Well, think no further. All you need to do is to go to a gardening store nearby and buy any plant-safe fungicides for your peppers.
Fungicides are mostly chemical products that kill fungi or inhibit fungal growth in crops. You just need to buy the right fungicide for the specific fungi attacking your peppers.
Please do not use too many of the fungicides as they can be toxic in large amounts. Just follow the instructions and ensure that you see progress on the inhibition of the spots before you continue using the product.
– Properly Feed Your Pepper Plants
What happens when you properly feed your plants? Well, they get the full dosage of every nutrient that they need and their leaves will stay green and healthy. Your pepper plants will also produce beautiful flowers and healthy fruits. Just ensure that you feed your peppers with the right type of fertilizer.
Make sure that the substrate has nutrients, especially organic ones that do not leach off the substrate quickly. Also, remember that plants of a specific age have their unique fertilizer needs. For example, vegetative peppers need fertilizer rich in nitrogen.
– Grow Your Plants at the Right Spot
Consider the temperature, humidity, and lighting needs of your peppers. Grow your pepper plants at 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, 70 percent humidity, and ensure that they get at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.
So long as you can grow the plants in the right condition as well as use every other tip in this article, you will have nothing to worry about the health of the plants.
– Use Baking Soda or Neem Oil
Baking soda and neem oil are organic products that you want to keep nearby for the sake of the health of your plants.
Baking soda is a great product to repel fungi and other harmful microbes from your peppers. Baking soda may not look like much, but your peppers with white spots can become fully green once again when you apply the soda well.
You only need to mix the powder with water and regularly spray the solution on your pepper leaves. It would also help if you can spray some of the liquid solution on the soil. However, do not use too much of it.
As for neem oil, it helps to repel larger pests such as insects, spiders, and other invertebrates. Spray the oil early in the morning or at night to repel these insects. Please do not use too much of it so that your pepper leaves do not get burnt or rotten.
– Treating the Bacteria and Fungi
The best way in treating bacterial leaf spot on pepper plants as well as other diseases such as the mosaic virus is to use a store-bought chemical product to eliminate the bacteria and viruses in your plant.
These chemical products are guaranteed to work so long as you are using the right product for the specific infection in your plants.
However, you want to consider boosting the health of your plants so that they do not need to rely on medicine to get well.
Feed your plants with a fertilizer that is rich in potassium and phosphorus. These nutrients help plants to easily fight off diseases. Just make sure that your plants are not lacking nutrients.
– Dispose of Your Sick Peppers
As soon as you see spots on the leaves of your common pepper plants, isolate them and try to treat them. However, if the spots continue to spread from one leaf to the next, you have no other choice than to dispose of the plants so that it does not spread the disease to healthy plants.
When disposing of the pepper plant, throw the plant far away from your garden or into your waste bin so that the disease (if any) does not spread to your healthy plants. Please note that you should try to fix the problem first before you think of disposing of the sick plants.
Growing peppers will now be easier for you as you now know different pepper problems that you should watch out for if you do not want to see white spots on the plants.
Here are some reminders from this article:
- Powdery mildew attacks peppers and other types of plants, so you want to protect your peppers from the fungal attack.
- Overfeeding your peppers with organic fertilizer can lead to fungal attacks as fungi will try to decompose the manure and spread on the plant.
- Just in case you want a quick solution to your fungi, bacteria, or virus problems, make use of chemical products (such as fungicides) from local stores.
- Organic products that can repel pests from your plants are neem oil and baking soda.
- If your sick plants do not get well after trying so many products on them, dispose of them.
Now go check your pepper plant leaves as you are ready to cure them of their white spots.