banana peppers sun scorch?

Asked March 29, 2013, 4:05 PM EDT

I always plant 3 or 4 nursery grown sweet banana peppers in pots each year. I mix in new compost and garden soil amounting to about a third of the pot and add some egg shells for calsium. They usually grow very well and are prolific. They are on the west side of the yard and get western sun but it is a small yard with lots of trees so there is no more than 5 or 6 hours of direct sunlight. Last year the fruit got large very white patches on it. I went to Denver Botanical gardens library and the only thing I found that looked the same were peppers that had been sun scorched. What could have been different about last year? How could peppers get scorched with such minimal direct sun? Should I try to shade them this year? thank you.

Jefferson County Colorado

1 Response

Peppers are vulnerable to sunscald during hot weather accompanied by abundant sunshine, which I suspect was the problem last year. During periods when the fruit is expanding rapidly, the potential for the problem is even more severe as the expanding tissue is very succulent and susceptible to sunscald.
In general, make sure your plants have adequate water. Plants with good nutrition and water grow a thicker leaf canopy to help protect fruit.
You certainly can shade plants with shade cloth to help reduce the problem. I've seen this done on crops growing at the Rocky Ford research station and the growers were having good results.