What should I do with my dying pepper plants?

Asked July 23, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT

The bell pepper plants in my garden were bountiful until their leaves started to wilt and then drop off from the bottoms of the plants. The leaves still on the plants are continuing to curl up and wilt and have brown spots. When the problem started, I pulled up the affected plant, but now all the plants are affected. I live in Willards, Maryland. Should I take one of the plants to the Salisbury Department of Agriculture for a diagnosis, or should I pull up all the plants?

Wicomico County Maryland

1 Response

Your pepper plants seem to have some type of foliar disease. The disease could be bacterial leaf spot, which often occurs in conditions of high temperature and wet or very damp weather. You should pull all the infected plants and dispose of them in a large plastic bag so that the disease does not spread to the rest of the garden. Also, look at the plants' roots because pepper plants get root knot nematodes as well. Next year, plant varieties that are resistant to bacterial leaf spot. To determine the exact problem with the plants, take a sample to the Wicomico Cooperative Extension Service office.