Pepper plant (August 11, 2014) in raised bed at rear of home but in best sun...

Asked November 4, 2014, 6:28 PM EST

Pepper plant (August 11, 2014) in raised bed at rear of home but in best sun I have. Plant had one pepper on it when purchased and planted in late May due to travel. The plant did not produce more fruit for a long time but late in season did give me 3 -4 peppers. Three more photos to follow when I can send them. Leaves showed strange curling. Only issue may have been kitchen sink wash and rinse waters I used to water garden that may have had too much Dawn soap in it??? Any suggestions on cause of leaf damage and slow production?

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

There are hundreds of pepper varieties and they fruit at different rates. Some are more finicky than others. Bell peppers are not always the best producers in home gardens and in that case gardeners may be happier with a more productive green pepper such as those in the Italian frying pepper group.

Your peppers did not start producing right away because first they had to get their roots established. Buying a pepper in bloom or already fruiting does not actually lead to faster production. There are many factors that figure into fruit production. Please read over our website's Pepper profile in the Grow It Eat It section for the best production methods:

Yes, soap can cause leaf curl and damage. Rinse water should be all right as long as it is not too soapy.

We also have a pub with a diagnostic chart in our Publications that may be helpful: