Unidentified pepper leaf symptoms

Asked May 30, 2018, 12:41 AM EDT

Hello. Fairly new to gardening. First time peppers, I planted a bunch of different varieties hot and sweet in big planter beds that I built on my terrace.

First my jalapeno started to get yellow leaves in the younger growth. I thought perhaps I was overwatering. In the first days when I planted the seedlings, it was quite hot and I probably gave them too much H20. Also, two nearby tomato plants were getting watered often and some of the water was spilling over in to pepper territory. So I laid off the water, but not much changed. Then some spots turned up, and now several other peppers have them.

I should note that I had a bit of an aphid and fungus gnat problem, and sprayed them with neem and soap, sometimes on cloudy days, mostly in the evening, but not always (I know that's bad). Could the spots be the neem and soap affecting the leaf ? I started washing the plants in the mornings with water to clean the leaves of residue, but it seems to be getting worse.

A few more details that might be of help. I'm using Canna bio terra plus soil (lots of peat and coco) with a current stable PH of 7, amended with 10% worm humus, some dolomite, a guano rich in micro elements and phosphorous, a basic 4-5-5 blood fish and bone compound, and I also added a little potassium sulphate to give the mix a higher PK ratio to N and ensure enough sulphur. Also added some biochar for good measure. My tomatoes have absolutely loved the mix and are thriving beyond belief. The tomatoes have been in the soil for about 6 weeks, but the peppers were set out about 3 weeks ago. We had very warm weather the first week, and then unseasonably cool weather and rain, with 55 degree nights, and not much more than 70 degree days.

The spots seem to appear in areas where water collects and may not evaporate overnight. I've been spraying them with Epsom salts (1 teaspoon per litre) and pure cold pressed neem + Dr. Bronners soap mix on a regular basis. I'm wondering if it could be damage from that and sun exposure, because it doesn't really manifest as a fungus or bacterial infection. When I searched on-line for typical bacterial and fungal diseases that affect peppers., the lesions tend to appear water soaked. In this case, they are not. They're tiny flecks that appear in groups.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope you can help me. I've tried so many forums but no one answers.


5 Responses

We viewed your photos. The symptoms look environmental. It could be a type of phytotoxicity from the pesticides used to control the aphids/fungus gnats.
We recommend that you stop adding materials to your soil mix. In the future all you need is a good soil-less mix by itself or a 50-50 soil-less mix and compost. Here is our publication on container gardening that lists examples of media mixtures http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG600%20Co...

Your plants are getting established. Let them be and let them grow. Keep an eye on the moisture in the containers. Do not let them dry out. Media should be moist not soggy. The peppers are not going to take off until we get some sun.
Here is our vegetable profile on peppers including our pepper publication HG57


Wanted to add some additional information. You can mix a little fertilizer with your soil-less mix or compost when you plant your containers in the future.

Awesome ! Thank you very much for your response.

I added about 1.5 cups of combined fertilizer materials per 100 litres of soil in the beds. That's too much you say ?

Thank you very much mh !