Pepper plants with black stems

Asked June 13, 2019, 1:33 PM EDT

I have 5 pepper plants along with some tomatoes. The peppers are Carmen, Pimento de Padron and Jalapeno Emeral Fire bought at the Incredible Edible sale in May. Almost all of the peppers have this black powder growing at the joints of the stems. I have a few blossoms, but the plants are looking kind of wilty although still green. Before planting I sent in soil for analysis and they said that all was fine except that I needed some extra nitrogen. I worked blood meal into the soil according to their recommendation. It was pretty wet towards the end of May after I planted them, they may have gotten too much water. I think that it's a fungus, but I'm not certain. From what I've read, I should be cutting away the diseased parts of the plan, but where to start? Can you tell what it is and is there anything that I can do about it now? Or should I pull them out, get new peppers, and plant them somewhere else?

Multnomah County Oregon fruits and vegetables irrigation and water management peppers

1 Response

Black stems on pepper plants are often normal, and the wilting may be water shortage. Soaker hoses require careful monitoring of soil moisture by you (usually the “finger test”) to be sure the roots are getting adequate water, deeply and not just the surface. Here is a prior Ask an Expert about normal dark stems-joints: Provide closer photos, or take sample to the county Master Gardener Volunteers if you see black powdery residue which may be a concern.