Garden issue

Asked July 2, 2019, 10:55 PM EDT

Hot peppers have an issue...leaves are shriveled and twisted looking....what gives?

Linn County Oregon peppers

1 Response

Hi and thanks for contacting Ask an Expert. Your pictures are great and help ID the problems. First one is sunburn on the tips of the leaves. The curling of the leaves is most likely a sucking insect such as a mite (very hard to see) whiteflies (look like specks of white) or aphids (can be light or dark gray, green or yellow).
Look on the undersides and open the rolled leaves to see if you can find insects. I use an insecticidal soap and spray all sides of the plant. I also cut the damaged leaves off and then treat the plant with a liquid fertilizer, usually Fish Emulsion. Follow the directions on the bottle.
You can purchase insecticidal soap insect spray in any store that carries plant products. This is a long term issue and will need to be watched. Keep the soap spray handy and spray anytime you see these above-mentioned insects. You can also spray with water, a strong spray but don't break the plants.
The fact that your plants show sunburn means they have been stressed, this leads these insects right to your plants. Put a good mulch around the plants, chopped up leaves or compost works and keep the plants moist but not soaking wet. If you are still having issues with burned leaves, you can buy some shade cloth and make a sun shelter for them.
High quality, well nourished plants repel insects most of the time. Read the directions and add fish emulsion or other liquid all purpose fertilizers on a regular basis - this will increase the health of your plants and aid in getting rid of the insects. If you have further questions, please re-contact us.