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Common Chilli Plant Problems

Many people are getting into the habit of growing their own edibles in their garden. However, some edibles can be quite difficult to grow, especially for beginners. The chilli plant is a common struggle for many newbies. Growing Chillies is a rewarding endeavour as you can make delicious recipes straight from the garden. There are, of course, common chilli plant problems that may be an issue for beginners. This week, we have a handy guide for spotting problems early on.

Nutrient Deficiencies is one of the most Common Chilli Plant Problems

Like many other plants, chillies need quite a range of nutrients for optimum growing. If the chillies to not have the sufficient nutrients, they will present specific symptoms. One of which will be low yellow or white patches between newly grown leaf veins. This is a sign of low iron levels. If the edges of you leaves turn yellow, then your chillies have a potassium deficiency.

If the veins of the leaf remain green, but the old leaves turn yellow, this is a lack of magnesium. What’s more, if you see long, interveinal holes and yellow spots in old growth, this is a lack of manganese. If you notice that new growth is curled and crumpled, this is a calcium deficiency.

With a nitrogen deficiency, you will find the oldest part of the plant is affected first. The leaves will turn yellow from the edge to the stem. The damage will then progress towards the top of the plant. Finally, there is a phosphorus deficiency. If this is not detected in time, the damage will move up the plant at a rapid rate. The symptoms for this is older leaves turning dark green or purple.

Common Diseases Affecting Chillies

One disease that is likely to occur is powdery mildew. Symptoms of this consist of white and powdery fungal patches that spread on either the upper or lower leaves. From spring onwards, you may notice plant tissue becoming distorted. To prevent this, ensure the plants have enough space between them for air to flow.

Blossom end rot is another common disease. This is caused by a lack of calcium. Symptoms present as a circular patch of a green/black colour at the furthest end of the fruit from the plant. This area of rot can expand and become sunken in. This gives the fruits a flattened look at the affected ends. To avoid this, keep moisture levels constant. Make sure your plant feed doesn’t have too much nitrogen as it can diminish the calcium intake. Magnesium sulphate can help with the uptake of calcium. Any unsalvageable fruits should be removed.

During warmer days, any water on the leaves will act as a magnifying glass, scorching them. Affected areas will present white or brown marks at the edges. These areas tend to become thin and almost transparent. The leaf tissue will then die. This can be prevented by having the plants watered early in the morning or late in the evening. Make sure to avoid splashing any leaves.

Common in chinense varieties during early chilli seasons, the first flowers may not set or may drop quickly. This issue is often self-solved. However, there are a few common reasons for this happening. Flower drop can be caused by a pollination failure, unstable temperatures, overwatering, underwatering or overfeeding with the wrong nutrients.

What to Do

Should this be an issue, you can give the flowers a gentle shake to encourage pollination. You can also gently brush from flower to flower to copy pollinators. A high potassium feed post-flowering can help with preventing overfeeding. A water butt irrigation system can help prevent overwatering and underwatering. Be sure to have a greenhouse temperature control to keep a constant and stable temperature for your chilli plants.

You then have Bacteria Leaf Spot. Infections from this occur in stems, foliage and fruits. Once plants suffer a lesion, these pathogens take advantage and infect plants. This disease thrives in wet and cool conditions. The Pseudomonas bacteria will cause symptoms of red/brown spots that tend to distort leaves. The Xanthomonas causes brown spots, bordered by yellow tones. You can prevent this by making sure you water your plants slowly and spaced for ventilation. Avoid splashing too.

Talk to Ladybrook Nursery

There are many more edible plants in addition to the chilli plant. If your client is on the lookout for a range of edibles to place in their garden, then look no further. Ladybrook Nursery is here to offer you a wide range of plants for all your landscaping needs. Get in touch to learn more.

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