Brightly coloured and also a taste profile that could go from sweet to vegetal to blazing hot, peppers (Capsicum annuum) are comparatively easy to grow. All these warm-season vegetables are prone to diseases that could lead to brown spots and curled leaves. Pepper plants demonstrate those symptoms when they suffer from the mosaic virus or leaf spot diseases. The diseases can reduce your pepper harvest, or, in extreme cases, kill the plants.
Mosaic virus is a incurable infection spread by aphids, tiny insects that suck on plant sap, and cucumber beetles. Both bugs will lead to damage to pepper plants, as well as other vegetable plants. The infected plants will have crinkled leaves that, with time, become curled. The leaves have also a greenish-yellow spotting, which later turn brown and rust colored. Pepper plants experiencing a mosaic virus infestation have poor growth and create fewer peppers. Because the virus can lie dormant over the ground in dirt, it can be hard to eliminate once established. To prevent the spread of the virus to healthy plants, uproot severely infected plants and throw them outside. Don’t add them to your compost pile. To reduce infestations of aphids and beetles, spray both sides of the leaves using a mix of dish soap and water. Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of dish soap using 1 gallon of water. Stir and pour into a spray bottle, shaking well before applying. You can also plant resistant varieties of peppers.
Also called bacterial leaf spot, leaf spot first shows itself as brownish and greenish-yellow spots on the leaves and the fruit. Old leaves may have a watery-looking spot that turns brown and rust colored when it dries out. These watery spots can also appear on peppers if the bacteria strikes the plant after fruiting begins. The leaf spot bacteria can live in soil or seeds. To stop it from spreading or occurring, remove all contaminated crops and do not allow the debris or leaves remain on the ground, as the bacteria can live in the soil over winter. Purchase seeds that were treated for leaf spot bacteria to further decrease the threat. After planting, farther minimize risk by watering only at the base of the plant. Water that remains on the pepper plant’s leaves, stems and fruit increases the risk of infection.
Keep Soil Clean
Because both leaf spot germs and the mosaic virus can live in soil over the winter, it’s crucial to keep your lawn free of weeds. Remove contaminated crops — like any dead branches, leaves or fruit — as soon as you can. Weeds give a spot for the mosaic virus to live throughout the winter, and plant residue infects otherwise healthy dirt and provides protection for both the virus and bacteria throughout the colder months. Never place components of infected pepper plants on your compost pile.
Rotate Your Crops
To avoid infection, rotate your crops each year. This means growing your pepper plants in another area of the garden every year. For container gardens, throw out dirt that’s held infected pepper plants. By rotating your plants, you’re reducing the total amount of harmful bacteria that can lurk on your soil.