Growing peppers or capsicum plants at home is more than an enjoyable hobby. Pepper plants also mean delicious treats for salads, salsas, and so much more.
Whether you have chili peppers or sweet bell peppers growing in your garden, yellow leaves can be a bad sign.
Luckily, there are solutions. Read on to learn why your pepper plant leaves are turning yellow, plus what you can do to fix it.
What Are Yellow Leaves?
Depending on the pepper plant, yellow leaves can be part of a natural growth cycle or a sign of issues in pepper production. Yellowing leaves on pepper plants may still have dark green bases but light green or yellowing edges.
Unfortunately, pepper plants with yellow leaves and other symptoms may have a disease. If you see brown spots, wilting, or a dark brown lesion near the soil line, the plant has a much deeper problem.
Bacterial leaf spot, brown spots, phytophthora fungus, or fungal wilt may be to blame. Pull out the entire plant under these conditions. And, you won’t be able to plant another pepper in the same spot for at least a year.
What Causes Yellow Leaves On Peppers?
Only a few things other than a fungal or bacterial disease could cause leaf yellowing.
Pests may be to blame. Mites and aphids suck out plant juices, diverting water and nutrients. Over time, the leaves of the plant turn yellow as pests steal their life-giving sources.
Not watering enough (water stress) is another common reason for yellow leaves in pepper plants. Since peppers are often grown outside, hot weather can cause their leaves to yellow and wilt.
They may also drop their flowers and fruit in hot conditions. Ample watering usually fixes the problem.
If watering isn’t the issue, though, it could also be a nutrient deficiency in the soil. Poor soil conditions can lead to yellow leaves, stunted growth and a lack of fruiting flowers.
How To Fix Yellow Leaves On A Pepper Plant
Fixing yellow leaves on a pepper plant is relatively easy. If you notice the growing conditions are warm and the soil dry, start watering more often.
Of course, if you’re watering enough, you may need to dig a little deeper to fix the problem.
Natural Pest And Fertilizer Solutions
If you’re looking for a natural solution to pests, there are a couple of routes to try, like starting with an inexpensive soap-based insecticide.
Soap insecticides are safe for plants and most animals, like birds and humans. Yet the soap destroys soft-bodied insects like aphids or mites, making it an ideal solution.
You can also plant pest-discouraging plants, like Marigolds, around your peppers. These create a natural repellent for pests with no spraying.
It’s also a good idea to give pepper plants a good dousing with a watering hose regularly. Your spray nozzle is likely powerful enough to knock off most of the pests.
Be sure to water only when the plant isn’t in direct sunlight. This is especially true in the heat of summer when watering this way can cause sun scorch.
Yellowing leaves could mean a hungry pepper plant – nutrient deficiencies and often a nitrogen deficiency. Feed your peppers a balanced fertilizer. As for natural fertilizers, there are many organic options available at garden stores. Or, you could start creating compost at home.
Mulching your pepper plants with compost is an excellent way to ensure they’ll grow. It also ensures their leaves won’t yellow.
Chemical Pest And Fertilizer Solutions
Of course, there are all sorts of chemical insecticides and fertilizers on the market, too. They come with risks but tend to be highly effective.
BTK, or Bacillus Thuringiensis Kurstaki, is a safe and effective pesticide for caterpillars. These often plague pepper plants. It has low toxicity for humans and pets.
Even organic farmers use BTK, but some consider its safety to be controversial. That said, be sure to follow dilution instructions and don’t spray more than necessary.
If you choose to use a chemical insecticide, be sure to spray under the leaves where bugs like to hide their eggs. Also, vary which insecticide you use with each application.
Varying insecticides is vital. Otherwise, your garden aphids and other pests will develop a resistance over time.
While spraying, keep your pets and kids inside.
As for fertilizers, standard ones like regular Miracle Grow will help improve soil nutrients.
Read these articles on improving your garden soil:
By improving the soil and minimizing pests, your pepper plants should flourish!