Peppers chili plants diseases

Peppers& Chili plant diseasesIf leaves of chili plants suddenly turn yellow and wilt, it may be a plant disease. Unfortunately, there are many fungi, bacteria and viruses that target our chilies. For many of these diseases there is no cure, they are fatal for plants.

However, before you panic, you should first consider whether it is deficiency symptoms due to limy water or unfavorable site conditions. Plants may lack heat, light or nutrients.

Better than to react to plant diseases is to prevent it. Healthy chilies need soil with good drainage. It is equally important to take preventive measures against pests, as they transmit many diseases. Sometimes chili seeds already carry the pathogen into the bed. Look for quality when buying seeds. Keep an eye out for resistant varieties.

Chili diseases in most cases also affect other solanaceous plants. If you still grow tobacco, eggplants and tomatoes, keep your chillies away from them. It is stupid if you bring a pathogen into the bed with a resistant tobacco variety, which then kills your chillies.

Plant disease

Unfortunately, with some diseases, nothing can be saved. In such cases, infested plants must be destroyed. Sometimes, however, a little homeopathy helps to activate the plant defenses. It depends on the infestation.

Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV)

Globally, tobacco mosaic virus is not only a problem of Capsicum plants. It is highly contagious and is transmitted just by touching infected material and healthy plants. The pattern of damage depends on many environmental factors. Depending on the age of the plant, virus variant, rain and sun, the picture is different in each case. The yellow mosaic virus can be recognized when it covers the leaves of chili plants with large, yellow patches. Fruits partially wither. Get yellow to brown spots.

On large chili plantations, either pathogen-resistant varieties are planted, or meticulous attention is paid to segregating the fields. Thus, when moving from one field to another, hands and tools are thoroughly washed with soap. If you grow your chilies in a greenhouse with other nightshade crops, TMV-resistant varieties are recommended.

Tobacco etch virus

Tobacco etch virus (TEV) is a major problem in the Americas. Symptoms are chlorosis, i.e. yellowing, of the ribs and finer veins. Chili peppers grow stunted. Also show bright spots in spots or mosaic form. The disease is carried by weeds, tomatoes and tobacco. Many nightshade plants can be infected by the TEV virus. In weeds and grass, the virus can stay alive and spread further with the help of aphids.

If you prune a diseased chili plant and later use the scissors for other plants, the virus is quickly transmitted. Pay attention to hygiene of tools when pruning plants.

It is not easy to clearly identify a tobacco etch virus disease, because usually infected plants are so weakened that other viruses have an easy time overcoming the plant's defenses.

If plants are infested, remove them thoroughly. Do not compost, but dispose of in the trash or incinerate. A spread of the disease is possible through pest infestation, especially from aphids.

Cucumber mosaic virus

Cucumber mosaic virus is similar to tobacco mosaic virus. The damage also depends on the virus strain, the age of the plant and the weather. It is easily confused with tobacco mosaic virus. Mostly, however, the leaves are more curled. Irregular light green to yellow discoloration. Later chilies lose their leaves. There is no difference in infected chili peppers at first sight. In this respect, none of this matters, as the infected chili plants are for the garbage can in both cases. A cure is currently not possible.

Cucumber or cucumber mosaic virus(CMV) is transmitted in most cases by sucking pests. If you consider that the CMV virus affects about 800 different plants, you would have to isolate your chili plants completely. Particularly popular host plants is the cucumber, pumpkin and eggplant. You can mitigate the danger if aphids are controlled early on. Likewise, you can rely on resistant varieties in the selection.

Tomato wilt

Symptoms of tomato wilt include pustule-covered wilted leaves and rotten fruit. The leaves first turn yellow and later brown. Plants are infected by the bacterium (Clavibacter michiganensis) when injured. Seeds can transmit the bacterium. You can prevent an infestation by not planting chilies after tomatoes in the same place. Use tested seed.

If you are not sure if their seeds are without bacterial infestation, you can soak them in vinegar. To do this, take 200 ml of water and 1 ml of vinegar concentrate. In Germany the bacterium Clavibacter michiganensis is not very widespread. Tomato wilt is already a problem in warm, humid climates such as Brazil, Australia and the southern United States.

Pepper Huasteco Virus (PHV)

The PHV virus is also called Chili Golden Mosaic Virus. When young plants are infected, they soon lose their leaves. The disease looks adoring on large plants. Leaves are covered with yellow spots. Only a little green shines through. Affected by this virus are mainly our chili plants, tomatoes and eggplants.

The disease is often transmitted by cotton whiteflies. Unlike many other species, the virus cannot be transmitted by tools or the like. From plant to plant, the deadly tasks of infection are performed almost exclusively by whiteflies.

In the house we use prophylactic yellow stickers, which decimate the population of flying insects from the start.

Slime disease

The bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum causes the slime disease. Infected chili plants usually die after a few days. Whether it is the in Germany rare pathogen, you can find out with a simple test. Cut off a branch. Place this in a glass full of water. If threads of mucilage emerge from the stem, this is a relatively sure indication of a bacterial infection of the mucilage pathogen. According to our knowledge, this disease is even reportable.

So far only a few cases are known in Europe, but some in the direct neighborhood, the Netherlands. Infestation of potato plants occurred there. Symptoms are a fast withering, because the transport of water and nutrients is strongly affected by clogged pathways. A slightly acidic pH of the soil makes life difficult for the cause bacteria. Likewise, the soil should also have good drainage. Both properties are anyway conducive to healthy growth of chili and bell pepper plants.


Anthracnose is caused by a fungus. A first occurrence was reported in India in 1914, where it destroyed many chili peppers. Fruits drop, turn an unappetizing color or rot. Today, the fungus is a regular occurrence in tropical regions. A high humidity and heat up to 27 ° C are conducive to the spread of the fungus.

The fungus can spread when spores are transferred to other plants by rain, fog or wind. Injury to plants, makes it easy for spores to take hold. You can mitigate a risk of fungal infection in your garden by watering your plants after sunset. However, by the time night falls, watered chilies must have dried off. A wet leaf on a cool night is a free pass for a mildew spore into the crop.

Crop rotations in the garden and greenhouse do not make it easy for harmful microorganisms to take hold.

Powdery mildew

The fungal network of powdery mildew grows on the leaf surface and causes a white, flour-like sheen. Through the surface of the leaf a part of the fungus, the mycelium, penetrates into the plant and supplies the host plant as a parasite with nutrients.

Good news. This fungus can be controlled well. In the trade you will find good means with which powdery mildew fungus can be driven away. Mostly it is sulfur solutions or fungicides.

Powdery mildew is spread by spores. To act preventively, do not plant your chili plants too close together.

Experience and tips

Unfortunately, there are many other diseases in chilies. So far *knock on wood* we have not had to deal with any major infestation by viruses or fungi in our chili cultivation. Therefore we can not show pictures where you can see the symptoms. Perhaps it was due to effective pest control, which we do from the beginning. Pay attention to early control spider mites, aphids and small flies.

As a second measure we use horsetail fertilizer or extract to strengthen our chilies. Horsetail is an ancient plant that contains a natural silicate. This silicate or silica strengthens the ties of our vegetable plants.

Using liquid horsetail extracts is just as easy.

While researching the many plant diseases, we came across a nifty project: https://plantix. Maybe you will find here photos of their damage. Can provide targeted resistance. Also available is an app that allows you to take pictures of your plants. So far we did not know this, but we think it is a good idea.

Missing still common chili plant diseases? Write a comment. We will be happy to provide further information.

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