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Help w/ Sweet Bell Peppers - Leaves/stems wilting, browning

Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

Hey everyone, I'm new here and just wanted to say how much I appreciate all the great advice on vegetable/herb gardening. I am an extreme novice when it comes to this stuff and have recently started a small container garden on my balcony.

Up until the past couple of days, everything has looked great, but recently my Bell Peppers started looking a bit "ill." The leaves began to develop brown spots and holes. They also began to wilt right where the stem meets the leaf and a few even fell off. The flowers also seem pretty droopy as well. I live in Chicago (Zone 6) and have an eastern exposure. My plants get about 6-7 hours of direct sunlight every day. I am currently growing two pepper plants in a black 3 gallon plastic container.

I have been watering them every other day (checking the soil regularly for dryness) but they still seem to be wilting. I am thinking it might be the black pot is causing the soil to heat up too much? Though I was under the impression that Peppers liked hot weather. The temperature has ranged from 65-95 degrees here in Chicago over the past week or so.

I am also growing two Cayenne Peppers in another 3 gallon container and patio tomatoes (1 to each 3 gallon container). The Cayenne peppers are showing similar symptoms but not as bad and the tomatoes look to be doing well. All are growing in the same black containers.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.

Thumbnail by NoahTheTrue Thumbnail by NoahTheTrue Thumbnail by NoahTheTrue Thumbnail by NoahTheTrue Thumbnail by NoahTheTrue
Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

NoahTheTrue - Pepper Mild Mottle Virus (PMMV) is VERY common worldwide, and I often see symptoms of it on pepper seedlings for sale at nurseries. That's how I got it in my soil years ago.

Bell Peppers are affected worst by the virus, and I had to give up growing them. I switched over to sweet non-bell varieties like Gypsy and Carmen and found that they do very well in spite of PMMV. I think the virus is finally out of my soil and I can grow bell peppers again, but it took years of growing peppers from seed only and not growing any bells to achieve that.

Here's some info on PMMV:


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