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Vegetable Gardening: Any idea what could be happening to my peppers?

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2busygardening
Dade City, FL
(Zone 9a)

July 8, 2012
3:41 PM

Post #9198083

I have no idea what is going on, but this is happening to more and more pepper plants each day. They are fine one day, then the next they are wilted, (yet the ones next to them are not so I don't think it's lack of water). Then the leaves fall off and the plant dies. Often times the plant has fruit that survives longer than the leaves.

Any ideas?

I water each day. About a month ago I put in Epsom salts. There is no rhyme or reason as to which plant will be next, it's going thorough all of the raised beds randomly.

I do have a small ant problem. Could they be doing this?

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HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 9, 2012
7:04 AM

Post #9198806

This has happened to one row of my sweet bell peppers. I have voles, so I've blamed it on them or the very hot weather.

I have another row that is doing fine, but they are in more shade. (Or the voles haven't found them yet!)

Voles would not have killed those you have in pots as they don't like to climb. However, too much water maybe the culprit. What kind of soil do you have in the pots?
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

July 13, 2012
5:29 AM

Post #9203627

Looks like a wilt disease, probably bacterial wilt http://www.avrdc.org/LC/pepper/bactwilt.html
Here is information on two other wilt diseases, fusarium and verticillium http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/3000/3122.html but your plants don't show the right symptoms for those.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 13, 2012
7:09 AM

Post #9203711

Thanks for the links, Calalily. I think my symptoms are bacterial wilt.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

July 13, 2012
8:05 AM

Post #9203764

Next time one wilts pull it and insept the roots if it pulls very easy and does not have any roots left then it is some burrowing animal ..Now I am guessing but am likely right let us know what the roots look like ..

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 13, 2012
8:10 AM

Post #9203770

grits74571 - there were plenty of healthy-looking roots. No nematode damage, and no vole damage that I could tell. From the link Calalily provided, I suspect it's bacterial wilt.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

July 14, 2012
6:23 AM

Post #9204751

Honeybee, if you can solarize your soil where those were planted it usually helps keep it from attacking next year's crop.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 14, 2012
8:20 AM

Post #9204849

Thanks, Calalily. I don't understand where it could have come from as I grow all my vegetables from seed. The article in the link you gave said the bacterium survives in the soil for long periods. Any idea how long, is "long?"
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

July 15, 2012
4:38 AM

Post #9205624

I think I read an article from one of the universities that said 3 or 4 years in the soil. I have one area where almost every bell pepper in the row died. I have okra there now (seeds are cheap and if it doesn't make it, no great loss). I was thinking about pouring boiling water on the row before planting next time. Of course I'd have to check for lizards and frogs, they love our garden. Now that I think of it, probably not a smart idea, too many beneficials live there.

The peppers were Big Dipper, not big and not very tough plants. I usually buy seeds only from organic seed companies but these were tempting, on the seed rack at the store. Some day I will learn!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 15, 2012
8:46 AM

Post #9205847

Thanks, Calalily. I'll have to rotate through the garden to avoid growing peppers in this one area for a few years. I have another row of peppers that doesn't seem affected (yet.)
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

July 16, 2012
6:00 AM

Post #9206872

If yours go the way mine did, it kills all pretty fast. The ones left standing usually make it. Watch for changing leaf color, very subtle, then a little wilt in the heat of the day and fruit is smaller and may ripen prematurely. If you pull the plants, don't shake the dirt off the roots.

Reading this, I am thinking to myself: "I bet everyone thinks I spend way too much time looking at my plants!"

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 16, 2012
7:26 AM

Post #9206991

Calalily - [quote] If you pull the plants, don't shake the dirt off the roots.[/quote]

I already did :(

At least I didn't put the dead plants in the compost.

I did notice the slight change in color before they wilted. When it happened to the first one, I thought it might need fertilizer, but it wilted before I had a chance to feed it.

[quote]I bet everyone thinks I spend way too much time looking at my plants[/quote]

I don't think you do. I look at my plants every morning and every evening.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

July 18, 2012
5:51 AM

Post #9209834

Thanks Honeybee, I'm glad other people do the same thing!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 18, 2012
12:48 PM

Post #9210339

I do, too!

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