Pepper problem?

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5a)

This is my first time growing peppers (from seed, even!) and I'm not sure what I've got going here. The leaves on most of my peppers (Frank's and Earlired) are kind of crinkly-looking and not regularly shaped. Do I have a problem, and if so, what should I do?

Thanks for the help!

Thumbnail by tucsonjill
Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

I'm following you around with what looks like the same problems on a couple of my peppers and tomatoes.

I heard good things about neem and got some Garden Safe 3 in 1 Fungicide. It is distributed by Shultz and has 70% neem. After about the 3rd treatment, I think the plants are straightening out. The peppers have not lost the curly leaves but new growth looks normal. The tomatoes got pinched and I allowed a sucker to become the new main stem. The new growth on those also looks normal. They are behind the other plants and I can only hope they continue to grow. That was 3 treatments about 3 days apart. I continue to use it as a preventative on all my peppers and tomatoes. Surely I live in the pestilence capital of the world. I'm now wondering if they can get polinated because this stuff is for insects too.

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5a)

Well, we can keep each other company, at least! :) Got any coffee to drink while we wander?

Do peppers need a pollinator? I know tomatoes don't require one, but no clue on peppers.

Oh, experts?

North Hills, CA

peppers are self pollenating.

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

Well that is good news. I'm not seeing many pollinator type bugs and no bees even before I started spraying. The nights have been real cool so I think that is holding my peppers back. Tomatoes are blooming but no fruit set yet.

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5a)

Thanks for the info, smokemaster! My fun fact for the day.

I googled around, looking for pepper foliage diseases that looked like what I'm seeing, but no luck. The peppers are coming along nicely, though!

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

A couple of years ago, I had plants that looked identical to yours.Have you observed any aphids on your plants, and do they appear translucent pale greenish-yellow? Look on the underside of the leaves. If so, you've probably picked up a virus of some sort from these guys. Mine were a species known as green peach aphid and they are vectors of several viruses that affect peppers. Although I didn't have them tested, my research on the web seemed to point to tobacco etch virus. Another symptom will be blossoms that fall off without opening. However, blossoms that did set fruit produced normal fruit, except for a few Aconcagua that would reach about 3-4 inches, turn yellow and fall off. The hot varieties seemed to be less affected, although yield was greatly reduced. If this is the problem, I have some good news and bad news. First, the bad news. Once infected with a virus, they don't recover. Whatever peppers you get this year will be a lot less than normal. Another bit of bad news is that you may live in an area that doesn't get a cold enough winter to interrupt the aphid's life cycle. This particular aphid overwinters in peach and plum trees in areas that have some frost and freezes. In frost-free areas, they just continue their life cycle year-round uninterrupted feeding a large variety of host plants, particularly bindweed. The good news is that tomatoes will not be affected. At least, mine weren't. Another bit of good news is that the the virus is not seed-transmitted. Saved seed will not be infected. If you do get some frost in your area and you have peach or plum trees on your property, then you will have to make a choice between growing peppers or peaches. I had a peach tree about twenty feet from the greenhouse where my pepper and tomato seedlings are grown out. It ain't there no more. Let me know what you find. Paul

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

That looks a lot like Pepper Mild Mottle Virus...there is a thread Ozark and I had last year about it. If it is, then it gets into the soil, and it is something that you just have to live with. Here's a link to the thread about PPMMoV.


Lincoln, NE(Zone 5a)

Paul, David, thanks for your suggestions, but at the moment I'm leaning toward Curly Top virus in this case. I'm 90% sure I've got infected tomato plants as well. I found a site here that shows symptoms of Curly Top-infected plants of different sorts, and if you scroll down to the pepper plant, the leaves show the same wrinkling that mine do. So far my plants seem to be growing well, and are showing no yellowing, but that may be a matter of time.

I'm just hoping the peppers keep developing, and that I can at least taste one or two--anyone know if that's at all realistic?

North Hills, CA

There is a post somewhere that claims an aspirin in a gal. of water used to fight viruses.
Might be worth a try.
It's supposed to triger something in the plants natural defence mechanism that helps fight off infections etc.

Lincoln, NE(Zone 5a)

And if it doesn't work on the plants, I'll be taking it myself! :) Thanks for the suggestion, smokemaster, I'll look for the post.

Phoenix, AZ

Jill, I planted a Roma in a tub and it just sat there for a while. When it did take off it developed the strangest leaves. I think this must qualify as "curly top" for sure. The leaves look like bowls.

Now, after reading threads here, I'm worried that two pepper plants I bought yesterday may have the virus discussed here and on another thread. I think I'll isolate them in pots. Does anyone here think that will help?

Thumbnail by tomatofreak
Lincoln, NE(Zone 5a)

Well, curly top spreads, somewhat randomly (from what I've read) by infected leaf-hoppers. Isolating problem plants can't hurt anything, and why make it easy for those wretched bugs to go from plant to plant?

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