User avatar
KitchenGardener
Senior Member
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:30 pm
Location: Northern California; Hardiness Zone 10a, Climate zone: 17

Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

As promised, here are photos of the sick pea plant that I pulled up. I have a small in ground plot, about 4 x 5, and along the north and south facing side I plant peas. They were planted about 4' apart. This plant was one of the earliest and biggest if that makes a difference, but started to have some deformed, sort of curled leaves, and then pea pods.

The other plants so far look fine (some of the seedlings were eaten by slugs and birds and were replanted in case that makes a difference). I found a total of 4 aphids on the plant, so I'm not thinking they were the culprit, but don't know? Mainly what I saw was the yellowing leaves and some spots where it looked like someone had eaten a few holes in the leaves? Everything is captured in the photos...

I'm starting to realize, based on reading the awesome posts here, that my yield would be a lot greater if I actually paid attention to plant problems and tried to mitigate them instead of letting a sick plant limp along. Thanks for any help you can provide.
Attachments
Peas 4 Pre.jpg
Peas 3 Pre.jpg
Peas 2 Pre.jpg
Peas 1 Pre.jpg

User avatar
KitchenGardener
Senior Member
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:30 pm
Location: Northern California; Hardiness Zone 10a, Climate zone: 17

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

Oh, and you can see the yellowing was more in the new growth than the old if that is any useable clue.

User avatar
KitchenGardener
Senior Member
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:30 pm
Location: Northern California; Hardiness Zone 10a, Climate zone: 17

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

No suggestions/ideas at all? :shock: Surprised...

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28234
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

Well... see, the problem is, to me this looks like a pea plant nearing end of life -- worn out from bearing (maybe Nitrogen deficiency?) and too hot temperatures and too many dry days...

Maybe we just need more details about your weather and growing conditions, ...oh did you use rhizobium inoculant? Have you grown peas and beans in this soil before?
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Vanisle_BC
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1008
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:02 pm
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

I'm no expert but I agree with Applestar; this is how my pea plants look when they've done their thing and have no more to give - or maybe if they've been fatally under-watered in a hot dry spell. Did you already have pods & peas from the plant? You say they are spaced 4' apart. Did you mean 4 inches? I'm pretty successful with peas at 1.5 inches and have never used inoculant. Not to say, of course, that maybe I'm not as successful as I could be :)
"There are two kinds of people in the world - those who think there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who do not" - Robert Benchley

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11676
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

Yellowing of new growth is probably iron and and/or a high pH problem. Nitrogen deficiency appears as yellowing of older leaves first. Nitrogen would be translocated from older leaves to younger to try to compensate.

Other things that can cause yellowing would be drainage issues or simply old age. The holes in theleaves are very small so I am not so concerned with that, but it looks like the peas have powdery mildew. Which pretty much is the way my peas squash and cucumbers die. I just take it as a hint that it is time to let it go.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
KitchenGardener
Senior Member
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:30 pm
Location: Northern California; Hardiness Zone 10a, Climate zone: 17

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

Thank you all for your replies. Its probably a combination of much of what you said - except for the powdery mildew; I don't doubt that that will come with time, but I know it well and I can't say that I've seen any to speak of yet. And yes! I meant 4' apart. Good to know that I can plant them even closer than that.

As to time and age, I had a hard time this year with my peas, as I was outnumbered by the birds and snails. I kept starting seed (no inoculant - should I try that in future years?) and watching as they were eaten. As a result of all these stops and starts, I have pea plants of various ages - this being one of the few first generation plants (planted in February) that actually made it and produced. I live in Northern California, in 10a. We did have an unusually hot spell a few weeks back and maybe that affected the plant? But I can't figure out why its neighbor, planted at the same time, is doing significantly better? I amended the soil at the outset of this year by adding organic planting soil and organic vegetable fertilizer - this before I learned so much from you all about how to make really good soil (I ordered a composter and am very excited to make it and amend my soil with it).

Anyway, its very possible that the plant might've suffered from an imbalance in the soil, but then wouldn't it's peers also have the same problems? Imafan, when you say it could be an iron problem, would it be a sign of too much iron or too little? Also, parsley self-seeds in my garden and there was a quite healthy patch that came up all around the sick pea plant - could it be causing the problem by competing for nutrients or something?

I really appreciate all your help. And yes, having grown peas for years, it does look exactly like an old spent plant, but I didn't get enough yet to call it a day! I think its only been producing for about 4 - 5 weeks tops - isn't that a short period?

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

No, in my experience if you got 4-5 weeks of production out of a pea plant you were doing very well. They are very short lived, especially once it gets hot.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
Lindsaylew82
Mod
Posts: 2115
Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 9:26 pm
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

If you get 4-5 weeks of production here, you've had a REALLY good year. Ours usually faint t the first sign of heat. They just look done to me.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11676
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

If you use a lot of compost in the soil and if your soil is on the alkaline side to start with, micronutrients become less available. Most deficiencies show up as chlorosis in various part of the plant depending on the deficiency. I don't think the peas have iron deficiency, the veins are not prominent. Nitrogen deficiency shows up as yellowing of older leaves.

https://customers.hbci.com/~wenonah/min-def/peas.htm

Soil deficiencies are more global and should affect the neighbors as well.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28234
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

Finished pea plants also start turning pale -- lower leaves for sure but new ones, too are less robust -- and new shoots are thickened and stunted in growth, new pods are small and curled and tend to want to plump up and mature with only one or two peas inside.

...so weird describing from memory from last year -- my peas are only about 12" tall for the earliest planted ones and just breaking ground for the latest... Well actually I'm experimenting with a couple of soup peas and have just planted the pre germinated seeds in egg cartons in the garage.... I might just be able to start planting tomatoes in 3-4 days.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Vanisle_BC
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1008
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:02 pm
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

applestar wrote: .... I'm experimenting with a couple of soup peas .......
I'm not familiar with the term "soup peas." Please tell us what they are.
"There are two kinds of people in the world - those who think there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who do not" - Robert Benchley

User avatar
KitchenGardener
Senior Member
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:30 pm
Location: Northern California; Hardiness Zone 10a, Climate zone: 17

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

applestar wrote:Finished pea plants also start turning pale -- lower leaves for sure but new ones, too are less robust -- and new shoots are thickened and stunted in growth, new pods are small and curled and tend to want to plump up and mature with only one or two peas inside.
Okay, uncle. You all are right - it was a spent plant, I think. Kinda embarrassing that I didn't get it!

Thanks again everyone.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28234
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

Vanisle_BC -- soup peas are the kind you harvest as mature shelling peas either dried in the pods or after shelling where moldy peas in the pods is a problem.

KItchenGardener -- I wasn't trying to press the point, just that I remembered those characteristics so I thought I'd write them out for clarification. :wink:
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Vanisle_BC
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1008
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:02 pm
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

applestar wrote:Vanisle_BC -- soup peas are the kind you harvest as mature shelling peas either dried in the pods or after shelling where moldy peas in the pods is a problem.
Ah, thanks. Our dried-in-the pods mostly get used as seed. Not many reach that stage though. They're too good fresh, and what we don't eat that way, we freeze. Wish we could grow enough to last us all year. For soup we use grocery store dried or frozen.
"There are two kinds of people in the world - those who think there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who do not" - Robert Benchley

Vanisle_BC
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1008
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:02 pm
Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

Lindsaylew82 wrote:If you get 4-5 weeks of production here, you've had a REALLY good year. Ours usually faint t the first sign of heat.
Largely agree although I've never timed it. But I thought I'd mention that for me Oregon Giant - a vigorous & productive snow pea with really huge pods - outlasts all the others, maybe surviving right through the season. (Again, I haven't kept records.)
"There are two kinds of people in the world - those who think there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who do not" - Robert Benchley

User avatar
KitchenGardener
Senior Member
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:30 pm
Location: Northern California; Hardiness Zone 10a, Climate zone: 17

Re: Sick Pea Plant - Diagnosis?

applestar wrote: KItchenGardener -- I wasn't trying to press the point, just that I remembered those characteristics so I thought I'd write them out for clarification. :wink:
Aww, honey, no offense taken! Sometimes its the things that are so obvious that elude me completely, and it takes a kind hearted soul to gently point it out...I've never grown these snow peas before so I kept waiting for the real production to begin. Needless to say, I obviously have a lot to learn about growing snow peas! I've got peas and snap peas down, but this year, this variety of snow peas was just not as productive as I would have imagined.



Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”