javy1389
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Bhut Jolokia / Ghost Pepper Yellow Brown Leaves

I recently acquired a plan from a friend that is moving out of the country and it does not look health i was wondering if there is anything i can do to bring it back. or is it just a lost cost.
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applestar
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Re: Bhut Jolokia / Ghost Pepper help.

This looks like an older plant, maybe in its 2nd year? It has numerous new shoots, but appears to have been severely undernourished when it needed heavy feeding to enable it to burst into new growth. Either that or it suffered from infestation by some kind of sucking insect pests, resulting in massive loss of older/original leaves and loss of green color.

I would use compost, mushroom compost, or earthworm casting, plus something like Dr. Earth 4-4-4 all purpose fertilizer for now to establish good foliage color, growth, and canopy, and later switch to Espoma tomato-tone or other fruit promoting fertilizer. Make sure the potting mix drains well and don't overwater.

I think it also needs a good pruning and growth shoot thinning -- too many shoots trying to grow from same node in too many different directions. Bottom shoots and branches can be trimmed for clearance between soil and branches -- any fruits on those lower branches would drag in the soil. Also, upper spindly branches should be removed to create a good sturdy architecture/branch structure. Overall, prune and thin for better air circulation and eliminate/avoid crossing branches. But don't remove any more than 1/3 of total.
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.

javy1389
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Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:39 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California

Re: Bhut Jolokia / Ghost Pepper help.

Thank you for the quick response. Now i was thinking of changing the pot it came in would that harm the plant?

imafan26
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Re: Bhut Jolokia / Ghost Pepper help.

Actually, repotting the plant might help it. The media is probably tired as well. You will need to be be careful since the plant is already in distress.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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applestar
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Re: Bhut Jolokia / Ghost Pepper help.

Well....do you think so? The repotting procedure and root disturbsnce is very stressful for the plant. I would like to see the plant green up a little first. Stressed plants are magnet for pest insects and are prone to diseases in the weakened state.

Ok, when you water -- and DO use unchlorinated water (rainwater, filtered water, or water that has been left in open container/bucket overnight at least, 24 hrs is better) -- does the water seep into the soil right away or does it pool on the surface and take some time? Water until moisture it drains out from the bottom drainage holes, then water one more time, but if you have a catch/drip tray on the bottom, empty the water if the pot doesn't soak it back up in a few hours. Now heft/slightly lift the pot. Remember how the weight of the watered container feels. Don't water again until the top of the soil when you poke your finger to the first joint feels dry, and the container feels light when you "heft-test" it.

If the potting mix is compacted and drainage is really bad, maybe. But you could also get a couple of earthworms and put them in the container to help open up the soil structure.

I like to add a little bit of extra in the water -- used coffee grounds (UCG also helps to feed the earthworms), left over coffee, tea, juice, rinse/swish out the last bit of milk, juice, soda in the bottle/carton, a bit of unsulfured molasses, etc.

It also helps to mulch the surface of the soil -- a layer of compost covered with grass clippings, shredded paper, hay/straw, chopped leaves....
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