DavidHarris
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:28 am

Strange pattern on bell pepper leaves (disease?)

Hello, does anyone know what is the cause of this pattern on some of the leaves of my bell pepper plant? Harmful?

I cut it off the plant to get a better picture. This plant also got eaten up by caterpillars but I finally got them stopped with BT.
photo (1).JPG

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11684
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Strange pattern on bell pepper leaves (disease?)

The most common cause of leaf mottling is virus. Tobacco mosaic and cucumber mosaic are the most common ones. If it is a virus, the entire plant should be destroyed. Since those viruses also affect members of the same family, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant could all get the same disease. Do not save seed either and if they are in pots, get rid of the pots and soil. In the ground, you should rotate the spot to something that is immune to that virus or use only resistant cultivars.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

DavidHarris
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:28 am

Re: Strange pattern on bell pepper leaves (disease?)

Ah thats too bad, thanks for the info. It is in a pot, I will discard.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28242
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Strange pattern on bell pepper leaves (disease?)

I thought that looks like a pretty common appearance of peppers with early blight or something like it?

I would clip off the affected leaves and, especially if in a container, just move it away from others to isolate and observe.

Are virus infected peppers common? I don't know if I've ever seem it.
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.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11684
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Strange pattern on bell pepper leaves (disease?)

TMV and CMV are the most common viruses. There are resistant cultivars, so it depends on which ones you get. I find that TMV resistant cultivars are common but CMV ones are not. There are other viruses as well like spotted wilt and potato Y. Depending on when they get infected, the symptoms will vary. Young plants that are infected are stunted and the leaves chloritic. Older plants may not die but the fruit might also be mottled. Since there is a wide range of hosts for these viruses it is difficult to control them once you get them, as they can persist for years. Resistant cultivars are the best option.

Usually the telltale signs of virus for most plants are color breaks, mottling, and distorted or stunted growth. I usually don't take any chances when these symptoms show up, so I just bag and trash the plant. Usually once mottling occurs the plant isn't healthy and either does not produce fruit or produces small mottled fruit not worth saving.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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

Re: Strange pattern on bell pepper leaves (disease?)

I'm no expert and I also have not seen a pepper plant with a viral disease. But the pictures I have seen, the color mottling is more dramatic, but does not involve dark spots:

Image
https://www.longislandhort.cornell.edu/v ... 2x1200.jpg

And often there are other symptoms, as seen in the picture, of the leaves thickening, crinkling, curling, etc.

I also think this is more likely a fungal problem than a viral one, in which case what applestar suggested applies.
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

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11684
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Strange pattern on bell pepper leaves (disease?)

It is sometimes hard to tell with some plants if they have virus since they may have partial resistance or carry the disease and be symptom less. The necrotic spots on the leaves may be bacterial or fungal as applestar and RBG said. Usually the areas around necrotic spots form yellow halos or the necrotic spots drop out and form holes in the leaves. There are the typical halos around the necrotic spots on the leaves that you see with bacterial spot, but the mottling of the rest of the leaves is what concerns me most.

This link has good pictures of different kinds of pepper problems, but does not have any pictures of leaves with the kind of mottling you have. It does show pictures of leaves with fungal and bacterial spot and while there is necrosis and yellowing around the necrotic areas, usually the remainder of the leaf is not mottled.

https://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/hot ... seases.pdf

Tobacco mosaic virus causes mottling on pepper leaves. It is not exactly the same pattern as yours but it is similar.

https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/ ... virus.aspx

It is possible to have more than one condition going on at the same time. Weak plants make good targets for pests and disease since they have weakened defenses.

I grow a lot of different plants and a few peppers. Since fungal and viral diseases are transmittable by contact with plant saps or through insects and I do not use a lot of chemicals, if I find a weak or diseased plant it is better for me to err with caution and sacrifice the weak plant to prevent spreading the infection to the rest of the plants. This is especially important since I do live in a place where there is no winter to kill pathogens and high humidity which is favorable to bacterial and fungal infections and I have a small yard with literally a thousand plants in pots in close proximity. Many diseases and pests share multiple hosts. Earlier this summer I have already had to toss out a tray of Thai basil because of basil downy mildew. That infection started three weeks after I saw that Walmart was selling infected basil at their store that is less than a mile away.
Last edited by imafan26 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

DavidHarris
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:28 am

Re: Strange pattern on bell pepper leaves (disease?)

Here is actually a picture of the leaf still on the plant (it was lower left, a different leaf is in blurry foreground)
photo.JPG

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11684
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Strange pattern on bell pepper leaves (disease?)

What does the whole plant look like?
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

DavidHarris
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:28 am

Re: Strange pattern on bell pepper leaves (disease?)

Ah I already took advantage of the weekend and replanted, I just happened to still have that picture on hand. Doesn't look like I took one of the whole plant.



Return to “Organic Insect and Plant Disease Control”