User avatar
urbanator
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:06 am

Chilli plant - New leaves drop

Hi,
This is my first post and I apologize if a similar topic already exists. This is my first time growing Chilli plants in Coco Peat with organic nutrients from a local Agrotech (my friends have had success with them earlier). The plants are 2 months old and have been growing perfectly well under T5 tubelights.
Lately, the younger leaves growing on the nodes and top of the chilli plant have been drying up and falling. The extremely younger shoots on leave nodes dry up immediately while some grow a bit bigger before falling. A simple touch is enough!

Please note: Recently the season has moved from monsoons to a dry spell (oct) before winter sets in. But no major temperature drop has occurred other that a humidity drop from 85-100 to 65-85.

Pics have been shared for reference.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Tp4 ... 0RDN0VfT0E
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Tp4 ... XFHZ1pteVU

Please help me as my other chilli plant seems to have picked up the same issue. Let me know if your require more information.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28037
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Chilli plant - New leaves drop

Welcome to the forum. :)

I can tell you for sure that this is the work of sucking pests. Most likely mites of some sort, though aphids can do this as well (but aphids are easier to see -- you might want to examine the damaged areas under high magnification but you need at least 60x to 100x to see the mites).

All of MY last winter while I was growing them indoors, I had similar issues and I had blamed it on Tomato Russet Mites because the tomatoes had them, but Imafan, another member here, mentioned possibility of Broad Mites infesting the peppers with these exact results you are seeing -- the new emerging growing points are attacked so that bumpy brown/russeted nodes are all that remain. I also saw same symptoms on my citrus plants.

When every possible growth points are damaged, the stem cannot grow and the plant will have to resort to developing new shoots closer to the base. Many of my tomatoes and peppers both had to start over from scratch -- all upper growths had been damaged by the mites beyond recovery, and new shoots grew from the leaf nodes near the bottom of the plant or even from the base of the main trunk.

In my case, I relied on ladybugs (which I purchased and released on the plants in the house) and predatory mites -- I knew some were already present on these indoor plants -- then when the weather warmed enough, I put the plants outside in areas where I knew the predators are plentiful. Some recovered -- new growths were not attacked, some died. But I had enough seedlings/plants to grow for the season and have some harvest, though I did lose some of the varieties I wanted to grow. Some recovered magnificently -- I intend to go over my notes and make special note that these varieties might be resistant.

If you can'y rely on predators, you will have to put your plants under miticide regimen, spraying or dipping every 4 to 5 days. My understanding is that you will need to use some kind of oils-based insecticide. Neem oil is often mentioned. A friend in Germany (not a member here) uses a home made mixture of rapeseed oil, a drop of soap, baking soda, and water (I will need to look up her recipe). Be aware that miticidal treatments will also kill predatory mites. (This is why I didn't use them)
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: 11428
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Chilli plant - New leaves drop

I agree, it looks like the work of mites. Mites are very tiny, you would need magnification to see them. You have to learn how to identify their damage.


You will need to sanitize. Clean everything in the area and I would cut off the tops of the chilies and let them grow back. I dipped my peppers in pyrethrins and sulfur. I repeated it weekly for three weeks before the problem cleared up. Indoors, you do need to watch for children and pets but the bees should be safe.

Pests usually attack plants that are stressed.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
urbanator
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:06 am

Re: Chilli plant - New leaves drop

Applestar, thank you so much for your detailed reply.

Based on your inputs, it seems likely that mites may be the culprit. I have had mites on tomato plants previously but they happened to leave a more noticeable web on the plant that helped me identify the issue. It is impossible in India to find ladybug larvae or other predators off the shelf. The local gardening store had a 100% neemseed oil solution that I have applied as per the dosage mentioned. I hope I can save at least a couple of them.

Secondly, I happened to find some eggs at the back of one of the plant's leaves. Not sure what they come from. Pic has been attached.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Tp4 ... 3lWTDNvVWM

Once again, thank you for your help.

User avatar
urbanator
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:06 am

Re: Chilli plant - New leaves drop

@imafan26

Thank you for your inputs. As suggested, I have chopped off the tips in the hope that the plants would recover. I will go for the pyrethrins solution in case the neem oil doesn't work. Are they poisonous in nature?

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Chilli plant - New leaves drop

Those look like squash bug eggs or some similar larger pest.

Yes pyrethrins are poisons. But note there are pyrethrins and pyrethroids. Pyrethrins are botanical insecticides derived from chrysanthemum family plants. Pyrethroids are synthetic version, but are many times more concentrated and thus more toxic and harmful. Permethrin and other pyrethroids are extremely toxic to honeybees and other beneficial insects, toxic to wildlife and especially to aquatic organisms if it leaches into the streams and waterways. If you feel you must use a poison, please try to make sure that it is one of the botanical versions.
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
urbanator
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:06 am

Re: Chilli plant - New leaves drop

@rainbowgardener Thank you for your reply.

They could be, I have pumpkins growing on another window.

I will skip the pyrethrins and pyrethroids for now. I have sprayed two rounds of neem oil over 5 days.The chillies seem to be recovering. A pic has been attached for reference.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Tp4 ... lJTcWVERkE

Return to “Organic Insect and Plant Disease Control”