The Q&A Archives: Sun Damage On Peppers

Question: I am growing colored bell peppers and habanero peppers. I experience sun damage year long on the bells, and during the summer on the habaneros. I am planning to install shade cloth to try and prevent the damage. Could you recomend what color shade cloth and what percentage of shade would be best for the peppers?

Answer: The best protection against sunburn is a healthy canopy of foliage on the pepper plants. If disease, insect damage or poor nutrition are causing the plants to have a rather thin, spindly canopies of leaves, the best approach is to first remedy those problems.

If you need to use a shade, select as light a shade as you can as good sunlight is important for the growing plants. Most shade materials come in white, black or green, and a few in brown. Any of these would be fine as color need not be a factor in selecting one.

A lightweight row cover such as is used for seed starting or insect exclusion is one option. If you use a black shade fabric select one with no more than 25-30% shading, and position it well above the plant's foliage to allow lots of reflected light in from the sides.

Thanks and good luck with those peppers!

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