The Q&A Archives: Mutated leaves on pepper plants

Question: My garden plat is in its second year -- it receives full sun. I prepared the soil by tilling in recommended amounts of manure and commercially packaged pine bark mulch. Everything has done better than I could have expected. The pepper plants, both bell and jalepeno, started out great from purchased seedling plants, but within only a few days put out new leaves that were shriveled, curled and distorted looking. The same scenario is happening this year. Is this normal? The plants produced lots of peppers last year, even with the distorted leaves.

Answer: The leaves of your plants could be affected by a number of things, from insects, to reflected heat, to nutrient deficiency, to watering practices. As long as the plants are producing peppers, I wouldn't be too concerned. The greenhouse plants you purchased were treated to ideal conditions - not standard garden conditions, and may balk when planted outdoors where they have to brave the elements. Just out of curiosity, I'd have my soil tested to see if it's lacking any particular nutrient. Otherwise, just put up with the ugly leaves and enjoy the mature fruits.

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