The Q&A Archives: Pepper Problems

Question: I planted a couple dozen "sweet" pepper plants in late May. We had a wet and cool spring. The peppers got off to an extremely slow start and are a bit stunted -- I assume because of the excessive rain and cool temps. After winning a battle with cut worms (with some losses), the peppers are starting to bounce back. However, several leaves on each plant have holes in them, with brown edges around the holes, but there is new growth. I have no evidence of an insect problem. Is this problem due to the weather conditions described above, or yet another problem? Will it affect the health of the plant or, ultimately, the peppers? Should I remove the damaged leaves?

Answer: Based on your description, I suspect the holes are hail damage rather than something more serious. If the leaves are still green and healthy for the most part, leave them on the plant.

Next year, you might wish to wait until the weather and soil temperature are warmer before you set out your peppers. They really do prefer warm weather.

You might also wish to try some sort of barrier against the cutworms. For instance, a "collar" of several layers of newspaper wrapped closely around the stem and partly buried works nicely.

With any luck, you'll be seeing the first blooms soon!

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