Ask a Question forum: Chili pest

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Aug 22, 2016 9:23 PM CST
Hi have a chili plant in my garden and i realized that it is not growing for the past several week. I first thought it has to do with the soil. But recently i found out that the plant is suffering from a pest or yeast infection which of that im not sure of. Underneath each leaf, there was a small pollen sticking on it causing the leaves to wilt due to its weight. Please enlighten me on what is causing the problem and how to i get rid of it so my plants can recover. Thank you in advance :)
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Aug 22, 2016 9:28 PM CST
The thread "Chili pest" in Ask a Question forum
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Aug 23, 2016 7:24 PM CST
Hi, Teatree! Welcome to NGA.

I haven't grown peppers, they need more heat than I have. And I only cured scale-like bugs once. (Yours MIGHT be aphids, but don't take my word for it!)

Those sure look like insects! I would use the hardest mist or a fine spray from a garden hose or irrigation sprayer to knock off as many as I could. You can also rub or knock them off with a soaked cloth or Q-tip, if you have infinite patience. Covering the soil and giving it a shower in your tub might work, but be prepared to call the plumber to unclog your drains if you're like me.

Then use an insecticidal soap spray, or just a soapy spray, with or without some rubbing alcohol. Soak it good to get into the crevices to kill young, small insects. Rinse after a while, depending on how sensitive pepper leaves are.

Repeat after 3-4 days (or a week?) to kill the eggs that hatched in the meanwhile.

I've seen wide ranges of concentrations suggested online, and some say "only use natural soap becuase it is fatty organic acids that kill", and others say "detergent is better". I don't which, or why!

Hopefully someone will comment who knows how sensitive peppers are to soap (and detergent, and rubbing alcohol) .

Some recipes cluster around:
one gallon of water
soap or detergent: 2 teaspoons to 2.5 ounces (???)
rubbing alcohol: 0 to 4 ounces per gallon

Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
Aug 23, 2016 7:31 PM CST
Hey Teetree, hello and welcome;

Looking at your pictures, I would say those are aphids and it looks like your growing medium is unfinished compost, a good idea if you are sheet mulching but not so much in a pot ( my opinion anyway ). The composting process can be a literal zoo for micro organisms, some good things some not so much. Soapy or alcohol water misted on the plants, diatomaceous earth application, or catching ladybugs will/should help. But I seriously think your pot and soil may be the problem. If you live anywhere near a nursery, see if you can get your hands on a discarded nursery pot, 5 gallon or bigger, the color would induce heat and block sunlight, which would greatly reduce the Bio-activity below the soil surface.

Also, I would humbly suggest you plant each pepper in their own pot. Just to isolate and contain any problem and limit it to just the one plant. Good luck!

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