Why are my habeneros yellow and not growing? - Knowledgebase Question

San Diego, Ca
Question by krisbader
June 30, 2010
I recently planted my first outdoor garden. All my veggies seem to be doing well with the exception of my habeneros, which are yellow, short and weak looking. I am fertilizing with Miracle Grow bi-weekly and watering every other day, which is adequate. My other peppers (jalapeno/sweet peppers) are doing fine.

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010


A few things might be keeping the peppers from thriving. First of all, peppers need regular moisture, but do not enjoy wet feet. Peppers are heat lovers, and while I assume your weather has been warm, if you are in a cool microclimate near the ocean, that may be reason. Also, it may be the peppers are just experiencing some transplant shock.

Yellow leaves can be caused by many things including lack of nitrogen, insufficient light, water-logged soil (plant roots need oxygen to thrive), dry soil, or iron deficiency. If the older bottom leaves are yellow, but new growth is green, it's usually a lack of nitrogen. If new leaves are yellow, with green veins, it's usually a lack of iron. However, since your other plants are doing fine, it's always a bit tricky to isolate the problem. It may be that these plants are just slow to bounce back from transplant, their root systems were damaged during transplant, they are in a pocket of poorly drained soil, or the plants may just not be that vigorous. Give them time, good drainage and warmth and perhaps they'll perk up. Don't overwater or overfeed. Good luck!

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