Disease on pepper plants - Knowledgebase Question

Oxnard, Ca
Avatar for nitrouz5
Question by nitrouz5
July 16, 2010
Hi, I am getting what appears to be a disease on all types of my pepper plants, every year. This includes Bell peppers (red, yellow, and orange), anaheim chiles, poblano and banana peppers.

The disease turns the leaves yellow, the entire plant a sickly yellowish green, and the leaves get a wandering line pattern on them. When the plants are affected, it seriously stunts growth and production.

Answer from NGA
July 16, 2010
It's almost impossible to diagnose a plant problem without seeing it so I'm going to give you an educated guess. What you describe sounds like Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). It is carried to peppers by several thrips species. Early infection causes stunted plants with mottled and distorted foliage. Frequently, ring spots appear on older leaves. Yields may be drastically reduced, and fruits produced are distorted and have black streaks. There are TSWV-resistant pepper varieties so next time you plant peppers, plant the most disease resistant varieties you can. Once the damage is done I don't think there's anything you can do to save your plants. Just to be sure the diagnosis is correct, why not take samples of the leaves to your local extension office? They can use a microscope to look closely at the leaves and the patterns you describe might also be clues to the disease. Contact Ventura County
Cooperative Extension, 669 County Square Drive, #100, Ventura, CA 93003-5401
Phone: (805) 645-1451. If the office is too far away, ask if there are local Master Gardener Clinics in Oxnard. Best wishes with your garden!

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