Keeping Pepper plants in your vegetable garden is a great practice. There are more than 50’000 delicious varieties worldwide that you can grow.
I especially love their spicy signature aroma and their delicate leaves look great unless they are wilting. So, if you find your Pepper plant wilting, it is natural to be concerned.
Lucky for you, there are plenty of ways to restore your plant’s health. If you want to know more about why leaves on Pepper wilt, read on!
What Causes Pepper Plants to Wilt?
If their atmospheric conditions don’t suit them, Pepper plants can grow unhappy and wilt. It can happen if you place your Pepper plant’s pot under the scorching sun. Watering it too little can also dehydrate it, so the Pepper begins to wilt. Sometimes, the real culprit behind deforming leaves is a fungus. It can damage your plant’s foliage so much that it begins to wilt.
How to Identify if Your Pepper Plants Are Wilting?
How do you know your plant is wilting and not just having a bad day? My experience says that there are several signs you can find in wilting Pepper plants.
Sometimes, Pepper leaves appear dry when the sun is high. It is common in summer afternoons. However, it is a natural occurrence. You shouldn’t worry about what looks like the occasional wilting of your Pepper.
On the other hand, your Pepper leaves may seem limp for many days. These dark green leaves with smooth margins will bend downwards. If you touch such leaves, you’ll sense that they feel weaker than usual.
It is because the cells and vessels in wilting leaves lose their water pressure when too much evapotranspiration occurs. As a result, your once-turgid Pepper leaves turn frail.
Pepper leaves are not very strong, to begin with. So, you may wake up to find that many of your plant’s leaves have fallen. They will also lose the rich green and turn into brown or yellow colors.
This change in appearance and the falling of Pepper leaves indicates that they are wilting.
Why Your Pepper Leaves Are Wilting?
Your Pepper leaves are sensitive and can wilt for many reasons. Here are the most likely ones.
Lack of Water
Your Pepper plants have xylem tubes running through their stems and stalks. When the root cells absorb water, it travels through these healthy xylem tubes.
You may have wondered how the vapor evaporates through leaves when you water the plant’s roots. This water movement against gravity happens due to capillary action. The molecules stay together in chains and travel upwards.
Your Pepper needs this almost 2 inches of weekly water to stay healthy. They also like sunlight and moist soil.
Pepper plants use this water as an essential component of photosynthesis. It lets them make glucose, which then converts into other nutrients like carbohydrates and proteins.
The water that you give to your Pepper plants also forms the protoplasm in their cells. You can think of it as a fluid sap where mitochondria and other cell components are present.
The lack of water deeply disturbs your Pepper plant. It can slow and even stop the standard functions. These include photosynthesis, water transport, and cell growth. As a result, Pepper leaves can’t stay turgid and wilts.
Too Much Sun
Unlike most houseplants, Pepper plants love being in the sun. My Pepper stays very happy when I place it outdoors for 7-8 hours daily.
The dark green that you can see in healthy Pepper leaves also thrives due to the sun. Sunlight has quantum particles of light, called photons. Your Pepper leaves have a lot of the green pigment, chlorophyll. So, this pigment in Pepper leaves absorbs sun rays.
They have energetic molecules that speed up photosynthesis. Pepper plants also have enzymes made from protein. They help your plant process, store, and digest its food. The heat from sunlight makes them more productive.
On the downside, too much sunlight can impair the enzymes. Your Pepper will also start losing a lot of its water. When the water evaporates from leaves, they curl and droop to protect themselves. So, this could be going on when you find your Pepper wilting.
You should also know that Pepper plants are notorious for fungal infections.
If you suspect your Pepper is facing fungal problems, it’s time to take a close look at its leaves. I like to keep a hand glass in my kit for examining my houseplants.
Look closely at the color of your Pepper leaves. Healthy ones will have a clover or basil green color. Fungal infections cause them to develop mustard yellow shades. When fungus decides to feast on the leaves, they also turn brown sometimes.
You may find patches, spots, or streaks of these colors on your Pepper leaves if they have a fungal infection. They will also curl around the edges and appear sick.
Wilting from fungal problems can happen when annoying fungus species decide to attack your plant. I’ve noticed that in Pepper, Verticillium or Fusarium are the most common ones.
Both of these live in the soil. If your plant’s soil is not well-balanced or you haven’t changed it for a long time, they are more likely to be present. So, when you water your Pepper, its vascular system can also absorb these pathogens.
Unfortunately, they will grow and block your plant’s vessels and cells. So, it won’t be able to transport water, minerals, or nutrients.
Like other organs, Pepper leaves also suffer badly. Not receiving nutrition makes them dry, brittle, and yellow. They will have no choice but to droop and wilt.
How to Treat Wilting Pepper Plants?
Follow a Watering Schedule
When some growers learn that their Pepper is thirsty, they flood it with water. It is never the best approach because it can do more harm than good.
So, first of all, it’d help if you don’t take sudden overwatering as a solution to your wilting leaves.
You can understand how much water your Pepper wants by examining its soil. If it is too dry and you’re reading this in summer, you may have to water your Pepper plant every day.
Otherwise, wait for at least two days before you water it.
If your Pepper has a large-sized clay pot, you’ll want to water it more. I have marked watering days for Pepper on my plant calendar. Doing this will also help you track the changes and stop your leaves from wilting.
Regulate the Sunlight
Bell Peppers ripen and can turn many exciting colors in the sun. However, it also causes the leaves to wilt. So, you want to reach a balance.
If your Pepper leaves look too pale and weak, consider placing the pot indoors for a while. Research shows that they can do well in the shade also.
I’ve often used shade cloth to protect my outdoor plants from heat. You can also put your plant next to a sunny window. If budget allows, invest in black-out curtains. These will protect your Pepper leaves from sun rays and give them a chance to recover.
Use an Organic Fungicide
If you think your Pepper is wilting from fungal infections, you can try organic fungicides. They are widely available and have directions on the bottles. Remember to spray the fungicide on your Pepper leaves.
Throw the Plant Away
The truth is that you can more easily prevent than cure fungal problems in Pepper. If it is soil fungus, it has already made a home by the time you find your leaves wilting. So, changing the soil isn’t likely to undo it.
In such situations, it is best for your other plants if you throw the Pepper away.
Frequently Asked Questions about Wilting Pepper Leaves
What’s the most likely reason behind my Pepper leaves wilting?
In most situations, it is the lack of water. You will need to stick to a consistent watering plan to solve it.
Why do my wilting Pepper leaves have yellow spots?
It is a sign that a fungal infection is causing your plant to wilt. Other symptoms include curling of the leaf’s edges and browning of the stems.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.