Peppers are hardy plants that are fairly easy for even a novice gardener to grow. However, I have had some problems when trying to grow pepper plants in the past.
My past problems have led me to do a great deal of research into the challenges that come with growing pepper plants.
I will share what I’ve learned in this article so that you can overcome any challenges you may face when growing your own peppers.
Read on to learn the answer to the commonly asked question “Why are my pepper plants not growing?”
Why Are My Pepper Plants Not Growing?
There are three common causes why pepper plants aren’t growing. First, peppers are susceptible to certain plant viruses and root-knot nematodes. Also, spring frost can stunt your pepper plant’s growth. Finally, some gardeners think that their pepper plants are not growing because the fruit takes a long time to ripen.
Viruses & root-knot nematodes
When I’m growing peppers, I have to look out for viruses and root-knot nematodes.
If my plants look stringy or frail, there is a good chance that they have been infected with a virus. Such viruses are often spread by tiny insects known as aphids.
If I notice that one of my pepper plants looks sickly, I need to pull up this plant as soon as possible. This prevents the disease from spreading to my other pepper plants.
I know from experience that this can happen in a matter of days. It is a good idea to use an insecticidal spray on pepper plants before anything like this happens.
Also, many garden stores offer disease-resistant pepper varieties, which is what I have started purchasing.
Some gardeners advocate using orange peels or banana peels for aphid control. However, I have found that these remedies are not very effective.
While I try not to use too many chemicals, insecticide is a must for me when I plant peppers.
Root-knot nematodes are small worms that often affect peppers and tomato plants. I have noticed that affected plants wilt easily unless given large amounts of water.
The best way to prevent root-knot nematodes is to thoroughly till the soil before planting and after harvesting.
If I have a plant that is badly wilted and won’t recover no matter how much water I give it, I pull it up. If it is infested by root-knot nematodes, they could spread to other plants.
It can be difficult to positively identify affected plants, so the best course of action is tilling the soil very thoroughly before planting to kill nematodes before they can affect my plants.
Peppers favor long, warm growing seasons. In general, I do not try to grow peppers during the winter.
I believe that this can only be successfully done by people who live in the warmest climates. However, even the spring growing season where I live occasionally has cold spells that can damage peppers.
My experiences have taught me how to effectively deal with these cold spells.
If I am growing peppers during the springtime, I keep an eye on the weather forecasts.
If the temperature is expected to drop near or below freezing, I need to cover up my pepper plants.
This covering will shield your pepper plants from the frost that could stunt their growth or even kill them.
It is possible to make your own plant covers, but I find it easier to simply purchase them from a gardening store.
When I was new to growing peppers, I was often concerned when the fruit stayed green for a long time. At first, I thought this meant the plant was not growing properly.
As I gained experience with growing peppers, I learned that some plants simply take a long time to mature.
As long as the plant does not look frail or wilted, the green fruit will eventually ripen and turn yellow, orange, or red.
Frequently Asked Questions About Why Pepper Plants are not Growing
When should I put out my pepper plants?
I grow pepper plants in pots inside near the end of the spring frosts. Once the last forecasted frost of the season has passed, I plant my seedlings outside. I have planted peppers in containers, pots, and in the ground.
What sort of soil should I use?
Pepper plants grow well in a mixture of compost and natural soil. I have also purchased enriched soil from garden stores and used it with good results. However, I prefer to do things naturally with compost.
How much water should I use for pepper plants?
Pepper plants require lots of water to grow properly. I have found that watering them immediately after planting can have positive effects throughout the life of the plants. I also water my pepper plants several times a week throughout the season.
Things To Keep In Mind When Growing Pepper Plants
The three main issues that keep pepper plants from growing properly can all be prevented fairly easily.
I remember to till my soil, apply an insecticidal spray, and be patient with slow-growing plants.
Now that I have overcome all of these problems, I am able to successfully grow the vast majority of peppers I plant.
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.