Peppers provide foods with a wide range of flavors, textures, and zing. Peppers are a common ingredient in people’s diets in many cultures, and they have a variety of health advantages and flavors.
Pepper plants are lush green plants that produce brightly colored fruits that are referred to as bell peppers.
With its vibrant colors and tasty fruits, the pepper plant is a must-have in any vegetable garden. Growing them is rewarding, yet you can often ask, why are my pepper plant leaves curling.
No matter what pepper varieties you aim to grow, you can find they face issues for several reasons. In our guide, you can learn why you can have pepper leaves curling up and other causes you can face.
By the end, you’ll be able to troubleshoot a nutrient deficiency, transplant shock, illness, or other factors such as disease. You’ll know enough to fix problems with your sweet peppers in your vegetable garden or leaf curling on your indoor pepper plants. (Learn Do Rabbits Eat Pepper Plants)
How Do You Treat Leaf Curls?
Peppers are easy to grow. But knowledge is power and will go a long way. To understand why you have curling leaves, you need to know how your pepper plants grow and how certain things affect growing peppers.
Here are a few of the things to know that could cause pepper leaves to curl.
Temperature is critical while cultivating pepper plants. Plant early in warm settings and ensure temperatures range between 21 and 32 degrees Celsius to grow and avoid curled foliage.
Depending on the zone you live in, start the seed indoors in early summer. Let the seeds germinate indoors, and in a few weeks, the germination will begin.
You will need to check for signs of frost before moving your plants outside, or the young leaves will suffer.
Pepper plants thrive in hot conditions but might perish in extreme heat. Pepper plants also require adequate drainage, so choose a pot with drainage holes and allow the dirt to absorb any excess water before removing it.
If the temperature is too high and the peppers are dry, gardeners in tropical climates should water the plant twice a day. Peppers lose flavor when under-watered. Too much water clogs the roots and leads to waterlogging, thus preventing roots from absorbing the water needed for photosynthesis.
Water your plant with care and monitor the temperature and water requirements of your plant. Check the top inch and make sure you keep the soil moist yet not soggy.
Potting mixes need to offer good drainage as too much water often causes a common symptom, yet it is easy to fix.
Pepper plants require direct sunlight and do not thrive indoors. Keep the pepper plants outside, and if the environment has too much light, cover them with a cloth for shade. Don’t be tempted to bring your plant indoors unless you face a heatwave.
Pests and Illness
Keep a check on the pepper plant for pests and viruses that could infest it. The leaves are eaten away by pests, resulting in pepper leaves curling and looking sickly. Pest damage can lead to the pepper fruits and destroying your harvest.
Insects have been eating on the leaves, as seen by their curled and bubbled leaves in Pepper leaf curl. Insect infestations usually affect a single leaf rather than the entire plant.
Spider mites and thrips are two insects that might harm the plant. Handpick the sick leaves and burn them to keep the insects at bay.
A bacterial infection can also be the culprit, as evidenced by dark spots and discoloration, as well as curled leaves.
Pest removal can often be done by hand. Yet, it is much easier to use biological control methods or purchase predatory insects that can deal with infestations on peppers and other plants.
Spray natural pesticides and insecticides regularly on affected plants. You can find curly top disease is common should you live in moist or coastal areas. Symptoms for this are yellow spots appearing that then spread through your leaves before leaves curl through dryness.
Fertilize the plant regularly with a low-nitrogen fertilizer. A well-balanced, low-nitrogen fertilizer would maintain the soil healthy while not hindering fruit growth. (Learn How Often To Fertilize Tomatoes)
Calcium deficiency can be a sign of leaf curling, even if it is a secondary nutrient rather than one of the key ones. Calcium is needed in your pepper plant growth for strong cell walls. One of the first symptoms can be brown spots rather than the regular yellow you see with other illnesses.
What Does It Mean When Plant Leaves Start to Curl?
There are a few reasons why your pepper plant’s leaves can be wrinkled or curled. Pests and environmental stress are the most common causes of wrinkling pepper plant leaves.
Because of their eating habits, some insect infestations and viruses can cause the leaves of your pepper plant to curl. Inspect your plant for insects and pests and use insecticides if necessary.
The wrinkling of pepper leaves can also be caused by environmental stress and elevated temperatures. The small leaves curl to protect themselves from the scorching heat on hot days.
There are two types of watering: under-watering and over-watering, which can cause the pepper plant’s leaves to curl.
Plant edema is a disease induced by the plant’s irregular water retention. Leaf curling can be caused by excessive plant edema. Pimples on the leaves, white build-up under the leaf, bumps, blisters, and other symptoms of plant edema might be seen.
Plant edema can be treated by utilizing well-drained soil, avoiding over-fertilization, and ensuring that the plant receives adequate light. This condition is like over-watering in that the roots don’t have enough oxygen.
Thrips are tiny, wingless insects. Thrips graze on peppers and other host plants to create malformed flowers and silvery or white spots.
Thrips are the worst pests because they propagate TSWV and the wilt virus. Keeping weeds out of the yard and mulching around young pepper plants can help reduce thrips problems.
Aphids, pear-shaped insects with soft bodies that cluster on leaf undersides, may feed on pepper plants. Aphid infestations cause plant yellowing and leaf curling. These pests also exude honeydew, a glossy sugary material that attracts sooty mold fungus and foraging ants.
The green peach aphid carries viruses like cucumber mosaic cucumovirus and pepper potyvirus.
Unless disturbed by dust, broad-spectrum insecticides, or ants, aphids have many natural enemies that effectively suppress them. A strong water spray on pepper plants will knock aphids off and rinse off honeydew. (Learn How To Dry Rosemary)
Peppers are susceptible to a number of viral illnesses, including alfalfa mosaic virus, cucumovirus mosaic, pepper tobamovirus, and curly top disease.
Other symptoms differ between viruses or virus strains, as well as different pepper cultivars. Mosaic patterns or mottling on leaves, slowed development, and curled or twisted leaves are all symptoms of several viruses.
Viruses are difficult to control because they are spread by insects or contaminated seeds, tools, or soil.
Disease presence and transmission can be limited by following proper sanitation measures such as keeping neighboring regions clear of weeds that can harbor illnesses and insects and promptly pulling out and disposing of affected plants.
Two areas that can help prevent your pepper foliage curling in your garden that comes from insects and disease, clean your garden tools before and after use. It is a good gardening practice to do this to stop any infection.
Second, you can purchase virus-resistant peppers, which then rule out half of the issues. With these, you can focus on your gardening habits and watering your peppers besides worrying about disease and pests as much.