If you have a home garden, you must have tried your hands on some of the perennial crops, which are extremely easy to grow at home.
Pepper plants are one of them. These plants are found in several colors, like red, yellow, green, white, purple, etc. Due to their diversity of use in meals, peppers are very common plants in household gardens.
However, no matter how easy it is to grow pepper plants, you will find several afflictions taking over the plant if proper conditions are not met.
One such issue you might have noticed is the curling of leaves which would have popped the question: “Why are my pepper leaves curling?”
If you have been wondering about this issue and looking for answers, your search is over. Keep reading to unravel the answer to your question. Let’s begin!
Why Are My Pepper Leaves Curling?
The pepper plants are susceptible to surrounding conditions, like temperature and humidity, much like the tomato plant.
This can lead to many problems with the plant, such as diseases. Leaf curling is one such problem that can wrap up your plant.
There are a few different reasons for the curling of leaves on your pepper plants.
It is usually due to stress caused by environmental factors like inadequate sunlight, not the right kind of soil, etc. It can also be caused by negligence on your part in providing adequate prerequisites.
If you want to revive the leaves of your pepper plant and get them back to their lustrous, green shine, you should first examine and know the exact causes behind the curling of the leaves.
Let’s find out some of the reasons to answer why are my pepper leaves curling?
Most gardening experts consider overwatering the worst of two evils between underwatering and excessive watering.
While underwatering is easy to treat in most cases where you can add more water and make a regular schedule, you will have to be more vigilant when it comes to overwatering.
This is because overwatering can cause many problems for your pepper plants, including the death of the plant.
It cannot simply be reversed by reducing the amount of water, especially in severe cases.
An excess amount of water in the soil can block it and make the soil soggy. This prevents plant roots from taking up oxygen, water, and nutrients.
Too much water also disrupts the balance of nutrients and essential materials in the soil, making it uninhabitable for plants.
“As the nutrient balance is disturbed and plant roots cannot take up as many necessary nutrients from the soil, your pepper plant will start to weaken, and the leaves will curl up as a symptom.”
Leaving the soil soggy and waterlogged can lead to the fungus attacking your pepper plant. This can cause the plant to die if the fungus infection spreads.
Here are some things that you’ll need to do:
- If the issue is too much water, you have to reduce the amount of water you give to the plant.
- In some cases, if some infection has taken over and spread, reducing the amount of water will not solve the problem; you might have to re-pot the plant in fresh soil and a well-draining pot.
- Some treatment with a fungicide may also be needed.
- However, if you can catch the pepper plants early and no fungus attack is in sight, start by changing the watering schedule.
- Reduce the water, make sure the soil drains well, and the potholes are not blocked.
- You can change the planting area if the ground is the issue or use a pot with a good number of drainage holes.
That would be enough.
2. Inadequate Sunlight
Pepper plants need 6–8 hours of good sunlight.
They do well in bright light, and too much sun won’t mostly hurt them.
However, this is not true for young pepper plants; when pepper plants are in a growing phase, you have to be cautious of their exposure to the sun.
You should start by planting them indoors near a window with enough indirect sunlight. You can take them outside in bright sunlight as they mature and become strong.
“If the pepper plants are exposed to excessive light when young, the plant leaves can curl upwards, not just through the sun but also through artificial lights.”
You might also see the browning and falling of leaves.
Here’s the solution:
- If pepper plants are indoors, reduce the intensity of artificial lights around them and limit the exposure.
- For plants outside, keep them near tall plants or some big object that provides natural shade.
With that said, let’s jump to the next case.
Aphids, spider mites, and pepper hornworms are some of the pests that infect the pepper plants.
The cucumber beetle larvae also cause immense destruction to the plant.
These pests feed on the leaves and other parts of the plant, leading to the loss of moisture and nutrients, and when pepper plants are stripped of these essential materials, the leaves curl up.
Let’s see how to solve the problem.
- Treat your plant with neem oil or a safe insecticide.
- Make sure to spray the solution on both sides of the leaves, as pests attack the undersides as well.
If the attack has spread extensively, you may have to throw and burn the plant to prevent the pests from spreading to other crops.
4. Lack of Nutrients
If there is not a good balance of nutrients in the soil, it can cause the plant leaves to curl up.
Essential nutrients like calcium, nitrogen, phosphorus, etc., may not be present in optimal amounts, leading to the curling of pepper leaves.
“They all play crucial functions, such as calcium, which helps develop cell walls.”
You may also notice brown spots and discoloration in plants with improper nutrition.
The solution is simple.
- You can add fertilizer or compost to the soil. It could be an all-purpose fertilizer or one with more percentage of a specific nutrient.
Make sure not to overdo the fertilizer as it can burn the plant.
5. Transplantation Shock
Transplantation shock can also cause the pepper plant to curl its leaves.
This occurs when you are moving your plants from indoors to the outdoors. The temperature and humidity change can cause the plant to go into shock, displayed via physical changes.
What’s the fix?
You need to slowly introduce the plant to its new environment rather than planting it suddenly. Also, let the young pepper plants harden before taking them outdoors.
If you have already transported the plant, make sure to provide it with appropriate and constant environmental conditions. That will help your plant to slowly adapt to the environment.
On that note, let’s move toward the conclusion.
Why are my pepper leaves curling, you asked? I hope this article answers your question!
Now that you have the answers, you can take better care of your pepper plants and prevent the leaves from curling up.
If you have gone through a similar situation, share your experience with the gardening community.