Pepper plants are dropping leaves

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Yo_Jo, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo Active Member

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    My daughter just started growing plants and she has two indoor pepper plants that are sitting on the north facing window ledge and they are dropping leaves like crazy. She sent me a few photos and on one plant that has a pepper, it has almost lost all of its leaves while the other one is still hanging in there. It's watered daily and she said the soil is damp, they are in smallish pots and she has feed it once using the shake and feed fertilizer. Any idea's why her leaves are dropping? Over watering?


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  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I think they will need a lot more sun than a north window to survive. It's warm enough to take them outside now, but perhaps your daughter does not have the space.
     
  3. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo Active Member

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    Thanks Eric for the reply - yeah it's an apartment so there is no space outside.
     
  4. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    At a north window, potted plants don't need much water; daily watering might be too much.
     
  5. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I agree with the too much water theory. Are there drainage holes at the bottom of those pots? She could take the plants out of the pots and see if there are still roots that are not mushy. If so, maybe give them new soil, feel how heavy they are before watering, then water and feel how heavy they are. They don't need water again until they feel less heavy than when they were first watered.

    I also agree with the not enough sun theory. It's one thing for someone quite experienced to try to grow something in an environment that is not particularly suited to that plant. It's something else again for a newbie to try to do that. Does she particularly want to grow food? Or could she go to a plant store and ask for something that will do well inside in a north window?
     
  6. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo Active Member

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    Thanks, Eric, Vitog & Wendy for the info.
    It's kinda my fault - in May we stopped at one of those Richmond farms off 5 road because I was shopping for some veggie plants for my garden and I told her she could pick a couple up and I would buy it for her place.
    She wanted to grow some for fun - I guess I can get her a grow lamp now to help it along until the end of the season.
     
  7. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo Active Member

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    She moved it to an east facing window but the plant is looking more unhappy - kinda reminds me of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

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  8. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Is there a drainage hole at the bottom?
     
  9. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo Active Member

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    The short answer from her is no drainage holes but....

    Daughter: I put small rocks and I bought this plastic thing that I put on top of it
    Daughter: And drilled holes
    Daughter: But maybe the dirt went around the sides of it and filled the rocks
     
  10. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    People are saying these days that rocks are not a good thing. I'm not such an expert on this, but in case the soil has just been too wet for too long, I would suggest repotting it, remove most of the old soil and see if there are roots that look ok. If all roots are soft and mushy, she should just harvest the one pepper and give up on these. If there are still roots, pot in new soil, no rocks - just put a piece of newspaper or any paper on the bottom to keep soil from running out right away. By the time the paper disintegrates, the soil won't be running out any more. Feel the weight of the pot, water well, feel the weight again. Don't water again until it looks dry on top and is no heavier than before it was watered the first time.

    I see one site that says to water indoor pepper plants every day. And then it goes on to say to think about how they originated in a hot dry Mexican climate. Talk about confusing. Another says to make sure it's really dry before watering. Bearing in mind that the first plant I ever grew, and then killed, was a pepper plant, I still think it's reasonable to treat it like any other houseplant. Too wet is a problem. If it gets too dry and starts to wilt, that is much less of a problem if it is watered as soon as it starts to wilt from being too dry (but not as soon as it starts to wilt from being too wet). To get an idea at first, I would err on the side of too dry - wait until the leaves start to wilt, feel how heavy the pot feels at that point. From then on, water when it is just about that light. OK, now there is a problem here with there not being any leaves. Maybe the branches would droop? I don't know, but with no leaves, it needs even less water.
     
  11. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo Active Member

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    Thanks Wendy. I have passed on the good tips on to my daughter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  12. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo Active Member

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    I wanted to provide an update on the poor leafless plant with a single pepper. After a few days of no watering and more sunlight my daughter said there are new leaves and shoots.

    I was thinking, wow, that was a fast turn around but seeing is believing.

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    wcutler likes this.

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