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The leaves on my chilli plant have recently started turning silver, (as below), they also become thinner and have an 'elasticy' quality to them.

Any idea what is causing this?

Factors to consider:

  • Its a 2 year old plant
  • Its recently been put outside (no frost)
  • There are a few aphids on the plant

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1  
anyone living on the underside of the leaf? Thrips can do this kind of damage. –  kevinsky May 18 '12 at 10:55
1  
When is the last time the plant was repotted? Have you fertilized with anything? If so, what did you use and when was it? –  bstpierre May 18 '12 at 15:13
    
It has been re-potted this spring. Generally I have only been using water, but I did start fertilizing with fertiliser design for herbs when I noticed the leaves starting to change colour. –  Dan May 20 '12 at 14:54

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Its because you put the plant straight outside and the plant is not used to the harsh light outside so it gets 'sunburned'. To avoid this in the future you should harden it off by moving it out gradually over about a week:

  1. day: 2-3 hours in part shadow
  2. day: 2-3 hours in the sun
  3. 4-5 hours in the sun
  4. 6-7 hours outside
  5. the whole day out but in at night
  6. the whole day out but in at night
  7. Now it can be outside all the time.

It does not have to be exactly like this, but the idea is you let the plant get used to the environment outside slowly. I know it can be difficult to do this while having a full time job so you can make variations where you leave it longer in the evening where the light is less harsh and stretch it out over a longer period than a week. or you can put fleece over it and leave it out a bit longer as well. About the plant where the damage is done. It will set new leaves to replace the damaged ones, don't worry :)

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Thanks jeabp. I have had the plant in the window, so it has already experienced greenhouse style conidtions. Furthermore it hasn't been particularly sunny outside. You still think the sun is causing this? –  Dan May 20 '12 at 15:02
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yes. In the window it only gets light from one direction, while outside it gets light from all directions of the sun and from above. So even if its overcast outside, it is till a lot brighter. I saw your picture before your description and the first thing I was thinking was 'have you just moved it outside?' and your description said you did :) I do have plants that look like this as well because I forgot them outside :( –  jeabp May 21 '12 at 7:20
    
Plus, it doesn't get full ultraviolet through window glass. –  Fiasco Labs May 18 at 23:24

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