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Please have a look at these images of my hot pepper plant. Notice the growing tips which seem withered and diseased.

What disease is this and what is causing this? What are the solutions to counter this??

Location: India. Weather In May-June: Hot! > 95F days.

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Are there any insects? Green fly (aphids) can cause this kind of damage. If so, you'll see them clustered around the juicy growing buds. –  winwaed Jun 27 '12 at 12:26
    
@winwaed - No, I don't see any aphids or other insects. –  gatul Jun 27 '12 at 21:33
    
What I think I'm seeing is a repeated failure to set fruit - yes? Two wild guesses: too much water, or too much heat (days over 95F/nights over 80F). If too much heat, consider using a light-colored, fluffy mulch to try to reduce soil temperature, like grass clippings. –  Ed Staub Jun 28 '12 at 3:53
    
@EdStaub - Yes, it was hot! But I thought peppers loved heat? –  gatul Jun 29 '12 at 2:52
    
What kind of pepper is it? –  Ed Staub Jun 29 '12 at 16:23
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1 Answer

Peppers may drop blossoms and not set fruit at air temperatures as low as 85F. But many also germinate best with high temperature (~85F). At 95F, you're into a stress zone.

Another source indicates that night air temperatures above 75F suppress fruit-setting. If this is really all you need to get to, you might be able to do it by moving the plant indoors at night (if potted, and if you have air conditioning), or by misting at night. Misting may cause mold/mildew problems, though.

Also, they need insect (or hand) pollination, so if growing indoors (unlikely in your case!) you need to hand-pollinate.

I'd guess (based on NO info), that if you can keep the soil temperature down it might set some fruit even at 95F air temperature. Once the fruit is set, it will grow even in elevated temperatures. If you get a lot of blossoms at once when it's hot, you might consider removing some. Pruning may also help to allow the plant to get enough water up from the ground. And as I commented above - mulch to reduce soil temperatures and eliminate surface drying. Again - this paragraph is all guesswork!

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I don't think it is a problem of fruit set, as much as some infection.Please have a look at the photos - the growing shoots look like something is sucking the life out of them. Do you agree? –  gatul Jun 30 '12 at 3:57
    
Sorry, I don't see it - meaning just that, you're probably seeing something in person that I don't get from the photos. What I think you're calling "growing shoots" look to me like places where flowers were and have dropped off without setting fruit. If you're pretty sure that this looks like the work of insects, go out at night with a flashlight a few times, at least an hour after dark, and see if you can catch them in the act. A lot of pests are nocturnal. –  Ed Staub Jun 30 '12 at 13:50
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