I'm growing pepper plants on my window sills, and yesterday had a minor incident.

While reaching over one of the plants in the bathroom, to close the window above it, my foot slipped and I caught myself by grabbing the window frame, while doing so I crushed a leaf between my arm and the frame, and tore it almost all the way down the middle, lengthways.

Should I remove this leaf it? Leave it alone? Something else?

Here's a picture of the damaged leaf:

photograph of pepper plant leaf showing full-length lengthways tear in leaf


Looks like you have plenty of other foliage, you can either leave the leaf alone or just pull if off.

Leaving the leaf on may slightly increase your plant's infection risk as the exposed surface is fairly large, but honestly plants are pretty good at preventing that when its only a minor injury. The benefit of this, as mentioned in a comment is that the leaf may still be capable of productive photosynthesis.

Plucking the leaf will leave you with a minimal opening for infection (just the location where the plant is attached to the stem) so that may be the better option.

Honestly I don't think you will do much harm to your plant whether you leave it on or off. Plants lose leaves all the time for a variety of reasons, they also take damage to their leaves for a variety of reasons (bugs, birds, humans, even hail). They are pretty well prepared to deal with them.

What I would do is leave it alone for a few days, but if the leaf shows signs of getting infected or wilting, then I would pull it off and move on with my life.

  • 2
    You got there before me - I was eating my cereal when I saw the question. Yes either way I can't see it making any real difference. I usually leave broken leaves and remove broken stems (for tidiness and to remove any fruit on it). Chances of infection less, but the broken leaf may still be capable of productive photosynthesis.
    – winwaed
    Jul 6 '11 at 12:37
  • @winwaed - incorporated your mention of photosynthesis to show potential benefit of leaving leaf intact.
    – wax eagle
    Jul 6 '11 at 12:42

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