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I had bought 10 pots of peppers a while back. Not all of them seemed healthy, but since they had the fruits, I thought I can use the fruits and bin the pots if I can't keep them. I was keeping them in the north-facing balcony when I noticed they're all covered in small pink/brown bugs. I applied alcohol + soapy water spray to get rid of them, and then planted them all in a box and moved the box into a room with a south-facing window. I also cut all unhealthy-looking leaves and stems.

Since then, they've been growing incredibly, blooming, and now, even having small fruits. The issue is that they're growing curly leaves most of the time, some with dandruff-like spots on them, and I think, as a result of that, some of the flowers fall off as if one has cut them. Consulting someone at a gardening store, I bought a tomato food to help them grow better, but I couldn't manage to find a fungicide spray, and even if I could, they'd come in giant quantities.

Is there something like the soapy water that I could make at home to apply on these plants as they're full of flowers, and I don't want to bin them all, but to cure them!

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P.S. I've moved the box away from the window just to take the photo. This is not where it normally rests!

  • What sort of peppers are they, chili or bell peppers? – Bamboo Nov 15 '14 at 12:09
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    @Bamboo The tag says: "Pepper; F1 Marconi". They're the average long peppers that are not hot and aren't round like bell peppers either. – Neeku Nov 15 '14 at 13:18
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Okay, so they're sweet peppers - the first thing I'd say is, there's too many plants in one box - that number of plants should be split between two boxes of that size as a minimum. Second, the leaves on the plants in the second photo don't appear to be twisted or affected, only the ones you show separated from the plants in the first pic. Did these particular leaves come from the bottom of the plant? Are there leaves that are affected near the top of the plants? I'm just wondering whether the alcohol and soapy water spray you used caused the damage.

As for 'dandruff' like spots, if you mean white, slightly furry looking spots, that could be a mildew problem, and you can try a milk spray for that (1 part milk to 9 parts water). Otherwise get hold of some neem oil and treat the plants with that - this has some effect on fungal infections, and also clears insect pests.

UPDATED ANSWER: I still can't see any twisted leaves on the plants themselves, but I'll take your word for it. I'd definitely recommend you stop using your soapy water and alcohol spray, and use something like neem instead. As for being able to split them into separate boxes, yes you can do it, but be very careful - soak the soil in the box thoroughly, so its sopping wet right through, specially around all the roots, then turn out the plants. If the soil around the roots isn't wet enough, pop back in the box and soak for a while and turn them out again. Then carefully, tease them apart as gently as possible, and replant, watering thoroughly once you've done so. If you find there's a mass of roots and you're in danger of breaking lots of them, if you have a container large enough (a bucket or something) fill the bucket and pop the plants in and separate the roots carefully in the water and then plant up. If they wilt after this, keep them well supplied with water until they've recovered, though not so much water that they're sitting in it in any outer tray, the excess should be able to drain away freely.

  • Thank you so much for your answer @Bamboo. I keep cutting all the curly leaves that I see, but yet, there are curly ones in the second photo as well, like the top leaf from the second left row. I had applied soapy water once or twice and soapy alcohol (white spirit) another time as the pests wouldn't die. About splitting them in two pots, can I do it now as they're covered in flowers and are having fruits? – Neeku Nov 15 '14 at 20:00
  • Good answer. I was surprised by the pic, they look like a quite nice batch of pepper plants to me... – J. Musser Nov 16 '14 at 0:41

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