While growing chili plants indoors and lately holes in the leaves and brown spots have started to appear. Images:

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There are no bugs visible on the leaves. The plants are grown indoors, have ample sunlight and are grown with expanded clay pebbles below the layer of soil.

Related questions on gardening.SE, but doesn't look like my plants:

EDIT: On a much closer inspection I did indeed find small black critters - probably aphids, judging from other images on the web. I have sprayed the plants with a solution of dish soap and canola oil - now we wait! ;-)

  • 1
    Does the pot the plant's growing in have a drainage hole at the bottom?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 13:02
  • @Bamboo No drainage hole but approx. 5cm of expanded clay pebbles as a moisture buffer
    – trolle3000
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 15:37
  • Yup, Bamboo's already jumped on this and she is right (when isn't she, grins)...no rocks, pebbles, ANYTHING at the bottom of the pot and make sure there is a hole and try to get the bottom of the pot off the surface it sits upon, a gap of air. Your plant looks just fine, normal, healthy...a few holes are nothing. If this continues you have to find the critter before you 'treat' with anything. I don't see any problems except that drainage. You could add a peice of panty hose to keep the soil from falling out but that whole pot should only have potting soil plus plant.
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


Well something's been causing physical damage or nibbling on the leaves - on the twisted one, the damage would have taken place when the leaf was much smaller, causing it to grow in this distorted fashion. In the second photo, there appears to be something suggestive of black blobs (aphids?) at the base of the newest leaves, but I can't see what they are clearly, they may be nothing or they may be something.

As for keeping it in a pot without drainage holes, even with your 'buffer zone', I recommend you put it in a pot that does have proper drainage - water can sit for ages in the buffer zone at the bottom, and you may find it doesn't smell very nice when you turn it out of the pot it's in, because its become sour. It doesn't look as if the plant is suffering because of this at the moment, but it may well become an issue over time.

  • 2
    It turns out I hadn't been looking thoroughly enough - on the backside of the leaves there are indeed small clusters of very small black critters - probably aphids. I have sprayed the plants with canola oil
    – trolle3000
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 17:13

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