Chilli plant leaf curling

The leaf of my green chilli plant keep curling and wither away. I have tried treatment with neem oil pesticide /fungicide but it does not show any improvement

The plant does not flower / produce chillis

  • 2
    Maybe there are too many plants in a pot. When the plantlets grow two true leaves (after the initial two that are cotyledons), you may prick them out and keep only a few. The closest chili that I grew in a pot where spaced at 10 cm and each of them has produced 4-6 fruits, with no fertilizer at all. Of course the soil was exhausted, but I didn't care because chili are annual crops in my zone and I discarded them after fruiting. If you plan to grow perennial chili, you should fertilize with appropriate solutions depending on the development phase of the plants.
    – Alina
    Dec 29, 2016 at 10:39
  • 1
    Nitrogen is useful for developing vegetative growth (leaves, stems). When the plants are fully grown, you should apply fertilizer with low levels of nitrogen and high levels of potassium, because not enough potassium results in little or no flowers. Another important thing is to water the plants on a regular schedule, every 2-3 days, because drought followed by overwatering stresses the plants and leads to the deformation of the leaves that cannot cope with the sudden water intake.
    – Alina
    Dec 29, 2016 at 10:51
  • How big are the pots or containers? What temperatures do you have currently where you are?
    – Bamboo
    Dec 29, 2016 at 19:58
  • Closely examine the leaves for pests. Even though you've been spraying it may not mean you've killed the buggers. Jan 15, 2017 at 19:38
  • What are you or have you done with fertilizer? Yes you need fertilizer and keep the N percentage lower than P and K percentages or at least equal. Do you own a magnifying glass? Please look at the leaves, the undersides and the stems for tiny mites or flies. What are you watering with? Tap water? I am seeing an awful lot of salt damage and if you aren't fertilizing it is because you've got high salts in your tap water...chlorine, fluorine...heavy metals...You HAVE to fertilize. There are great extended release organic fertilizers but for newbies Osmocote is super!
    – stormy
    Jan 21, 2017 at 0:05

3 Answers 3


Spider mites are a possibility. They might not respond to an insecticide, as they're not insects (I'm not sure about neem oil). They're pretty hard to eliminate (but the plants should do better after being transplanted outside, if you're going to do that). Reinfection from other plants (including houseplants) in the area is likely, even if they don't show symptoms.

If you have multiple plants per pot, or multiple pots of plants close to each other, that can contribute to foliar problems. I experienced this a lot in 2015 when I was starting my plants inside (to transplant out later, in the spring). Plants (especially indoor ones) enjoy space and ventilation. A fan in the room should also help, if you have packed foliage. Ventilation helps to keep fungus to a minimum. It helps to keep the leaves dry.

If your room is too warm, that can cause foliar problems, too. Plants like warmth, but it's not always the best thing for them (in my experience). If you can keep the soil warm (e.g. with a heat mat) without warming the whole room, you may get the best of both worlds.

If you want lots of peppers, I recommend planting only one plant per pot, giving it a larger pot (with the right nutrients in the soil), and make sure it gets plenty of light. It looks like your window is bright, which is nice.

Variety is also important. For indoor peppers, unless you have sufficient supplemental lighting, you'll probably want to go with plants that can do well in the shade, like Grandpa's Home or Ring of Fire. Some varieties may resist these foliar issues and/or pests more than other varieties, too.

There are other important factors, and I'm not aware of them all, but I'm guessing healthy soil microbes probably play a big role, too.

Adding extra potassium can indeed help to strengthen indoor plants (provided the soil isn't already abundant in it). Phosphorus is supposed to help plants mature faster; phosphorus is also supposed to help with flowering.

For mature plants, you'll want to make sure you're not still using a seed-starting mix, or you'll likely never get much, if any, fruit. Seed-starting mix is depleted of nutrients. I'm not sure what soils are best for encouraging fruit for peppers indoors, but I do know the soil you pick can make a big difference.

In my experience, plants don't respond to nutrients the same way indoors as they do outdoors. So, that's another challenge to getting fruit indoors. There doesn't seem to be a plethora of research regarding getting much fruit on plants indoors, unless you're talking about hydroponic gardening with artificial lighting and such. So, maybe you can help pioneer the research (be it anecdotal or otherwise).


spraying pesticide when the plant is stressed due to lack of complete nutrition and/or lack of water(?) will only stress it more. use a complete fertilizer with all major and minor elements not missed out. i myself tend to forget about fert after the spring zealousness.


You don't mention the temperatures where you are. I have experienced these situations (and worse) when the temperature drops below freezing. The amount of damage can range from falling leaves to the plant dying if the temperatures go too low.

Another possibility is if you have been growing these plants for a while and never fertilized it. That can cause similar effects.

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