I started several Carolina Reaper and Cayenne plants indoors and I have recently moved them outside as the temperatures got high enough. This is my first year growing them.

A week ago, I noticed what was initially a slight discoloration of leaves (a beige tint to the mid part of a leaf on one plant), the problem has escalated since then. Now I'm dealing with clear discoloration of leaves on all but one of my Carolina Reaper plants.

Brown discoloration on Carolina Reaper leaf

Severe beige-brown discoloration of leaves on a young Carolina Reaper plant

What could be causing this? Some parasites? Maybe sunscald? I noticed that the discoloration is more pronounced on the plants receiving more sunlight.

I've checked the undersides of the leaves but they seem clear of unwelcome guests, at least ones visible to the naked eye.

The Cayenne peppers are growing in the exact same spot but they seem unaffected.

1 Answer 1


It's probably just sun damage due to the transplant shock, since those leaves are used to a different kind and amount of light. I have a pepper in that sort of situation, and I had some tomatoes in a situation like that, too (but it was more obviously a light issue with the tomatoes than with the peppers—I'm less sure it's the case with the peppers, but I'm hoping so).

If the plants were bigger and stronger, I might recommend nipping off the affected leaves, as it seems to help the plants grow faster. The old leaves are used to different light, and they seem to stunt the plant somewhat in new light. New growth will be used to the new light.

However, it could be fungal or something. Diseases and other kinds of damage sometimes look similar.

  • Looks very similar to sun damage I've experienced before with pepper transplants too when exposed to full strength sun.
    – Jude
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 11:44
  • Thanks, I'll just wait and see if they plants recover. I nipped the worst looking leaf off my biggest plant. I wonder why my Cayenne peppers are not affected, they share the same spot. Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 12:02
  • Yup, looks like sun scald to me as well. The process of acclimation both transferring a plant from indoors to outdoors in real sun and then transferring a plant from outdoors to indoors has mostly to do with the epidermis. A little more sun gradually will build up and thicken the epidermis. A little less sun gradually will thin the epidermis (live Christmas trees). Without gradually acclimating your plants they stand little chance of survival. Your plants will be fine. You seem to have intuitively known to get them out of the direct sun. Keep working at acclimation, they need full sun.
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 17:33

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