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I have planted several bell pepper plants in my hydroponic system (DWC). I have used coconut peat as the growing medium and used the following nutrient solution:

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The problem is, all my plants have cracks in their stems. I read in here (Why has the stem of my chili plant split?) that it cause due to excess water. Unlike in that question, we a re dealing with hydroponics here. There's always water. So, the question is, how can I solve this issue?

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The answer you linked to says that the growth is top heavy due to etoliated growth. This has lead to stress on the soft stems causing them to crack.

So, the answer would be to heavily prune back the top growth forcing the stems to thicken so that they can support the future growth, and to increase the light levels.

  • I've seen some LED setups that might be bright enough. But I think there's still a lot of stock available from the days when you could only get a quarter sun or less. OTOH, my new LED flashlight is actually brighter than full sun. You can see its beam on the sidewalk at noon. Look around for more PAR lumens duckduckgo.com/… – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 20 '18 at 4:06
  • @WayfaringStranger are you agreeing with my answer then? – Graham Chiu Apr 20 '18 at 5:46
  • @ Graham Chiu Pretty much. Just adding that source of etiolation is likely not enough light. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 20 '18 at 13:31
  • @GrahamChiu I agree with WayfaringStranger with his suggestion. Light very well can be a factor since if a plant has weak/little light it will leg out towards the light source. So brighter/more light should also help with keeping these peppers from cracking. – Ljk2000 Apr 20 '18 at 13:46
  • Put the lights closer to the plants! They should be just an inch or two above the tops of the plants. That may help, but if as WS says, the LED might not have enough light for the extra vigorous growth from a hydroponic setup. – Tim Nevins May 18 '18 at 18:53
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It was the same way with some of my 1 month old hot chili peppers, when they were under the lower wattage of led light. I pruned their tops to stop the lower part of their stems from splitting. The ones I grew under the brighter light didn't split but got taller, which fixed my problem.

  • This does not really answer the question. If you have a different question, you can ask it by clicking Ask Question. You can also add a bounty to draw more attention to this question once you have enough reputation. - From Review – Alina May 19 '18 at 13:52
  • Hi @Alina. I respectfully disagree with the thinking that this doesn't answer the question. Actually it's nearly a duplicate of the answer above it. I added some wording to make full sentences and made a few grammar and punctuation improvements so it doesn't look like a question, but other than that, it seems fine, at least to me! If you agree, would you be willing to delete that comment? Thanks! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL May 20 '18 at 20:30
  • No problem, @Sue. I just saw it in the review queue and thought that it didn't answer the question. I'm glad you have edited it as to state that brighter light fixed it and make it lose it's air of "I'm having this problem too". The way it looks now I might just upvote it. – Alina May 20 '18 at 20:44

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