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I'm trying to keep my Carolina Reaper pepper plants alive. We've had lots of rain, and there is good drainage at the bottom of the planters. I've put down slug plugs and spray them with insect oil. They get fish emulsion about every 3 weeks and on an off week I'll do some dilluted humic acid and kelp on the leaves. There are a lot of branches that have had the leaves chewed off and have not been able to track down the culprit yet. Any ideas? Is located in central Texas. I know we have raccoons on the deck sometimes, but I was having this issue even with it screened in.

They had been growing like crazy and one day, as soon as it started to warm up (when peppers are supposed to be happiest) they stopped and started falling apart.

Edit: I use this on them- Bonide All-Season Spray

EDIT: Accepted answer got me straightened out. They're all growing again with good healthy growth.

I'll note that it is possible that it was a virus.

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1 Answer 1


It rather looks like a chemical imbalance in the plants or the soil or both. The leaves look quite glossy which might mean oversupply of nitrogen. Over-fertilization can result in prolonging the vegetative phase with little or no flower production. Might want to look closely at the fish emulsion analysis to see what is going on the soil, and what might accumulate to the disadvantage of normal growth. A remedy might be a good flushing of the soil and no fertilizer for six weeks and then half rate after that.

  • Lots of heavy rains here lately and have some very small new growth (before I could flush them with a hose), so I think your answer is right on the money. Thank you! May 21, 2021 at 21:27

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