My pepper plant, which is planted indoors in a 31cm Ø pot, has been suffering increasingly over the last few weeks to months. I've had the plant since the end of May, and it seemed pretty happy in the beginning, even producing two peppers - although those don't seem to have grown in size significantly since the first problems occurred (and they're still very much dark green).
Images of the damages are attached below. There were also a few leaves that turned completely yellow, but they fell off at the slightest touch, and I threw them away before remembering to take a picture.

Concerning what I think could be the causes: I know for a fact that I have an abundance of dark-winged fungus gnats, against which I bought nematodes that I applied just a few days ago (I also have several glue traps, which are littered with gnats, but they don't really seem to help a whole lot, especially since the larvae are the main problem, and they don't really care about glue traps).

I also definitely have spidermites, which decimated and slowly killed my strawberry plant (although, growing indoors, it was probably doomed anyway). I've spotted some on my pepper plant, but there isn't a whole lot of them, so I doubt they're the (only) cause of damage. Anyway, I bought and applied predator mites a few days ago to get rid of the spider mites.

I live in southern Germany and the pot is on my south-facing window, but there hasn't been a whole lot of sunlight the last few weeks, so that could also be an issue. The room is obviously unheated since it's summer, and the average temperature is about 22-24°C (more on really hot and sunny days).

The pot has a gravel drainage layer at the bottom to prevent waterlogging, though the earth does still stay damp for quite some time. I've resorted to turning on my dehumidifier in order to prevent the earth from getting moldy. Still, I can't say for sure if I'm not watering the plant too much.

I can't rule out a lack of nutrients either, but I did repot the pepper plant to its current pot not that long ago (the previous pot was definitely too small, which I didn't know in the beginning due to a lack of experience). As part of that repotting, I did add fertilizer, plus the new earth should also have plenty of nutrients in it, so I don't think nutrients are the problem (unless the plant is just suffering after-effects of having too few nutrients before).

Does anybody know if the damages shown below are caused by any of these issues, or if it's something else?


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  • Gravel at the bottom of the pot does not increase drainage, it DECREASES it. See gardenmyths.com/gravel-pot-drainage for a simple explanation as to why that happens. For a more technical description, see deepgreenpermaculture.com/2019/09/06/…
    – Jurp
    Commented Aug 7, 2021 at 17:27
  • @Jurp I suppose I misphrased. I'm aware that it doesn't mean that water will drain faster (although I don't see why it would drain slower, either). What it will do is prevent the soil from standing in excess water, which might accumulate in the pot saucer. The gravel layer is at most 2-3cm high or about 10%, so I don't think that's a huge issue concerning the artifical pot height reduction. Commented Aug 7, 2021 at 17:53


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