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A hot pepper plant (either a Trinidad Moruga Scorpion or Ghost Pepper) that I've recently (couple of weeks to a month ago) moved outdoors (weather above 8-10°C @ night) started showing some weird black/gray fuzz on new growth.

These "marks" can be seen both on the top of the leaves, next to their stem, running along the veins, and on the underside, where it looks more like a fuzz. As mentioned, this is affecting new growth, and it's present on all the new leaves to a certain extent.

The concerning part is that quite a lot of the new buds that started growing recently are randomly falling off, without any clear signs of damage (some are wilted, and "dry" off, but others just fall, completely plump and seemingly unharmed).

Any ideas what the black/gray fuzz might be, how to get rid of it (in case it's harmful), and if it has anything to do with the flowers falling off?

Some photos of the affected plant: Underside of leaf

New growth

Different leaf underside

I've added a couple of photos of a healthy looking leaf from the top and bottom:

Healthy leaf from the top Healthy leaf from the bottom

When taking the healthy images, I've also noticed these bugs on the bottom of another leaf:

Bugs on the underside of a leaf

Can these be the cause?

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  • My rather healthy peppers allays drop buds as they produce more flowers than the amount of fruit they can grow.
    – Vorac
    May 20, 2023 at 2:46

1 Answer 1

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You have an aphid infestation, certainly greenfly, whitefly and possibly thrips, though there's no twisting of then young leaves and buds yet to indicate thrips. You can spray all parts of the the plant with an insecticide suitable for edible plants, or try neem or horticultural oil spray. Whether the brownish hairs are because of the aphids or are a natural part of the plant (some chili pepper plants do have hairy leaves) I'm not sure.

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  • Thank you, I've sprayed the plant with a neem oil spray, and I'll see how it'll go. I'll come back and update the original post in case it works out well.
    – heunetik
    May 17, 2023 at 6:27
  • Re: The hairs. Can you compare to healthy leaves? I hope there are some healthy leaves.
    – Boba Fit
    May 17, 2023 at 12:42
  • @Boba Fit - Currently away from home, but will update the post in a few days to add some comparison shots with healthy leaves. Thanks for the tip!
    – heunetik
    May 19, 2023 at 10:45
  • Make sure you spray all parts of the plant, including under the leaves, ,till run off - you might find the excess hairiness disappears if its related to being infested.
    – Bamboo
    May 19, 2023 at 13:45
  • Firsthand ;-( experience with whitefly: 0. visit the plants at night 1. wear a LED headlamp 2. observe the underside of the leaves, especially the highest ones.
    – Vorac
    May 20, 2023 at 2:48

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