Pepper fertilizer

This is a Trinidad Douglah pepper, its leaves are very pale . I gave it some miracle grow liquid fertilizer a few weeks ago and I put some chicken manure mixed with water on three days ago. Why are the leaves so pale ? They are worse than the photo shows.

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What kind of soil are you growing them in? I would fertilize with Miracle Grow weekly and see if they improve. Definitely lacking nitrogen, maybe other nutrients, maybe pH out of range.

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It is miracle grow potting soil . They have been in it for a long time, I started them in early January

Check for excess moisture in the root zone.


I’ve generally used Pro Mix for starting my vegetable seedlings and transplants. Last year I could only get Miracle-Mix on short notice; so, I started using that. I quickly found out that nothing would grow in it, and I ended up using it only as a mulch. I don’t know if that was just a bad batch or if that is typical of Miracle-Mix. Try a different brand. I switched back to Pro Mix a soon as I could, and everything grew better. I’m still using it this year, and my peppers are doing fine.

No standing water, roots look healthy.

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Looks like that plant needs to be re-potted. Also, are you letting the soil dry before re-watering?

Iron deficiency? I must admit I read up on nutrient deficiency so much but it still is hard to determine. I like an article that has clear pics like this one.

If it is, chelated iron spray could help.

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How much sunlight are they getting?

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Lots, they are out side full time now , just brought in if it may frost at night, I will take a photo of a tomato in a pot right next to it that is in the same potting soil and has had the same fertilizer

This is a superhot pepper that is adapted to very hot climates. They often grow with pale green leaves until temperatures are consistently above 80F. This plant is also short on a couple of micronutrients. There are two reasons why it is short on micronutrients. The first is that most seed start mixes - especially miracle grow - are short on micronutrients. The second is that temperature is not yet high enough for the roots to absorb what is available in the seed mix. Miracle Grow seed mix has added lime to correct PH. It is about right for tomatoes but a tad high for superhot peppers.

  1. Get some soluble plant fertilizer that contains micronutrients, mix a teaspoon to a gallon of water and give this plant about a cup. Water regularly thereafter with the fertilizer water. Do the same for the rest of your plants including tomatoes.
  2. If the temperature is below 60F, bring the peppers indoors. Tomatoes are fine down to 45F, but superhot peppers are NOT!
  3. To drop the ph of the soil mix, put 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice in with the first cup of fertilizer water. Be very careful, a little bit goes a LONG way.

Quick lesson on seed start mixes: most of them have a small amount of added fertilizer. It is NOT enough to grow a seedling much beyond the first 2 weeks. You MUST add fertilizer in small amounts to keep them growing. Micronutrients are also a problem as noted, so when you get fertilizer, look for one that has micronutrients, in particular manganese and iron. It is very easy to get the nitrogen/potassium balance mucked up with seedlings which can also give pale green leaves. This is easy to correct by using a fertilizer with higher potassium. P should be about double N for most solanums (pepper, tomato, eggplant, etc). If you want to see this, take a look at the NPK for Miracle grow for tomatoes. Note the ratio of N to P.

I’m writing this while looking out the window at 3 trays of superhot peppers with overnight temps forecast at 37F. Got to bring them in!

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Thank you for the detailed advice. I have several hot and super hot peppers started. I noticed the habanero tree peppers almost wilt if it gets below 45 degrees and then pop back up as the day warms up.

Are you growing any C. Pubescens? I love the flavor of rocotos but they can be finicky in spring weather.

I should have mentioned two things above. Don’t use fertilizer water every time, about 1 time in 3 weeks is usually enough. Also, as someone else pointed out, the plant in the picture should be moved into a larger container soon.

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I planted pepper seeds in a 36 cell planter about 3 weeks ago (I know it’s late, but I’ve had other things to deal with) and now only have about 6 sprouts. I know my seeds aren’t bad, so I’m suspicious of the soil mix. I know peppers can take a while to sprout but I’ve planted these seeds before and they didn’t take this long.

I think it’s too acidic, and peppers usually don’t like that. I’m going to try new seeds in a different less acidic mix this week. Still too cold plant anything out, it’s supposed to be close to freezing tonight and tomorrow night.

I have grown one a few years ago I think but I would have to check my notes. My favorite hot pepper the last time I grew them was butch t . Made lots of peppers with a distinct flavor and smell.

Yes I grew a rocoto de seda , it was a very unusual plant in comparison to any pepper I had ever grown. It was slow to fruit, I did finally get a few peppers at the end of the season. Here is a photo, you will recognize the yellow

rocoto de seda in the center of the bowl.

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Yes, Pubescens is very long season. They are also fairly tolerant of cool growing conditions. Where they are finicky is the soil they prefer to grow in. They like lots of organic matter.

For outstanding flavor, Chapeau de Frade is a superb moderately hot pepper. I’m not growing it this year but wish I was.

Here are the hot to very hot peppers I have ready for the garden. It is too cool to transplant them but sometime next week they will go in the dirt.

7 Pot Douglah
Apocalypse Chocolate
Bhut Jolokia
Black Habanero
Carolina Reaper
Chocolate Bhutlah
Death Spiral
Dragons Breath
Giant Red Habanero
Jamaican Chocolate
Mulato Isleno
Red Savina
Thai Dragon
Thor’s Peach
Trinidad Sc Butch-T
Trinidad Scorpion Moruga
Umorok Chocolate
Umorok Red

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Pic of some of my plants earlier today:

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Impressive list, that’s some serious heat