It can be worrying when your pepper plants start showing symptoms like yellowing leaves. Getting to the bottom of why pepper leaves turn yellow, wilt, or drop off is vital to reviving your plants. There are around 6 reasons for yellow leaves, and the possible causes of pepper leaves turning yellow include watering issues, nutritional deficiencies, and cold temperatures.
Understanding the reasons for yellow leaves on pepper plants will help you fix the problems. Look closely at the plant to see if your pepper plant leaves are turning yellow. Are the lower, older leaves at the bottom of the plant yellow?
This often indicates a lack of nitrogen fertilizer. Nutrient problems like calcium or magnesium deficiency can also cause yellow pepper leaves. Check for yellowing between veins or leaf edges turning brown. Provide the nutrients the plant needs through fertilizers or foliar sprays.
In our guide, you can learn more about “Why are my pepper plants turning yellow?” By the end, you’ll better understand all the reasons you have yellow leaves on pepper plants. Ultimately, you’ll see how to fix yellow leaves on pepper plants.
What Should Healthy Pepper Plants Look Like?
Healthy pepper plants have lush green leaves. The leaves emerge from the central stem and create the perfect conditions for the peppers to grow.
Pay attention to the lower mature leaves at the bottom of the plant. If these leaves stay green and robust, your pepper plant is getting what it needs. Yellowing of lower leaves is one sign of stress. (Read Ground Cover Plants With Purple Flowers)
Common Causes of Pepper Leaves Turning Yellow
Are your pepper plant leaves turning yellow?
You should be aware of several common causes for this issue. These include:
- Watering stress
- Nutrient deficiencies
- pH imbalance
- Cold weather
Discuss these points in detail to help you understand and address the problem.
Watering Stress Solutions
Pepper plants need consistent moisture, mainly when growing fruit.
- Underwatering can also cause yellow leaves on pepper plants. The plant is desperately trying to preserve water.
- Overwatering deprives roots of oxygen. Roots may rot and fail to uptake nutrients and water. This can be a common cause of yellowing pepper seedlings, which need leaves green to aid growth.
How to Fix Watering Stress
Check soil moisture before watering. Stick your finger in the soil and water the plants if it’s dry below the surface. Make sure excess water can drain out of the pot.
Peppers are susceptible to watering needs, so it’s best to maintain even moisture. Consider setting up a drip irrigation system on a timer if managing watering by hand is difficult.
Nutrient Deficiencies and Remedies
Yellow leaves on a pepper often indicate a lack of essential nutrients in growing peppers, like nitrogen, calcium, or magnesium. Without these nutrients, many plant processes slow down or stop.
A calcium deficiency shows up when younger leaves are yellow. The edges and tips of leaves on your plant will turn yellow or brown. Pepper fruit may also show blossom end rot or other deformities without enough calcium.
How to Fix a Calcium Deficiency
Add a calcium-rich fertilizer or crushed eggshells to your soil. The most efficient way to correct calcium deficiency is to spray liquid calcium directly on the leaves. Do this weekly until the plants improve.
With magnesium deficiency in pepper plants, the space between leaf veins turns yellow first, while the veins in the leaves stay green. This interveinal chlorosis occurs because magnesium is mobile in plants. The plant pulls it from old leaves to push nutrients into newer ones. (Learn How Many Pepper Plants Per 5 Gallon Bucket)
How to Fix a Magnesium Deficiency
You can add Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to fertilizer or spray it on the leaves directly. For every gallon of water, use 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts.
Do My Peppers Need Nitrogen?
Nitrogen is vital for lush, green growth. Nitrogen deficiency is yellowing leaves. Without enough nitrogen, you’ll see leaves on pepper plants turning yellow; one part of the plant showing this first is the lower leaves.
How to Add Nitrogen to Pepper Plants
Adding nitrogen fertilizer often remedies yellow leaves on a pepper plant. But too much nitrogen leads to leafy plants without much fruit—Scatter high nitrogen fertilizers such as ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, or calcium nitrate around the plants. Follow label rates.
Liquid fertilizers with nitrogen can also be sprayed directly on the leaves every 2-3 weeks. Fish emulsion is ideal for leaf feeding.
Cold Weather Reasons For Yellow Leaves
Dealing with cold weather during the growing season can be challenging, but there are ways to prevent yellowing pepper leaves.
One reason pepper leaves are turning yellow is exposure to cold temperatures. Plants don’t like it when the temperature drops below 50°F (10°C). Pepper plants may stress, and it can lead to curled leaves or leaves might. This can lead to the leaves turning yellow or start losing leaves at around 40 degrees.
You can use row covers or cloches to protect your plants from the cold to create a barrier against the chilly air. Additionally, consider bringing your potted pepper plants indoors or into a greenhouse during colder months. Protect plants with a cold frame or greenhouse to extend the growing season and help prevent leaves on your pepper plants from turning yellow.
Why I Have Yellow Leaves On A Pepper Plant, Even with Fertilizer?
With all this, you may wonder why pepper plants turning yellow even with fertilizer. When the pH levels are off, it can cause pepper plants to turn yellow. One way to fix this issue is by testing the soil’s pH using a soil testing kit.
Soil pH should be 6.2-6.8 for proper nutrient uptake. Examine roots for damage from diseases, insects, or overwatering. Improve drainage if the soil stays soggy. Consider repotting plants into fresh soil.
To fix a pH problem with your pepper plants, you can do certain things to get the dirt back to the right pH level. If the pH is too high (alkaline), you can lower it by adding organic matter like fertilizer or peat moss. If the pH is too low (acidic), you can raise it by adding lime to the soil. (Read Can Pepper Spray Kill A Dog)
Other Factors That Cause Yellowing Leaves on Pepper Plants
Overwatering and poor drainage can cause pepper plant leaves to turn yellow. So, when pepper plants are consistently overwatered, or the soil doesn’t drain properly, the roots can become waterlogged and suffocated. This leads to a lack of oxygen and nutrient uptake, thus the cause of yellow leaves that comes to pepper plants.
In addition to overwatering and poor drainage, there are other common reasons for yellow leaves on pepper plants. One cause is nutrient deficiencies, such as magnesium deficiency. This can be resolved by applying a fertilizer specifically formulated for pepper plants.
Diseases that affect pepper plants, such as bacterial leaf spot or viral infections, can also cause pepper plants to have yellow leaves. Proper sanitation practices and disease-resistant varieties can help prevent these issues.
Conclusion: What Causes Yellow Leaves On A Pepper Plant?
Yellow, dying leaves or stress cause pepper leaves to turn yellow on pepper plants. Check moisture levels, soil nutrients, and weather fluctuations that could explain the yellowing leaves. Water your pepper plants using filtered or distilled water rather than tap water, as this can be one of the reasons why your pepper plant leaves might turn yellow.
Address watering issues, fertilize if needed, and control poor environmental factors that affect pepper production and stunted growth. With a little TLC, you can help keep your pepper plants healthy, where they can recover and produce brightly colored fruit all season long.
FAQs On 6 Reasons for Yellow Leaves
Why bottom leaves of pepper plants are turning yellow first?
Leaves on the bottom of your pepper plant or older leaves naturally age and drop off during pepper production. But if you see many leaves on your pepper rapidly turn yellow, it’s usually a lack of nitrogen.
Should you remove yellow leaves on your pepper?
If you are unsure of the reasons why your pepper leaves are turning yellow, it’s best to let the yellow leaves stay on the plant unless they start to rot. The plant is pulling out nutrients from the leaves before dropping them. Removing leaves can deprive the plant of mobile nutrients needed for plant growth, even if leaves stay yellow.
What diseases make pepper leaves yellow?
Bacterial leaf spot, anthracnose, powdery mildew, Phytophthora blight, and certain viruses can all cause yellow spots or patterns on pepper leaves. Check your plants carefully for signs of disease, and help improve air circulation or use fungicides to prevent disease and yellow spots on the leaves.
Why do pepper plants drop leaves?
All plants naturally drop older leaves as they age. But pepper leaf drop can also be caused by transplant shock, water stress, temperature shifts, or pests like thrips. Rule out these causes before assuming it’s natural leaf loss.
How do I add calcium to my garden?
Add crushed eggshells, bone meal, gypsum, or lime around plants to increase calcium levels. Spray liquid calcium directly on leaves or water in calcium fertilizers. (Learn How Long Do Pepper Plants Live)
How do I know if my plants need magnesium?
A magnesium deficiency shows up as yellowing between leaf veins while the veins remain green. Add Epsom salts to fertilizer or spray magnesium sulfate foliar sprays—test soil to know if magnesium is lacking.