If you’re experiencing some sad droopy-looking pepper plants, then there’s no need to worry too much as even the best gardeners and plant lovers among us experience some issues when caring for our plants and flowers.
Pepper plants drooping is a very common thing and there could be several factors that are causing this. We'll be exploring these reasons today and also telling you how to fix them so your pepper plants can thrive!
You’re Skimping On The Water
This is one of the most common reasons for wilting plants and is also one of the easiest to fix. It can be difficult to know how much water to give your pepper plant, but if the leaves are wilting then it’s a clear sign that you’re not watering the soil enough.
Plants lose water through the process of transpiration and if you’re not giving your soil enough water then it means that your plant is losing water as it evaporates from the leaves and is dehydrated so the leaves and any peppers on the plant will begin to droop and wilt.
If your plants are outside all day in the heat then they’ll dry quicker so you’ll need to ensure you give them a good watering more often.
You should water your pepper plant after the soil has nearly dried and if your pepper plant is placed outside then you may need to water it every day.
It can be hard to gauge when your pepper plant needs water so consider getting a water meter for your soil so you can monitor the moisture levels in the soil and therefore know when they need watering. Alternatively, you could stick your finger a couple of inches into the soil to see how moist the water is, if it feels too dry then you need to water.
You’re Watering It Too Much
On the other hand, your pepper plant wilting and drooping could also indicate that you’re overwatering it - It’s confusing I know. Pepper plants thrive in warm climates and if you water them too much this can water down the heat and the plant will struggle and the leaves will begin to droop and wilt.
You may also see yellow spots or signs of your pepper plant leaves beginning to turn yellow as another sign that you’re overwatering your plant. The leaves turn yellow because the soil has been drowned of nutrients so they can’t absorb all the good stuff that they need to continue growing.
Less water results in hotter peppers, so if you’re someone who loves spice, then you’ll want to use as little water as possible (but still enough) until the point where the leaves are showing signs of wilting.
Like we recommended above, use a water meter for your pepper plant to monitor the moisture levels in the soil, this way you’ll know whether you’re overwatering or underwatering your plants.
Too Much Sun
We’ve already established that pepper plants love warm climates, but they can still be affected by high heat causing the plant to come under stress and begin to wilt. This is especially true for pepper plants that are placed outside.
As soon as the temperature outside starts hitting the mid 80s, you’ll want to start taking some precautions to ensure it doesn’t struggle with heat stress.
Make sure to give your soil amply watering especially if your plant is placed directly in the sun, regularly check up on the moisture of the soil so you can re-water it if it’s dried out throughout the day.
If you’ve got potted pepper plants, then try to move them into the shade during the hottest parts of the day. The afternoon sun is often the most intense and it will quickly dry out your plant more quickly than you think so taking them out of direct sunlight for the hottest hours of the day will ensure that their moisture levels are more easily maintained
If your pepper plants are planted into the soil into the ground, then set up some temporary shade with an umbrella or place a lightly damped cloth over the leaves of the plant to protect them from the intense sun and heat. If you’re able to, do regular check backs on the soil and see if your plant needs light watering to keep the moisture levels in the soil up.
Sometimes the temperature can be hotter outside near our plants than what it says on our smartphones or thermometers around our home. Buy yourself a clip-on thermometer for your plant so you will know when the temperature around the plant is too hot or not. As we said, when temperatures start approaching the 80s you’ll want to become more vigilant and pay closer attention to your pepper plants.
Luckily for you, pepper plants recover well from heat stress and as long as you replenish them with adequate water, they’ll respond and bounce back to normal.
Certain pests love to feed on pepper plants whilst others may inject toxins into the leaves whilst they feed causing the plant to start wilting. Many pests like to lay their eggs on the larger leaves of pepper plants which can quickly boost the population and cause issues to escalate more quickly which will become out of your control.
You’ll be able to know if your pepper plant has been affected by pests because you’ll notice some unusual damage to your leaves like holes or strange brown spots.
Regularly check over your soil and the leaves of your pepper plant to make sure there are no lingering pests or eggs laid around. Try to use an organic pesticide on your plant now and again to prevent pests from making themselves comfortable and to also eradicate any existing pests within the plant.
Ensure to find the relevant pesticide that will be most effective for the kinds of pests that are on your plant.
Shock From The Change In Conditions
During the process of moving your pepper plant from the comfortable conditions inside your home to the outside, they can suffer from something called transplant shock from the changes in the surrounding environment.
The direct sunlight and the higher temperature outside may cause your pepper plant to wilt as it is a drastic change from being indoors. There’s no need to worry however as the plant will slowly adjust to its new climate and it’ll begin to rejuvenate and resume its normal growth, as long as you keep up with the watering levels that are needed for its new surrounding climate.
When you first place your pepper plant outside for the first time, make sure to provide them with extra shade, or at least place them in the shade for a few days and then move them further out into the yard.
Overwatering your soil or not changing your soil enough can result in fungal infections developing in your pepper plant which can cause the leaves to start wilting and also turning a brown/yellow color. Normal pepper plant leaves should be a medium green color so you’ll be able to notice quickly if there’s something wrong with the plant.
Fungal infections block the soil from being able to soak up nutrients which results in the leaves wilting. If the fungal issue is only in the soil, then you can use an effective fungicide to solve the issue and then also transfer your pepper plant into another pot or a different part of the yard whilst you sort out the affected area.
If the fungal problem has spread up to your plant, then it may be too late and your pepper plant may not be able to revive itself regardless of if you change the soil or not. This means you’ll probably have to throw your plant away and start again with a new one, although, if you follow all our tips properly then you won’t have to reach this point.
Unfortunately, there’s also a thing called bacterial wilt that can affect your pepper plant, it’s not normally common with plants grown by hobbyist gardeners at home but it’s still something to look out for.
Bacterial wilt can easily spread when an infected leaf touches a healthy leaf and the process is irreversible so the best way to avoid this from happening is prevention.
Common symptoms of bacterial wilt are that your leaves will turn a dull green color and begin to wilt during the day but then recover during the night. They’ll eventually turn a brown or yellow color and completely will until they die.
If one of your leaves is infected on your pepper plant, remove it immediately and throw it in the bin. Make sure to also prevent your leaves from touching the soil by cutting away lower leaves on the plant as it stops any soil-based bacterial diseases from spreading up to the leaves.
However, as we said, this is rare in home-grown plants, so make sure to rule out the other options before starting to panic about bacterial wilt.