pests Help With Pest/Disease ID?

Hi, guys.

I have been noticing some browning of the leaves on a couple of my pepper plants. The plants were transplanted to large pots about 4 - 5 days ago, so I was hoping that's all it was, but after poking around on the internet, I'm worried it's a disease or pest problem. I have noticed a bit of ants in the pots. Does this look like a pest or disease anyone is familiar with? I'm worried it might be BLS...
 

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This plant affliction is what's commonly referred to as "New Grower Hypochondria".  It's particularly prevalent when one has been looking at pics of other people's plants on the internet.
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On another note, it looks like you are either overwatering, or due for a feeding.  Hard to know without your input.  But the other issue is small potatoes.  My best advice to you, is that you alter your expectation of picture perfect plants, immediately - especially here in Florida.  Just keep the plant growing happy and healthy, and everything else will work out.
 
solid7 said:
This plant affliction is what's commonly referred to as "New Grower Hypochondria".  It's particularly prevalent when one has been looking at pics of other people's plants on the internet.
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On another note, it looks like you are either overwatering, or due for a feeding.  Hard to know without your input.  But the other issue is small potatoes.  My best advice to you, is that you alter your expectation of picture perfect plants, immediately - especially here in Florida.  Just keep the plant growing happy and healthy, and everything else will work out.
Well im glad to have some input from a fellow Floridian. I am about to plant a variety of peppers and just wanted to make sure they didn't have something I would transfer to the new plants. As for the feeding and watering, they have recieved a lot of rain as of late. I just recently gave them some fish fertilizer Monday.
 
That's a good start.  But try to keep them a little drier, if you can.  Especially if you feed with liquid nutrient.
 
Here's an update. I know im new to gardening, but this plant really isn't looking well to me. Someone told me snails, but I've only seen one in weeks. Anyone got any ideas?
 

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Bakemeacake said:
I actually haven't watered in a week, though we've gotten some rain. Maybe the pots aren't draining well.
 
Unless somebody comes along and sticks a cork in the bottom, the pot is draining just fine.  Even a small, single hole, will drain all the water that you can throw in.  It's "the mix" that either does, or does not, drain well.
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I'm telling you straight up, that you need to get those plants dry.  Those spots look like they are necrotic.  And you aren't exhibiting any new growth. (at least nothing that is obviously new growth)  That's my diagnosis.  Get that plant dry.  Don't let it get rained on again until it is.  Failing to do so, the next step is leaf drop.  It appears that you have just enough air in the roots to keep it from just totally taking a dump, but not enough to keep growing.
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The plant is not growing well.  It doesn't matter what those spots are or are not, until you get the plant back on track.  The spots are not going to be what does your plant in.
 
solid7 said:
 
Unless somebody comes along and sticks a cork in the bottom, the pot is draining just fine.  Even a small, single hole, will drain all the water that you can throw in.  It's "the mix" that either does, or does not, drain well.
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I'm telling you straight up, that you need to get those plants dry.  Those spots look like they are necrotic.  And you aren't exhibiting any new growth. (at least nothing that is obviously new growth)  That's my diagnosis.  Get that plant dry.  Don't let it get rained on again until it is.  Failing to do so, the next step is leaf drop.  It appears that you have just enough air in the roots to keep it from just totally taking a dump, but not enough to keep growing.
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The plant is not growing well.  It doesn't matter what those spots are or are not, until you get the plant back on track.  The spots are not going to be what does your plant in.
Right, by pot I meant the container and its soil. Perhaps the soil doesn't drain well enough. I figured since it was a potting mix, it would be fine. Would it be wise to add some perlite or something to make it a bit lighter and improve drainage? If so, do I just uproot it and mix some in to the remaining mix?
 
Honestly, living in Florida, the best thing you can do, is go to a bigger pot size.  The Perched Water Table of your mix is the same, no matter what size container.  So if it's the bottom 3" of media that hold the most water, that's going to be true, no matter whether the container is 8" deep, or 18" deep.  You'll get much better results without completely transplanting in new media, just by up-potting.  So you can see where small containers would be at a severe disadvantage.
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Bigger point, new media surrounding the current rootball and mix.
 
solid7 said:
Honestly, living in Florida, the best thing you can do, is go to a bigger pot size.  The Perched Water Table of your mix is the same, no matter what size container.  So if it's the bottom 3" of media that hold the most water, that's going to be true, no matter whether the container is 8" deep, or 18" deep.  You'll get much better results without completely transplanting in new media, just by up-potting.  So you can see where small containers would be at a severe disadvantage.
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Bigger point, new media surrounding the current rootball and mix.
That's an idea. Would you recommend I add something to help with drainage in the larger pot? I've heard of people using rock in the bottom. I'm about to plant 6 more pepper plants and would like to keep this from happening again, also.

On a side note, I was just poking around in one of my plants and found these critters. Termites? What are they?


Note: turn up resolution, they are tiny!
 
No, rocks in pots do not help drainage.  That's one of the oldest bits of garden mythology ever.  All it does is push that perched water table up even higher.  It does completely the opposite of helping with drainage.  Don't do it.
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All you need to do is add a mix that drains well, to take up the space. If what you have does it (when it's not pouring rain) use more of that.  I like to use taller containers, but more volume of any type is good.  Roots can spread laterally, too.
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Don't know what those bugs are.  They're one of about ten million types that occupy container plants here.  I don't even try to know.  They're not damaging your plants, so let them be.  They are munching on the organic matter in your potting mix.  Which in turn, is helping your plant.  You'll need to "refresh" your mix with something like aged pine bark every season or so, because of them.  But they are not harmful.
 
solid7 said:
No, rocks in pots do not help drainage.  That's one of the oldest bits of garden mythology ever.  All it does is push that perched water table up even higher.  It does completely the opposite of helping with drainage.  Don't do it.
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All you need to do is add a mix that drains well, to take up the space. If what you have does it (when it's not pouring rain) use more of that.  I like to use taller containers, but more volume of any type is good.  Roots can spread laterally, too.
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Don't know what those bugs are.  They're one of about ten million types that occupy container plants here.  I don't even try to know.  They're not damaging your plants, so let them be.  They are munching on the organic matter in your potting mix.  Which in turn, is helping your plant.  You'll need to "refresh" your mix with something like aged pine bark every season or so, because of them.  But they are not harmful.
Well that sucks about the rocks because I just potted a Persian lime tree and put rocks in the barrel lol
 
I guess I'm going to just ride this out and see where it goes. I brought them inside this evening since it was raining. Hopefully I can get them dried out and get back to some happy green plants. In any case, thanks so much for sharing your opinions and information. I really appreciate it, Solid7.
 
I guess in that case, the rocks are ballast, to help keep the tree from falling over.
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You should keep the thread updated, so everyone can benefit from your experience.
 
solid7 said:
I guess in that case, the rocks are ballast, to help keep the tree from falling over.
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You should keep the thread updated, so everyone can benefit from your experience.
 
For sure. I'll give it a few weeks and come back with an update with some pics.
 
Update 12 days later:
 
Since the last post, I was able to dry the pot out and finally watered it a couple days ago. The spots on the older leaves seem to have gotten darker (or become holes), however, the newer growth doesn't seem to have the issue yet.
 

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I had the same spots on my plants but worse. I blamed it on the soil being too dense. When I encountered this problem I went back to the store and purchased more pepper plants and stuck them in miracle gro potting mix and they have thrived without any issues. With that said, all of my pepper plants that were in the "topsoil mix" that I bought from my local mom and pop store, have turned around for the most part and thrived. I believe this happened because our weather got dryer. Only two superhots are still kinda struggling but doing much better and flowering. This is my first year gardening so I'm learning step by step. But like I said, too dense of a soil mix I believe caused fungal problems for some of my plants.
 
p3nt4g0n said:
I had the same spots on my plants but worse. I blamed it on the soil being too dense. When I encountered this problem I went back to the store and purchased more pepper plants and stuck them in miracle gro potting mix and they have thrived without any issues. With that said, all of my pepper plants that were in the "topsoil mix" that I bought from my local mom and pop store, have turned around for the most part and thrived. I believe this happened because our weather got dryer. Only two superhots are still kinda struggling but doing much better and flowering. This is my first year gardening so I'm learning step by step. But like I said, too dense of a soil mix I believe caused fungal problems for some of my plants.
Hey, @p3nt4g0n,
 
Did you end up keeping the plants with the spots and letting them grow? If so, how did they end up producing? Did the spots eventually go away and stay gone?
 
p3nt4g0n said:
With that said, all of my pepper plants that were in the "topsoil mix" that I bought from my local mom and pop store, have turned around for the most part and thrived. I believe this happened because our weather got dryer.
That is exactly why it happened.  But it will be a constant struggle for that plant, whenever it rains, or you accidentally overwater.
 
Bakemeacake said:
Hey, @p3nt4g0n,
 
Did you end up keeping the plants with the spots and letting them grow? If so, how did they end up producing? Did the spots eventually go away and stay gone?
 
Yes I did end up keeping the plants. I still think my soil has issues but im riding it out. Once we got drier weather here, alot of it cleared up. I did use a copper fungicide every week, week and a half. All my plants are producing many pods now with the exception of the ghost plants. They are finally starting to flower. We have had some very hot weather in NC lately so I blame it on that lol.
 
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