Q: Hey Dave,
Thanks again for the help with classifying my Aji–the plant is about to produce over 200 chiles, so I’m looking forward to a burn-up! However, the leaves have a weird fungus infection which I’m having difficulty in eliminating. Basically the leaves begin to turn yellow, develop black spots on the top, and then a whitish fungus on the back. Then they drop off! I’ve been using a (systemic) insecticide but it seems very slow. Any suggestions?
A: Hello Clive:
I get questions like this all the time and it’s nearly impossible to diagnose chile problems long distance. Here’s what I know:
–If you think it’s a fungus, then a systemic insecticide will not work to eradicate it.
–You should never use a systemic insecticide on chiles you intend to eat. The poison is in the pods and can’t be washed off.
–It could be mealybugs, an insect. They are white and mimic fungus. Spray them with an aerosol insecticide.
–Many infestations respond to physical treatment, like washing the leaves in a mild soap solution and then rinsing them off.
–Take a sample leaf to a local nursery and see if they have any ideas.