I started my pepper plants indoors two months ago like you suggest in your book. I also hardened them off before planting them in the garden, where they have been for about 10 days now. My problem is… They are not growing too well and the leaves are turning yellowish, wilting, the very tips are burnt and the lower leaves are now falling off. Any idea what is going on? I think they have enough water. Other people I gave my plants to are having the same problem.
Thanks in advance,
A: Hello Mike:
I take it that you are in a northern part of the country. It’s very difficult to diagnose chile problems long distance. I don’t know your sun orientation, temps, soil conditions. Until the roots expand, chiles are prone to wilting in the hot sun due to the fact that they are transpiring faster than they can take in water. This can lead to yellowing and leaf drop. Hardening them off is as much for acclimating the plants to sunlight as to low temps and wind, so if you kept them in total shade while hardening them off, they could be getting too intense sun. Put up window screening shades and see if this helps. Finally, are the plants mulched? This will help by keeping the direct sun off the dirt just above the still-small root ball.