Q: Hi Dave,
I am encountering a dilemma in my chile patch. Some of my plants are developing some kind of leaf curl. They all have flower pods bunching up at the top of the plant, which is inhibiting new leaf growth, and the plants seem stunted. I rotate my crops every year from bed to bed. I am not over fertilizing whatsoever, in fact it’s great compost—humus that I am using from my stash in the bins. My cucumbers, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, and garlic are going great in the adjoining beds. I also have an 8-year-old chiltepin growing nearby that is not affected whatsoever—I still get at least 500 chiltepin peppers on that plant every year. This is baffling me. I see no aphids, or whitefly.
A: Hello Jim:
It is very difficult to diagnose chile problems from afar, but from what you write, I would guess that your stunted plants with the curling leaves have Curly Top Virus, which is transmitted by leaf hoppers from infected weeds. There is no cure and infected plants should be removed from the garden. This has happened to my plants many times, though not this year, thank heavens.–Dave