Q: Dear Dave,
Twice now, I’ve had Tabasco plants in 5-gallon buckets that just dropped dead on me right when they started to make pods. I’ve grown Tabascos in large buckets for years now with great success, and now this. First, they appeared to be too wet (I do have drain holes in the buckets), so I let them dry out. Then they looked even worse when they dried out some, so I watered them again. Now they’re just dropping leaves and looking very pale, limp, and sick. I can’t see any kind of parasites on them. What’s up with them, do
A: Hello Dave:
They may have a virus or phytophthora, a fungal disease. The virus is spread by leaf hoppers and the fungal disease is caused by garden soil that is too wet. What kind of soil are they planted in? It is very difficult to diagnose chile plant problems long distance. Once a plant starts dropping leaves and looking limp, it rarely recovers.