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Chilli plant with lots of tiny white bumps - what is it?!


I've been growing my cayenne chilli plants without any issues however over the last few weeks these little white bumps have ravaged the leaves and stems, but I can't figure what they are! I thought they were eggs but they don't scratch off leaves, and have almost a sandy texture. If anyone could help me figure out what this is and if its harmful I'd be very grateful.

If you zoom in to the pictures I've attached you can get a clear look at the dire state my poor leaves are in.

Thank you!


  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,296
    From the colour of the pictures I'm guessing you are using artificial grow lights so you are inside. Very hard ro see but this could be white fly, or aphids or some kind of fungal infection.  Make sure they are well ventilated,  and not too moist. If it is whitefly,  and you are in an enclosed space there is a parasitic wasp you can buy a a biological control. 
    AB Still learning

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337
    edited October 2021
    I can't tell from the photo's either, but if the lumps don't move and appear to be part of the plant when you try and remove one, it could well be oedema (US spelling Edema) which is a physiological disorder when the plants are taking in more water than they can cope with.  The usual culprit is over-watering and/or lack of enough ventilation.  It's common on chillies grown indoors.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,071
    It is very difficult to see what the cause may be as AB says above.
    Do you have a magnifying glass or similar that you could have a look through and describe what you see?
    I agree that aphids are the most likely cause though.
    If you have a shower, you could try using that to see if that'll shift them (keep the water just barely warm though)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Thanks for you help! I've taken some better pictures without the artificial light that might show the issue clearer. But I think it does look like Edema based on the links BobTheGardener provided (thank you 😊) 

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337
    If it helps, I always grow my chillies on the dry side, and I don't water them until the top inch of compost feels dry, or the leaves wilt slightly (this won't harm the plants.)  If cutting-down on the watering doesn't help, the next easiest thing to try is a small fan blowing air over the plants. The existing tissue structures won't go away, but if no more form on new leaves and stems, you will have got have the balance right. :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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