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disappointing peppers

My partner has tended his pepper plants in the conservatory like babies all ready for the Horticultural Show.  They looked perfect until he looked very closely only to find deep brown patches appearing on them.   Too late now for the Show, but would be interested if anyone could advise on what's gone wrong!



  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,731

    Deep brown patches on the fruit? All over? Or at one end? Any chance of a photo?

  • Thanks for your help, will attempt a photo

  • image

              Best I can do Italophile, hope it helps.




  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,731

    greenmaid, it looks like a condition called Blossom End Rot. It affects tomatoes, too. The science of the condition is understood - the plant is unable to distribute sufficient calcium to the fruit via its internal system. It doesn't mean there's insufficient calcium in the soil available to the plant's roots. In fact, that used to be the suspected cause and the diagnosis was always to add calcium to the soil. Science has since disproved that lore. The problem is that the plant isn't distributing the calcium in sufficient quantities internally.

    What isn't yet wholly understood is what triggers the condition. It's thought that a plant being stressed - hence upsetting its internal equilibrium - is a major factor. Now, a plant doesn't need to be traumatised to be stressed. We're talking small margins. Outdoors, strong winds and fluctuating temperatures can cause plant stress. As can irregular watering patterns.

    Indoors, irregular watering can also cause it, as can fluctuating temperatures, but overwatering and overfertilising can both be factors. Peppers - and toms, for that matter - can have too much of a good thing. A bit like one of us eating too much rich food.

    When you say your partner has tended the peppers like babies, how often were the plants watered and fed?

  • Blossom End Rot is certainly what it is, we have just noticed the tomatoes have also got it!!   The plants have been fed on a weekly basis but the Engllish weather is so unpredictable and when the sun comes out for just a short while the conservatory can get up to 90 to 100 degrees even with windows & the door open.  This makes the timing of watering very difficult, so guess this has been the problem, fluctuation of temperature.

    Thanks so much for your detailed information Italophile  (most impressed)

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,731

    No problems, greenmaid. BER is one of the most frustrating conditions with toms and peppers. Some varieties of toms - the plum varieties, like Roma and San Marzano - are much more prone to it. No one knows why.

    I'd suggest, though, that weekly feeeding is too much anyway. Neither toms nor peppers are hungry plants. They will always produce more if they're left to struggle a little. Tough love or controlled neglect is the go.

  • Pennine PetalPennine Petal Posts: 1,540
    My neighbour just bought a plant with peppers on it at B&Q for 20p, or is that cheating?
  • no petal lol 20p for a plant that has fruit is a bargain you wana get down there n snap some up lol

  • Pennine PetalPennine Petal Posts: 1,540
    Geraniums at 20p too apparently.
  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,731

    As a general rule it's better to pinch off any young fruit on a seedling before planting out. It lets the plant put all its energy into developing itself. But if it's later in the season, when the plant probably won't get to full maturity, no harm in leaving the fruit there for a head start. image

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