HELP!!! They just keep on coming!!!

Discussion in 'Plant Pests, Diseases and Weeds' started by KK Ng, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    I had been trying to plant chili plant and it always end up like. When I first started here it was not a problem but now it looks like it is impossible. The chili I'm trying to plant is cayenne pepper.

    Basing on my past experience I think the pests are thrips and aphids. So for this particular plant great care is taken to ensure that these pesky little fella don't get at the plant from an early stage. Once the plant is transplanted from its grow cell, it is already protected with a very fine netting.

    [​IMG]
    Nope it did not help! ( photo / image / picture from KK Ng's Garden )

    It was growing great until it was about 8 inches tall and the new buds become like this

    [​IMG]
    ??? Need help here! ( photo / image / picture from KK Ng's Garden )

    [​IMG]
    Cayenne Pepper ( photo / image / picture from KK Ng's Garden )

    I had cut off the affected parts and now the new buds along the main stem looks like they are suffering from the same problem.

    Any suggestion is most welcome.

    I'm lost!!!
     
  2. Islandlife

    Islandlife Young Pine

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    Wow ------ not good :( (Wish I had some ideas to help)
     
  3. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

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    Hi KK,
    I like your net. Insects however, are not happy. While I do not grow veggies. Several thoughts did come to mind and I thought some questions were needed.

    Have you tried a fresh bag of soil? Not from a previously used bag. To eliminate the possibility of contaminated soil.

    Sterilize the pots or use new ones? Bad batch of seeds? While usually not recommended for edibles, a separate pot with a systemic introduced before the buds appear. Perhaps as an experiment. Just to see if the same problem
    occurs again.

    It may be afternoon there but here it's 1:22 AM. I will think about this more tomorrow.

    Jerry
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2016
  4. CJay

    CJay Seedling

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    The bug nets can increase heat and moisture around the plant. Some plants don't like too much of one or the other. Check the info for your particular plant and make sure you're not too hot or too moist.
     



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  5. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    Thanks Islandlife, your respond is support enough to make me go on with this battle :)

    Hi Jerry, I learn about the net method in organic farming when I was in Luxembourg. They use netting made for farming and it is unheard of here so I use organza hehe!! Ladies would know what it is :)

    No I did not use a fresh bag of soil but I did steam the soil before using it. Yes I did consider contaminated earth and I don't think that is the problem.

    Contaminated seeds? This could be the problem because all the plants had the same problem and this is the last plant from the same seed packet.

    Sorry I don't understand this!

    Good morning Jerry, had your coffee/tea yet? :) Any new thoughts?

    Thanks CJay, I don't think the net is a problem. The weather is really humid and hot here and this plant love this kind of weather. The organic farm in Luxembourg used it to prevent these small bugs from getting at their produce and their veggies were lovely.
     
  6. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

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    Hi KK,

    Systemic poisons are not recommended for vegetation that may be consumed by humans. Hence the isolation of a separate plant and pot. The poison, applied to the soil, is taken up by the plant and travels through its vascular system. Insects that consume the plant will be killed. If after an application of the poison the buds are O.K. your suspicions of aphids or thrips are probably correct.
    If the problem persists then the solution remains elusive. Only insects consuming the plant have been eliminated.

    Have you inspected the roots of effected plants? Looked at the plant buds with a 10x magnifying glass or eye loop?
    Boiled water to water plants? Changed location of plants? While this may look like overdoing the solution process I have few clues upon which to base a course of action. Any action that produces a positive result will be like turning on a light in a dark room.

    Other experiments involve more plants and more pots. You may eliminate one item as you have used the last seed from that packet. Controlled growing may identify the problem if you wish to pursue the process. Notes and pictures of the process going forward will be useful later if the same malady occurs again.

    Jerry
     
  7. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    Thanks Jerry, you have a great scientific mind. No I don't want to play with poison so systemic poison is out.
    Yes I have inspected the roots and they look OK. Should I decide to yank this plant out, I'll take a photo of the root and post it.

    I guess the next step now is to get more seeds and see if I'm lucky :)

    Thank you so much for all your thoughts Jerry.
     
  8. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    Hi KK. What a bummer!
    What made you think it was thrips causing the damage? Is that the most likely pest in your area for chilis? I found an article about thrips put out by Univ of Calif Integrated Pest Mnagement Program. You can google it. It suggests trying g to figure out if it is thrips by shaking the plant over white paper or by cutting off an infected branch & swirling it in alcohol to see what emerges. For organic controls they recommend row covers. If it is thrips I bet it is that your organza mesh is not fine enough. HoW about ordering a row cover or actual thrips mesh online? The other suggestion I have (this is not from the UC IPM site) is to apply oil to your existing mesh. You may be able to catch the d***nm little buggers that way & see if they are indeed thrips.
     
  9. kate

    kate In Flower

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    Fleece bags will allow sunshine air and rainwater, we use them all winter on frost tenders.
    Have a look on USA Ebay, they are pretty cheap for us on the UK Ebay.
    K
     
  10. CJay

    CJay Seedling

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    I might not have explained myself properly. I've been a bit scatter brained recently. Lack of caffinated beverages has taken its toll on me.

    Have you ever made a solar still over a plant? Doing some camping stuff with dad and my brother when I was younger he showed us how to draw drinking water from plants using a trashbag. The sun heats the bag increasing the temprature of the plant causing moisture to leech out of the plant and condense on the bag. When that happens the leaves wilt and end up looking much like those in your picture. But because it's mesh instead of a bag it might not affect the larger more developed leaves.

    I could be wrong. I actually probably am wrong. But it might be worth setting a thermometer inside the mesh against the plant to make sure.


    :):)
     
  11. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    I do not think its a bug problem. Most likely a soil problem. Now before you say anything,, a neighbor of mine had a similar problem with a name brand potting soil. The leaves started to curl and look distorted about 6 to 8 inches above the ground. They blossoms started curling inward like buds. Below that level looked relatively normal but the top growth was similar to yours only hers were tomatoes. I grow about 20 cayenne pepper plants every year !! They have few bug problems.
    How often do you water them ? They do better if slightly dry and full sun. I would remove the netting. Generally bugs do not like hot peppers. You have nothing to lose by trying it.
     
  12. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    Thanks Cayuga Morning, I think it was thrips because of desperation :) and that was the only conclusion I can come to. Your suggestion is a good one and I will try with swirling it in alcohol to see what emerges. I do not have any plant at the moment and if my new batch have the same problem again, I'll definitely try it. Thanks. As for row covers I would prefer to buy it off the shelf but it is not available here so ... Applying oil is kind of a messy so I'll pass on that. :)

    Thanks Kate, it is very expensive for us and some suppliers do not want to deliver to the country I am in. I am one who like to see and touch a product before buying. :)

    Thanks C.Jay. Yes what you mentioned is using a plastic bag and solar energy. Some people use clear plastic on planting bed to kill weeds before planting. I think because of no ventilation at all the heat build up especially in summer is really strong. I don't think there is any significant heat build up at all in the organza canopy at all. When I open it to inspect the plant I don't feel any different in temperature at all. Thanks for your concern.

    As for the soil I steam it before using it Mart, but then again I could have done it wrongly. I water the plant like once in about 3 days when the top 5 mm or so is dry. Yes I think I'll remove the netting and you are right I have nothing to lose now.
    Thanks Mart.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
    CJay likes this.
  13. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    It is a true conundrum KK.
     
  14. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    Yes indeed Cayuga :)
     
  15. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    Steaming would not correct a chemical problem in the potting soil. Your peppers looked very similar to hers as the first 6 to 8 inches looked pretty normal but what grew above that was deformed.
     
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