Growing peppers is fairly easy but even with the tender loving care and the ideal environment, there may be uncontrollable issues. One of them is tiny black spots on pepper leaves, which may come from pests or something more. Peppers aren’t protected by these and while the cause is usually environmental, there may be other causes.
So why do these tiny black spots occur and is there a way to get rid of them? It depends on the severity of the spots and the plant’s health. So read on as I explain why your pepper leaves have tiny black spots!
Reasons Behind Tiny Black Spots on Pepper Leaves
Do you see black spots or dark discolorations around your pepper plant leaves? There are numerous reasons why it happens and in various ways you can remedy it. Here are the common reasons behind the tiny black spots on pepper leaves and some tips to solve it:
1. Black Sooty Mold
Black sooty mold is a type of dark mold that looks like soot, such as what you see from chimneys. It would cover leaves and possibly the stems of your pepper plants. You will know if your plant has the sooty mold if you’re able to scrape and wash it away easily.
While sooty mold looks like black spots on your pepper plant leaves, you can simply wash it away. They are indirectly caused by aphids and when they feed on peppers, it would such out the leaves and stem juices.
Once aphids digest the juices, it would leave a sweet and sticky waste product known as honeydew. Black and sooty mold will then grow and feed on the honeydew, causing the black spots and appearance.
Prevent black sooty mold from happening again by getting rid of the aphids in the garden. You can spread off aphids using a mixture of water, alcohol, and dish soap!
Fusarium is a wilt fungal disease that is caused by fusarium oxysporum. This disease can cause the following:
- Chlorosis, or yellow and discolored leaves
- Necrosis, or blackening and/or death of the plant tissue
- Stunted growth
- Leaf drops
You will know it’s Fusarium if you use the tips and edges of older and lower leaves turning black, yellow, or brown. This usually happens later into the growing seasons. You might also see that only once side of pepper plants are affected.
The disease prefers warmer temperatures and moist soil, surviving for longer times in compost. So if you see any infected plants, destroy and dispose of them, and avoid using the material like compost.
Unfortunately, you can’t save the plant from this disease anymore and it will need to be removed from the garden. What you can do is to prevent the disease from spreading to nearby or future crops.
3. Bacterial Leaf Spot
Bacterial leaf spot is another disease that causes various symptoms, which vary depending on the plant leaf age (or its location). It may also affect pepper plant stems.
Older leaves, or those that are in the lower area of the plant, would develop small and dark pimples. Younger leaves, or on the higher part of the plant, develop water-soaked spots.
The spots and pimples look tan or gray in the middle of the leaves, with dark black edges. It may grow even larger during warmer and humid weather.
Unfortunately, you can’t wash or scrape away the pimples and spots without damaging the plant, since bacteria have already affected its leaf tissue.
The leaves of infected pepper plants will yellow or brown, eventually falling off. It may then cause sunscald on growing pepper fruits.
Like Fusarium, there is no treatment and the plant will need to be removed and destroyed. Do not use it as compost and avoid planting peppers and tomatoes in the area, rotating your crops instead.
4. Tobacco Mosaic Virus
This is another disease that may cause black areas on pepper plant leaves. It may happen if you handle your plants after or while using any tobacco products.
The virus is spread due to plant sap, without any known cure. It starts with mild black spots at first, only to worsen over time.
If you see that your plant is infected by it, you need to remove and destroy it immediately. As much as possible, do NOT work with your plants when you just touched or handled tobacco products. Wash your hands before handling your plants to prevent it from touching and spreading tobacco to the entire plant.
How to Remove Black Spots and Manage Leaves
You can either wash off the black spots or have to remove and dispose of the plant, depending on the disease it may have. Furthermore, you can prevent this from happening to other pepper plants by following these tips:
- Choose disease-resistant seed varieties and transplants
- Treat the pepper seeds before planting by soaking it for two minutes using a 10% coloring black solution. Rinse the seeds thoroughly and dry them completely before planting
- Mulch your plants using a thick organic material such as newspaper with straw and/or grass clippings
- Avoid watering your plants overhead and spray the plants every two weeks using fixed copper, and organic fungicide. This slows the spread of any infection or viruses
Do you want to learn more about other issues your pepper plants might be susceptible to? Here is an informative video to show you about it:
Wrapping It Up
Seeing black spots on your pepper leaves can indicate a form of the disease which you have to remedy immediately. If the spots are overbearing, then it may be time to dispose of the plant and evaluate the soil quality and kill off some pests and bacteria. That way, it won’t affect any future plants in your garden.
I hope that this article explained to you why you may find tiny black spots on pepper leaves. Now that you know the answer, learn more about what else your pepper plants may be susceptible to!