Chilli pepper: here are the most common parasites and the major diseases
by dr. Giuseppe Pepe
Today we will talk about the chili, disease and parasites most popular about it.
We have already talked about how to grow chilli, the symptoms of some diseases and parasites of aromatic plants; but today we will devote more attention to diseases and parasites that can ruin our crops of chili pepper.
Enjoy the reading!
Brief notes on chilli
The plant of chili pepper is called Capsicum annuum (L. 1753) is native to South America, spread to Italy after the discovery of Americas together with numerous other plants of widespread use, such as potatoes, tomatoes, beans, corn and cocoa.
The fruit is a red berry that vaguely recalls the taste of pepper but much spicier. Due to the beauty of the berries it produces, it is now a widely used plant also for ornamental purposes.
The varieties and cultivars of chili pepper they are numerous and also vary greatly in taste, color, shape and size of the berries.
The plant of chili pepper it is herbaceous with erect stem and heights even between 100 and 150 cm.
The leaves alternate along the stem, in the shape of a spearhead.
The flowers are white tending to yellowish, axillary, i.e. located at the insertion points of the leaves.
The plant can also be safely grown in pots on your balcony.
The plant of chili pepper, like all plants and living organisms, however, it is not exempt from diseases and parasites.
Below we will mention the pepper diseases and parasites most popular.
Diseases and parasites of chili peppers
Mites fall under the Chilli parasites and usually settle on the upper part of the leaves.
They are extremely small animals, often also called spiders, very difficult to notice with the naked eye, perhaps making an exception for the red spider which, due to its color, is more easily noticeable on green leaves.
The presence of these Chilli parasites it manifests itself as a loss of general plant vigor, loss of color and leaf drop.
Mineral oils can be used as a prevention against these pepper parasites in November, January and February, the Phytoseiulus tetranychum and natural acaricides compatible with the organic farming regime or conventional acaricides if not organically grown and you want to use more persistent poisonous substances.
These Chilli parasites they are also commonly called head lice.
Aphids are small, green, black or gray in color and various shades, numerous in colonies. They cause decay of the plant by means of feeding bites and, by releasing sticky honeydew as a waste substance on the plant, they create the ideal conditions for the establishment of fumaggini.
Against aphids it is useful, in the preventive phase, to plant plants that can host the natural predators of aphids such as ladybugs. Natural insecticides such as pyrethrum, or repellent substances such as Neem oil can be used. In case of strong attacks of these parasites more potent and persistent conventional substances can be used.
The bedbug is another of the parasites which can occur on the plants of chili pepper and cause necrosis and desiccation of the leaves, chlorotic spots on the fruits which, later on, can turn into localized necrosis.
Due to the wounds left by bedbugs, the plant may also encounter others illnesses such as bacteriosis.
Bedbugs can be caught using chromotropic traps; they can be affected with natural insecticides such as pyrethrum or other synthetic insecticides.
In the preventive phase it can also be used Neem oil as a repellent, less effective if the field or garden is already invaded.
Snails could also cause damage to leaves and flowers, we talked about it in more detail in this article dedicated to them.
As in the case of the serpentine citrus miner, the leaves of the chili pepper they can be attacked by larvae parasites similar. In this case, yellow color traps can be used to attract the adults before they lay their eggs. Larvicides capable of entering the leaves and natural antagonists.
Generally these parasites they do not create major damage on the chili pepper.
Chilli Diseases Caused by Fungi
In addition to that parasites the plant of chili pepper can also go against a illnesses fungal type.
The presence of mold on the leaves of plants is a fairly typical symptom that refers illnesses of plants caused by fungi.
We recently published an article that talked about mold on plant leaves.
We have mentioned a few illnesses plants here and here.
The illnesses the most common fungi are botrytis, downy mildew and powdery mildew, fumaggini, alternaria and various rot.
Alternaria can also be included among the chili pepper diseases.
The leaves show small shiny spots with a reddish margin that, as the infection progresses, grow larger and merge into larger spots, necrotizing and becoming covered with mold.
Oidium is caused by fungi belonging to the genus Oidium and the pathology is often also called by the term "Bad white" due to the characteristic and powdery white mold that is generated on the leaves of the attacked plants.
This disease it can also be found on chili pepper.
Another one disease affecting chili it can be caused by downy mildew, manifesting itself with mold on the leaves of plants.
Downy mildew is one fungal disease which remains inside the field thanks to the fact that it is able to survive in the ground, in the form of oospore brought by the infected leaves fallen in the autumn and left in the ground.
Botrytis is one disease caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea Pers., also very present on vegetables such as the chili pepper, leafy vegetables and other trees such as pome fruit and stone fruit.
Botrytis is also normally called gray mold, due to the formation of mold on the leaves of gray plants.
This mold does not form only on the leaves of plants but also on other organs such as fruits.
Anthracnose is one disease it manifests itself with small necrotic spots on the leaves, petioles and fruits with a rounded shape and well defined margins.
Remedies for pepper diseases
Against all fungal diseases, the following preventive agronomic practices must be undertaken:
- grassing of the ground;
- balance nitrogen fertilizations;
- balance irrigation;
- keep insects under control;
- choose less susceptible varieties;
- favor the drainage of the soil and avoid water stagnation;
- avoid too dense plants;
- make adequate land adjustments;
- disinfect cutting tools to prevent the spread of the disease;
- pay attention to processing, avoiding accidental damage;
- Use of cupric products close to rainy events or levels of humidity and temperature predisposing to fungal attacks;
- Sulfur against powdery mildew
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The Habanero pepper
Classification and origin
The small fruits called chillies are produced from the same plant that produces the peppers normally eaten during meals. The latter have simply been selected for their particular sweetness and for the low or no presence of capsaicin, the alkaloid responsible for spiciness.
They are all part of the Capsicum genus, which in turn is divided into several species. Five are widespread in cultivation: C. annuum, C. frutescens, C.baccatum, C. pubescens and C. chinense.
The Habanero pepper is precisely a variety of Capsicum chinense: from this derive some of the hottest cultivars ever. Currently, its cultivation is concentrated above all in Mexico, especially in the Yucatpn peninsula, according to recent surveys, its origins have certainly been South American, in particular in some areas of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Northern Argentina. Scholars have reconstructed that it was later taken to the Caribbean islands, to Cuba (hence the name of the varieties), where cultivation was soon abandoned. Instead, it was particularly appreciated in the Yucatan, where it is still a leading product today. It is in fact grown everywhere, with fruits of very different sizes and colors which are then mostly eaten fresh, becoming an indispensable element of that cuisine.
Plant parasites: 6 natural remedies to fight them
Aphids, mealybugs is snails they are your worst enemies, but you don't want to give in to dangerous and toxic pesticides? Here is 6 natural remedies to get rid of parasites and have flowers and plants perfect!
Between parasites and the pesticide who would you choose? If the former irreparably damage yours plants, i pesticides industrial plants are a real problem for the environment! Here then are gods natural remedies to keep pests away and keep the air and soil of your garden clean!
1- Biological fight! Encourage the presence of "good" insects that feed on insects that damage your plants.Don't you even know one? Jonathan explains which ones to use in THIS VIDEO >>
2- Sometimes that's enough wash the leaves infested plants with natural remedies. If the problem is i caterpillars try to follow a simple one gardening advice! Watch THE VIDEO >>
3- There are some plants that manage to keep insects away dangerous: for tomatoes and other vegetables find out which flower you need to plant! Find out why by looking at the VIDEO >>
4- Get rid of snails it's not easy, but if you want to keep your plants alive without it holes you have to eliminate them! Jonathan explains how to keep them away in VIDEO >>
5- I mushrooms of plants irreparably damage the leaves of yours hedges, but there is a natural remedy that will make the fungus disappear and your plant back greener than ever! Find out by watching THE VIDEO >>
6- Mealybugs and aphids they are among the two most common parasites that can damage your plants. Do you want to delete them? Here's how: watch THE VIDEO >>
How to protect dogs and cats from parasites
1) Fleas are extremely small and devious: brush your dog's and cat's fur constantly and pay attention to whether you notice small white dots or scurrying brown insects. You may be dealing with adult eggs or fleas.
2) After every walk in wet or tick-prone areas (such as parks, gardens, woods, etc.), remember to check your cat's and dog's coat for ticks. Focus on the area of the ears, snout and paws. You can use natural products after going out, such as neem oil wipe to clean its coat to give a protective effect to the skin.
3) If your dog or your cat is infested with ticks, contact your vet. It is possible to proceed to removal using tweezers or special sticks, if the infestation is severe, the vet will be able to suggest the best way to intervene.
4) Treat the hair with a product that inhibit the development of the immature stages of parasites and avoid contamination in the home after application on the animal, for the protection of your pet and your home. Choose the pesticide that best suits your needs with the GUIDE TO PESTICIDES, HOW, WHEN AND WHY TO USE THEM
Intestinal parasites in cats: Strongili
I entered the Strongili for a reason: technically, the Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in adult life lives in the pulmonary artery of the cat and causes nodules and lesions that cause severe and fatal forms of pneumonia in the cat. I mentioned it, however, because the diagnosis is made by highlighting the eggs with a stool test.
The cat becomes infested by ingesting infected snails or mice. After being ingested, the eggs hatch, migrate through the intestinal wall, arrive in the lymphatic vessels, go to the right heart and reach the pulmonary artery, where they reach maturity. At this point they begin to produce larvae that pass through the alveoli, go up the respiratory tree to the pharynx, are swallowed and are eliminated with the feces.
The diagnosis of Strongili in cats is not always so simple as the larvae and eggs are difficult to detect by stool examination. If a test I did for normal enrichment was negative, but the presence of Strongili was still suspected due to the cat's lung symptoms, then a particular stool test called Baermann which allows you to more easily highlight the parasite.
Domestic parasites: rats
The most dangerous of these home invaders are certainly rats. The latter, historically, have been vehicles of very dangerous diseases and even today they can endanger the health of a home. This depends on the rats themselves, but above all on their parasites, such as fleas, which can carry viruses and bacteria.
THE rats they live in poorly lit and difficult to access areas, such as holes in walls and crevices in basements. When they build a nest they multiply very quickly, making it difficult to remove the entire colony. They are very smart animals, so traps, lures or changes in their environment can be ineffective in the long run. Many species of rats and mice reproduce throughout the year and can multiply at an astounding speed. Rats are gods rodents, so their teeth grow continuously throughout their life.
It is therefore a primary need of the animal to gnaw and chew continuously, to wear them out. This is reflected in extensive damage to the home, in addition to health problems. The urine and feces of rats can in fact contaminate the surfaces and places with which they come into contact. If the problem is serious, the only solution is to contact a rodent control company, which will eliminate the problem and give valuable advice to prevent it from happening again in the future.
The Habanero pepper: Variety of habanero
The Habanero pepper has found enormous success in recent years for its spiciness, aesthetic beauty and relative ease of cultivation. For this reason, there are a large number of cultivars on the market: they differ mainly in the color of the fruits, the spiciness and any secondary flavors.
Their spiciness, on the Scoville scale, ranges from 200,000 to 300,000 Units, but they reached peaks close to 600,000 with the famous Red Savina. Remember, however, that spiciness does not depend only on the specific cultivar: the degree of ripeness, the cultivation method, the climate and the soil can be decisive.
Habanero Orange plant not too tall (usually grows up to 70 cm), but very productive. It has a very compact habit which makes it resistant to rain and wind.
The fruits have an elongated lantern, about 5 cm and of a very intense orange color. Its flavor is intensely spicy (between 150,000
325.00 UnitпїЅ Scoville), but also has an intensely fruity aroma that goes well with sauces, fish and vegetables.
Also known as the "White Habanero of Peru", it is a rare, particular and pleasant variety. It differs from the others for its conical shape and the light yellow, almost white color of its fruits. They are also quite small: each measuring about 5 cm in length by 2 in width. The plant is a nice dense bush about 45 cm high, medium productive. An average of 90 days pass from sowing to ripening of the first peppers. Given its small size, it is a cultivar particularly suitable for growing in containers, for amateurs who even have only a balcony.
The peppers, to the detriment of the delicate color, are very spicy: they amount to 300,000 Scoville Units. They can also boast a delicate smoky aftertaste that goes well with many ethnic sauces.
One of the most famous peppers ever: when it was created, the fame of its spiciness spread very quickly. Today it is still a registered cultivar that can only be reproduced by official dealers.
The individual fruits are a beautiful bright and shiny red and have a slightly more pointed shape than the other habaneros. The plant as a whole is erect and bushy, capable of reaching and exceeding one meter in height (it may need supports). It is very resistant to wind and rain, even without the use of supports. If grown in the right conditions it is extremely productive: the fruits must be harvested about a week after reaching the final color: usually this happens about 100 days after sowing. Excessive sun rarely causes leaf burn or small fruit burns.
The taste is clearly very spicy (according to laboratory measurements about 550,000 Scoville units), but a sweet and fruity aroma, typical of pepper, is still clearly perceived.
Today on the market there are certainly varieties with a higher concentration of capsaicin (for example the Naga Morich, or even just the Habanero Orange or the Chocolate), but this retains its charm as well as a very balanced taste and adaptable to various preparations.
Habanero White Bullet
Very similar to Habanero White, however, it is easier to find on the market, suitable for growing in pots and guarantees even greater production. Each single plant produces from 150 to more than 200 peppers and is still small in size: the height rarely exceeds 65 cm. It has a rather expanded posture, rich in secondary ramifications and foliage: both for the cultivation in pots and for that in the ground we recommend the use of stakes (especially if we live in a particularly windy area). The fruits are small, at most 3 cm long, of a cream color. They have a not very fleshy consistency and are therefore suitable for drying, even under the sun, without the development of mold. In this way it can then be stored for a long time as a powder or used to flavor the oil. However, its aroma can only be enjoyed fresh: it goes well with fish-based dishes, in soups or in combination with white meats. Always ideal because it is spicy, but without overly intrusive aftertaste.
This pepper, also called Black Congo, has, in recent years, gained great fame due to its spiciness, its color and the particular flavor it takes on once dried. The cultivar is native to Jamaica and produces medium-large fruits (even 6 cm in length) and with the typical lantern shape. They grow facing downwards: they reach maturity when they take on the typical dark brown color, similar to that of dark chocolate. The plant is resistant and of good size: about 80 cm. It appears quite branched, with sparse but large leaves. In particularly windy areas it may require the use of a brace. The production is average (from 50 to 100 fruits per plant)
Chillies, although they appear very meaty, can be easily dried in the sun. We select only the very healthy ones, open them halfway and expose them in the hottest hours of the day. Later we can pulverize them: they will release both their spiciness (over 300000 Scoville Units) and the singular chocolate aroma. Particularly suitable for people who love spiciness very much, it goes well with sauces, red meats and fresh neutral cheeses.