Why is the new growth on my green chilli plants dying?

Q.

Hi Tui, can you help? All of the new growth on my green chilli plants, which are growing in pots, is dying. Could you please tell me why?

Barjinder Singh

A.

Hi Barjinder, it looks like mite damage. Mites are tiny spider-like insects that suck the sap of plants. You will notice that the leaves are mis-shapen and a little distorted, that is caused by mites, and the underside of the leaf will have a light speckling of dust. If you get a magnifying glass, you may be able to see the mites. The mites are also causing damage to the new buds. Mites can be controlled using a plant spraying oil, you need to make sure you get it on the underside of the leaf as well as around the buds and may need to do this several times. Talk to your local garden centre for a suitable control. Because it is a food crop, plant spraying oil is the safest control to use. Make sure your plants are consistently watered, that they are in a well drained potting mix, and have good air circulation around the plants, feed them with a controlled release fertiliser such as Tui Enrich Vege, Tomato and Herb controlled release fertiliser to promote good growth, flowering and fruiting, and apply a seaweed plant tonic such as Tui Organic Seaweed Plant tonic every two weeks, that boost plant health and helps make plants more resistant to pest and disease attack. Remove the buds that are affected, they will not come to anything. The Tui Team. 

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