Problems with Jalapeno Plant


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Hi all, new gardener here, hoping for some help with a jalapeno plant.

TL;DR: Jalapeno plant with a troubled past was finally flowering a couple weeks ago, but dropped all its buds. Now, almost all new buds and leaves are tiny, brown, and brittle, and fall off at the touch. Please help!

I live in Tokyo where it's basically impossible to get fresh jalapenos, so decided to try and grow my own and got a seedling this spring. Growth was going well at first but rainy season in June was particularly long and cool with very little sun, and the plant started having troubles. Leaves were extremely misshapen and curled and growth slowed to a crawl. I didn't know if the weather was the problem or if it was something else, so tried fertilizer, neem oil, insecticidal soap, adding calcium to the soil, adding compost, etc.

Eventually in July, when it warmed up, the plant started growing healthily again. Leaves were small and the plant wasn't that bushy, but soon it had buds forming and then blooming flowers, so I thought all was good. Then it started dropping all of the flowers with no fruit growing, and I had to start troubleshooting again. Tokyo's hot and humid in the summer, regularly 30-35C/85-95F, so I tried moving the plant inside, but it's hard to get 8 hours of sunlight. I thought I might be overwatering, so tried reducing. Thought the plant might have too much nitrogen, so adjusted fertilizer. Thought nutrition might be going to the damaged leaves so removed them.

Nothing I've tried has worked thus far, and recently, a large part of the plant has developed a new problem. Almost all of the new buds and leaves are tiny, brown, and brittle. They fall off at the touch.

Any help identifying and remedying the problem would be hugely appreciated! Thank you!

jalapenoPlant1.jpg jalapenoPlant2.jpg jalapenoPlant3.jpg jalapenoPlant4.jpg
 
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Have you used a non contact thermometer to see how hot that concrete and wall area is getting? The other plant looks good, is that a rosemary or something else? Is the pot draining ok? What is that potting soil- something from a bag or some you made?
 
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Have you used a non contact thermometer to see how hot that concrete and wall area is getting? The other plant looks good, is that a rosemary or something else? Is the pot draining ok? What is that potting soil- something from a bag or some you made?

I haven't tested the temperature in this specific location myself, no, just check the outdoor temperature hourly. Since I have it in a pot I've been trying to give it full sun in the morning and then shade in the afternoon. However it's definitely consistently hotter in any outdoor location than what I've read jalapenos prefer. We've got rain the next few days but I'll check it the next hot day.

Yes the rosemary is doing well, I also have basil and parsley both doing well. Though the basil also seems sensitive to full-on afternoon sun here so sometimes move it to shade.

Pretty sure the pot is draining okay, it certainly drains right after watering. I used to water every day, but now have a moisture tester so have been waiting until it's somewhat dry deep in the soil, usually 2-3 days. Though reducing watering doesn't seem to have helped.

The soil is a general vegetable mix from a bag, plus some bag compost I added around the outside back when the leaves were curling. I have tested the pH and it's slightly high, so was considering epsom salt or peat moss to try next.
 
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Your description of the plants doing well literally describes the context of the problem with the peppers. Rosemary can take the heat here, where our peppers suffer as yours are suffering. You will get small peppers if it stays hot. Better to shade it outside.
 
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Here in Indiana a friend of mine had a similar problem.

Last year a friend of mine started seedlings in about the same size pot you have, same issue.
I took some of the same seedlings that same year and put in my garden. No problems at all.

She tried again this year putting seedlings in a bigger sized pot, same problem as the previous year.
I took 2 seedlings this year and put in my garden, once again no problems.

I'm certainly NO expert and don't remember what she used for potting soil, I just transplanted them into my "dirt" garden, rarely water them and they grow like crazy here.

She is located in my area, they start out great and then just wilt up and die. It seems to me they are ok starting in pots but once that's done, they stop growing for some reason.

FWIW, If I could send you some I would as I just picked about 30-40 off of the 2 plants.
 
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Here in Indiana a friend of mine had a similar problem.

Last year a friend of mine started seedlings in about the same size pot you have, same issue.
I took some of the same seedlings that same year and put in my garden. No problems at all.

She tried again this year putting seedlings in a bigger sized pot, same problem as the previous year.
I took 2 seedlings this year and put in my garden, once again no problems.

I'm certainly NO expert and don't remember what she used for potting soil, I just transplanted them into my "dirt" garden, rarely water them and they grow like crazy here.

She is located in my area, they start out great and then just wilt up and die. It seems to me they are ok starting in pots but once that's done, they stop growing for some reason.

FWIW, If I could send you some I would as I just picked about 30-40 off of the 2 plants.
You are roughly 5 degrees north latitude of Tokyo, which is 3 degrees north of me. The temperature belt we two are in loses a lot of energy at your latitude. She probably has some collective surfacea or other context to make her problems happen vs what you tease me with in your garden.
 
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I know nothin about latitude/longitude, I do know I'll be driving through your neck of the woods tomorrow heading
down to the Gulf for a bit of a break.

Please tell me the traffic going through Birmingham isn't as bad as It was in 2019 o_O
 
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I know nothin about latitude/longitude, I do know I'll be driving through your neck of the woods tomorrow heading
down to the Gulf for a bit of a break.

Please tell me the traffic going through Birmingham isn't as bad as It was in 2019 o_O
It is worse. They widened the roads and reduced high school graduation standards. Avoid the 4pm as you come into town.
 
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I wonder if the above link would be useful for you @Brehnk :)
Thanks for the link! Yeah this is one of the pages I read when trying to identify the problems - attempted to address each of these issues but unfortunately just too much of a novice to figure out which is the main issue...
 
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Your description of the plants doing well literally describes the context of the problem with the peppers. Rosemary can take the heat here, where our peppers suffer as yours are suffering. You will get small peppers if it stays hot. Better to shade it outside.
Okay, will try keeping it in the shade, but we have high humidity here so the shade is almost as hot as full sun.

When all the flowers fell off I did try moving the plant into my office where it's cooler for a while since I thought the heat was the main culprit, but that's when all the new buds started turning brown, so I didn't think it was helping anything. My office doesn't get great sun so I moved it back outside where it can get full sun.

I know jalapenos can grow great in Texas and even Arizona where it gets crazy hot but the shade is cooler, maybe humidity is the problem?
 
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Here in Indiana a friend of mine had a similar problem.

Last year a friend of mine started seedlings in about the same size pot you have, same issue.
I took some of the same seedlings that same year and put in my garden. No problems at all.

She tried again this year putting seedlings in a bigger sized pot, same problem as the previous year.
I took 2 seedlings this year and put in my garden, once again no problems.

I'm certainly NO expert and don't remember what she used for potting soil, I just transplanted them into my "dirt" garden, rarely water them and they grow like crazy here.

She is located in my area, they start out great and then just wilt up and die. It seems to me they are ok starting in pots but once that's done, they stop growing for some reason.

FWIW, If I could send you some I would as I just picked about 30-40 off of the 2 plants.
30-40! So jealous :LOL:

I did read that jalapenos like to grow deep roots so should be in big pots, and thought maybe my pot was too small, but I feel like the plant hasn't gotten to the point where that should be an issue yet. Definitely seen a bunch of youtube videos with way bigger plants in similar pots to mine. Unfortunately my yard's pretty small so digging a garden probably isn't an option.

How often do you water? I've wondered if I'm overwatering. I know it's different for a garden vs. a pot but just curious.
 
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Sorry for the late response, was on vacation.

I don't water them, mostly let the rain take care of that.
It has been dry here in Indiana lately but they are still producing.
 

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