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What should I do with pepper plants that are not planted but something is eating the leaves?

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What should I do with pepper plants that are not planted but something is eating the leaves?

Post  unmadecastle on 5/16/2011, 8:42 pm

I bought green pepper and jalepeno plants at our local nursery 5-6 days ago. It has been to cold (had frost this morning) and rainy to plant them yet. I have kept them in the house. Today when I went to water them I saw that some leaves had been eaten. Yesterday I saw little black flys/gnat looking bugs around my flowers and pepper plants. Do you think this is what is eating my peppers?

Will I be able to plant these peppers or should I get some others?

I appreciate any input!

Ann
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Re: What should I do with pepper plants that are not planted but something is eating the leaves?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/16/2011, 10:58 pm

Check under and around your plants' pots for slugs. They do infest even the best nurserys, coming in on plants, supplies and even under the fence. Any sign of slime?

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Re: What should I do with pepper plants that are not planted but something is eating the leaves?

Post  unmadecastle on 5/17/2011, 6:16 pm

I didnt see any slime. Are slugs little? I have never seen them.
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Re: What should I do with pepper plants that are not planted but something is eating the leaves?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/17/2011, 6:27 pm

Some slugs are indeed small, especially baby slugs. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have all sizes, from 1/4" to 9" or so. You certainly would have noticed the banana slug pictured below, so it could be a tiny "milk" slug (so-called because it secretes a milky looking fluid when injured). Hmmm, though if you don't see any slime, it could be something else, a cutworm perhaps. Are these peppers in individual pots or a communal tray where a cutworm larva could be hiding in the soil?


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Re: What should I do with pepper plants that are not planted but something is eating the leaves?

Post  unmadecastle on 5/17/2011, 6:42 pm

They are in individual pots.

If its a worm can it be hiding in the dirt until it gets hungry?
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Re: What should I do with pepper plants that are not planted but something is eating the leaves?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/17/2011, 8:10 pm

Whoa, you have a real mystery. A cutworm would only be working on one pot, not several--they don't travel well. There must be some other culprit, though I still suspect slugs. Have you tried waiting a couple of hours after dark, then checking the plants with a flashlight? There are a couple of things, cutworms and slugs, that would show up then. Are the plants open to the outside during the day? If so, it opens up a whole different world of possibilities. Only diligent observation is likely to spot the evil doer. Can you set a timer tonight for, say, 10:30 PM and check for villians? After that, look into an organic pest control for daytime chewers. Good luck. And, let us know what you find out.

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Re: What should I do with pepper plants that are not planted but something is eating the leaves?

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