Black pepper stain – Why are there stains on my peppers?

Even under ideal conditions and with careful care, crops can be suddenly affected by a pest or disease. Peppers are no exception and a common disease is black spot on peppers. If the black spots are only found on peppers, the cause is usually environmental, but if the entire pepper plant is splashed with spots, it may have black spot or some other disease.

Why are there stains on my peppers?

As mentioned, if there are stains only on the fruit, the cause is probably environmental. Tip rot is a possible culprit. It starts with a small brown to tan spot on the lower end of the pepper, which is soft or tough to the touch. It is usually caused by irregular watering. Make sure the soil remains moist an inch below the surface. General watering practices call for one inch of water per week, but depending on the weather or if the bell pepper is in a pot, additional watering may be necessary.

Solar scalding is another environmental condition that can cause black spots on peppers. Scalding is exactly what it seems to be: intense summer heat that whitens the most exposed areas of the fruit. Use a shade cloth or other shading material to cover the bell pepper plants during the peak hours of the sun and the heat of the afternoon.

Additional reasons for peppers with stains

If the whole pepper plant, not just the fruit, is splashed with black spots, the culprit is a disease. The disease can be fungal or bacterial.

Anthracnose is a fungal disease that causes brown or black spots on the fruit, and wet rot (Choaenephora blight) causes black growths on the leaves as well as on the fruit. In general, in the case of a fungal disease, once the plant is affected there is no cure and the plant must be discarded, although fungicides can sometimes help relieve symptoms. In the future, buy disease-resistant plants or seeds and avoid overhead watering.

Bacterial diseases such as leaf spot not only cause black spots on the leaves, but also general distortion or twisting. Clear, raised bumps appear on the fruit and gradually turn black as the disease progresses.

The black pepper stain appears as round to irregular spots on the ripe fruit. These spots do not lift, but the discoloration continues in the fruit. The causal nature of black spot is unknown, but it is thought to be physiological.

To avoid black spots on pepper plants, always buy disease-resistant varieties and treated seeds, water the base of the plants and shade them during the hottest part of the day. In addition, use row covers to prevent pest infestations, be consistent with watering and fertilization, and plant peppers in well-drained soil.

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