bacterial spot on chilli plants
Hi Gardening Know How I am currently trying my second attempt to grow a chilli plant in a pot in my front garden. The first lasted only a couple of weeks before it was overcome by brown and black blotchy spots after a spout of rain. I was told it was a fungal issue. This second chilli plant has been growing just splendidly for a few weeks in the hot sun here in Brisbane. I developed a homemade fungicide from baking soda, oil and washing detergent and was proactive in applying it. But just a couple of days ago we had a rainy day. I didn't get to apply the fungicide immediately following the rain, but early the next day. Then a day or so ago I saw a couple of brown spots on a few leaves high up on the plant and I pulled them off. But today on inspecting the plant I see lots of little black spots on a lot of the upper leaves. I now realise this is probably bacterial leaf spot and the things I've read suggest I can't save my plant. So my question is, how can I prevent this from happening again? I've read that one preventtive measure is to remove any palnt material from around the base of the plant, but there isn't any. Is it just the case that I've bought dodgy plants which are grown from diseased seeds? I'm trying to get started in veggie gardening and chillies in particular and am feeling pretty disheartened about this. Kind Regards Ryan
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Yes, bacterial leaf spot is the most likely cause. This disease can be spread from infected seeds, as you've guessed, so the first thing to do is to buy from a different supplier. You can grow from seed or purchase young plants, but make sure no diseased chili plants are seen in the greenhouse or store you buy from.
Also, throw out the soil you've used and start with all new soil. Use a different pot, or sterilize the pot you used with a 10% bleach solution. Also place the pot in a different location in case some diseased leaves have fallen onto the soil below.
You can't control the climate, but it might help to bring the pot indoors on rainy days, then water it yourself without getting water on the leaves. Don't give up!