Tuesday 26 April 2011

My chilli plant has wilting leaves - is it under-watered or over-watered?

Bulletproof Troubleshooting

Wilting leaves are a symptom of three things - disease, under-watering or over-watering. But how can you tell which one of those three applies to your plants?

This blog post can’t help you with disease, that requires investigation on your behalf. It can help you with the water related issue using the one step bulletproof technique.

Step 1 - Is the soil bone dry?

Yes, the soil is bone dry

Your plant is under-watered. Give it a good drink, remove from direct sunlight and let it recover for an hour or so, it’ll bounce back to life.

No

Your plant is over-watered. Remove it from direct sunlight and don’t water it again until the soil is bone dry. This is tricker than under-watering because you need to get the moisture out of the soil. If possible remove the plant from the water logged soil without damaging the root ball. Wrap the root ball in kitchen roll in an attempt to draw out the excess mositure and let it get some air for a day, possibly two before potting again in fresh compost. If you don’t have fresh compost then at least dry out the waterlogged compost in the sun or the oven ( use a roasting bag of course ) .

Still not right?

It could be disease, but that’s outside of the scope of this troubleshooting guide. You should remove the plant from the other plants and quarantine it as soon as possible and start going ironside on it.

Helpful?

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