Tiny Black Spots On Pepper Leaves. What They Are And How To Remove Them! (2022)

Tiny Black Spots On Pepper Leaves. What They Are And How To Remove Them! (1)

The tiny black spots on your pepper leaves are a common problem. This article will talk about the causes and how to eliminate them.

What Are Tiny Black Spots On Pepper Leaves? Like other vegetables, pepper plants are prone to some insects and diseases. Sooty Mold, Bacterial Leaf Spots, and Mosaic Virus are diseases that can cause tiny black spots and discoloration on pepper leaves.

What Causes Black Spots On Pepper Leaves?

There might be several reasons for tiny black spots on your pepper plant leaves. The 3 main reasons are:

  1. Sooty Mold
  2. Mosaic Virus
  3. Bacterial Leaf Spot

So, let us discuss each in more detail.

Sooty Mold

Tiny Black Spots On Pepper Leaves. What They Are And How To Remove Them! (2)

Sooty mold is a fungal disease responsible for the black spots on pepper leaves. Typically, it grows on plant parts covered with honeydew. The mold resembles soot from the chimneys, and it causes a black appearance on the pepper plants.

From tiny black spots to large black splotches, the pepper leaves infected with sooty mold usually mean an infestation of pests.

(Video) Treating Bacterial Spot on Pepper Plants

These specific pests such as aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers, or mealybugs produce honeydew.

Honeydue is a sugary waste excreted by these insects, producing a black-colored fungus on leaves or anywhere else where the honeydew drops.

While the sooty mold does not directly infect the plant, it can coat leaves and block the light from plants. This will slow down the photosynthesis and the growth of peppers.

Also, the leaves affected by sooty mold are more susceptible to other diseases.

Early symptoms of sooty mold on pepper plants are:
  • Tiny black spots on leaves or stems. It is sooty mold if these spots can be wiped off and feel sticky when touched.
Sooty Mold Management

Most plants can tolerate small amounts of sooty mold and pests. However, the problem of sooty mold usually occurs when the population of pests increases and there is too much sooty mold for the plant to handle.

There are many ways to control sooty mold.

  • Stop it at a source. Control honeydew-producing pests such as aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers, mealybugs, psyllids, and soft scales. Use organic insecticides such as neem oil, garlic spray, or insecticidal soap.
  • Attract beneficial insects. The best way to control pests is to attract beneficial predatory insects that feed on them. Beneficial insects include ladybugs, hoverflies, green lacewings, assassin bugs, minute pirate bugs, parasitic wasps, praying mantis, and spiders.
  • Wash the sooty mold off. Once the pest population is reduced, the sooty mold will slowly lessen. Use a stream of water or soap to wash off the pepper leaves. [1]

Pro Tip: Don’t let ants near honeydew. Ants consider this sugary liquid a food source. So, they will herd pests that produce honeydew and protect them.

(Video) Bacterial Disease on Peppers

Mosaic Virus

Mosaic viruses can affect pepper plants causing distorted appearance and mild to moderate mosaic-like spots on the leaves. The spots are often irregularly shaped and may be sunken.

While black spots on the leaves are not the first sign of this disease, they could appear during the later stage.

The mosaic virus doesn’t kill pepper plants. Instead, it slows down the growth and reduces the harvest.

A few strains of the mosaic virus can affect pepper plants. These are Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV), and others.

They have different names but similarities in the symptoms. Some virus strains can be transmitted by insects such as aphids or leafhoppers. Others, through seed and mechanical spreading by contact.

Early symptoms of the mosaic virus on pepper plants are:
  • Light and dark green leaves exhibit irregular mild to moderate mosaic patterns and a dull appearance,
  • Wrinkled or curled leaves,
  • Stunned growth of pepper plant,
  • Wilting of the plant,
  • Yellow and brown spots can turn black over time.
Mosaic Virus Management

There is no cure for the mosaic virus on pepper plants. If you notice mosaic virus symptoms, discard the infected plant parts as soon as possible. Do not compost them![2]

You can take some precautions to reduce the spread and survival of this virus.

(Video) Q&A – Why do I have spots on my banana pepper leaves?

  • Cover the seedlings to protect them from the pests transmitting the virus.
  • Plant trap crops such as mint, mustard, dill, nasturtium, and milkweed to divert pests that transmit the virus from the main crop.
  • Grow plants around you pepper that repel these pests. These are onions, garlic, and marigolds.
  • Avoid touching any healthy plants after handling a plant that is affected by a mosaic virus.
  • Wash and disinfects your hands and tools after pruning or handling the infected plants.

Pro Tip: Use disposable gloves when handling infected plants. Gloves will keep your hands clean.

Bacterial Leaf Spot

Bacterial leaf spot is a common disease of peppers. The first symptom of bacterial leaf spots appears as round water-soaked lesions on leaves. The lesions turn brown or black and may enlarge over time.

Once the infection starts, it is hard for plants to survive. In severe cases, bacterial leaf spots can devastate the whole pepper crop.

Bacterial leaf spots are spread mainly through the contaminated seeds. The disease can also spread through contaminated tools or splash from one plant to another by irrigation or rain.

Primary symptoms include disfiguration of the fruit and early defoliation. However, you can destroy the plant before others get infected by noticing signs early. [3]

Early symptoms of bacterial leaf spots on pepper plants are:
  • Water-soaked lesions on leaves that enlarge and change color quickly from green to dark brown.
  • The spots dry in the less humid weather, and some of the infected tissues fall off, resulting in the torn appearance of leaves.
  • The leaves of the infected plants turn yellow and fall off. This exposes the fruit to sunscald.
Bacterial Leaf Spot Management

The damage caused by bacterial leaf spot disease is irreversible. There is no treatment, so you must destroy the infected plant parts. Do not compost them!

Avoid planting peppers or tomatoes the next growing season in the same area.

(Video) How to Get Rid of Pests on Pepper Plants - Cheaply

You can take some precautions to reduce the spread and survival of this bacteria.

  • Use resistant pepper varieties.
  • Treat seeds before sowing with hot water. Soak them for 30 minutes in water of 125oF (51oC). This method will reduce the population of bacteria on the outside and the inside of seeds. The drawback is that germination can be affected if the treatment is performed incorrectly.
  • Rotate crops. It is an effective way to prevent the bacteria from affecting the following year’s crops.
  • Use drip irrigation or water the soil. Avoid overhead watering. This will reduce the chances of bacteria spreading through splashing.

Pro Tip: This disease does not cause fruits to rot. But, it can open a path through lesions to other pathogens that can decay all or some of the peppers.

How To Treat Black Spots On Pepper Leaves?

In some cases, you can treat black spots on pepper leaves. However, mosaic virus and bacterial leaf spot diseases have no cure. You can prevent black spots on pepper plants by following these tips:

  • Select disease-resistant varieties of peppers. When purchasing, you can check the disease-resistant properties in the description on the seed packet.
  • Avoid watering the leaves of pepper plants. You can prevent disease spread if you water plants close to the ground. Also, allow the soil to dry between watering intervals.
  • Practice crop rotation in your garden. Planting the same crop in the same area of your garden each year will keep the disease alive. So, changing crops every two to three years will prevent disease and solve the soil’s nutrition depletion problem.
  • Keep monitoring your pepper plants for black spots. Take action as soon as you notice the infected plant parts. Discard the infected leaves to stop the disease spread.
  • Never place infected plants into your compost.

Wrapping It Up

Bacterial leaf spots and the mosaic virus can be responsible for black spots on pepper leaves. But before you start worrying about those, look at the underside of the leaves. You could be looking at sooty mold if there are many aphids or other honeydew-producing insects, which is not as bad as the other two diseases!

Hopefully, you found the cause, treatment, and prevention of tiny black spots on pepper leaves after reading this article.

If you enjoyed reading this, check out other similar articles in ourGardening How Tosection.

(Video) COMMON PEPPER PLANT DISEASES and Pepper Plant Leaf Spots.

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How do you get rid of black spots on leaves? ›

How to Control Black Spot: Once black spot becomes active, the only way to control the disease and stop its spread is with an effective fungicide. GardenTech® brand's Daconil® fungicides offer highly effective, three-way protection against black spot and more than 65 other types of fungal disease.

What is the black stuff on my pepper plants? ›

Black Joints on Pepper Plant

Black joints on your plant may actually be black cankers caused by fusarium, which is a fungal disease. This disease causes fruit to turn black and mushy. It's imperative to prune diseased plant parts to keep the fungal infection from spreading to other parts of the plant.

What are the little black dots on leaves? ›

If you notice black spots on your houseplant's leaves, or fallen leaves with a bronze tint, chances are your plant is infested with spider mites. Just like their name suggests, spider mites are arachnids, so they will form tiny webs.

How do you get rid of black spots on plants naturally? ›

5) Baking soda & soap can control black spot
  1. 1 quart water.
  2. 1 tsp. baking soda.
  3. ½ tsp. liquid soap (Use mild soap, such as Ivory®, not detergent, which will harm plants)
7 Aug 2018

Should I cut leaves with black spots? ›

Yellow leaves are home to Black Spot spores, so don't just cut them away, but remove them entirely, bag them and put them in the trash. Remember to sterilize your shears in between every cut so that you don't spread any infection to the fresh wounds that pruning makes.

How do you get rid of bacterial spots on pepper plants? ›

Copper sprays can be used to control bacterial leaf spot, but they are not as effective when used alone on a continuous basis. Thus, combining these sprays with a plant resistance inducer, such as Regalia or Actigard, can provide good protection from the disease.

What are home remedies for leaf spots? ›

Leaf Spot Remedy
  1. 1 Drop Ivory Dish Soap.
  2. 2 TSP Baking Soda.
  3. 4 Cups of Water.

Does baking soda treat leaf spot? ›

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is an antifungal agent and can even kill some established forms of fungus. Research has shown it's effective against some kinds of black spot and powdery mildew.

How do you get rid of little black bugs on pepper plants? ›

Make a Soapy Water Solution

Whisk together 1 tablespoon of dawn dish soap, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, and 1 gallon of warm soft water (tap water is preferred) in a bucket. After it's mixed, spray and apply it in an even coat to the entire plant and coat the underside of the leaves where pests like to hide.

How do you get rid of black aphids on pepper plants? ›

Typically, aphid infestations in peppers will not require insecticide management. Squishing the aphids without damaging the leaves may be effective. Also, the application of soapy water to the undersides of the leaves may reduce the aphid populations.

What causes black spot leaf disease? ›

Black leaf, also known as black spot disease can be caused by different types of fungi and bacteria. Most common being Asterina, Asterinella, Diplotheca, Glomerella, Gnomonia, Schizothyrium, Placosphaeria, and Stigmea. Black leaf can affect many different plant species during wet, damp climate.

What causes leaf black spot? ›

black spot, also spelled blackspot, common disease of a variety of plants caused by species of Pseudomonas bacteria or by any number of fungus species in the genera Asterina, Asterinella, Diplotheca, Glomerella, Gnomonia, Schizothyrium, Placosphaeria, and Stigmea.

What causes black spot fungus? ›

The disease is caused by the fungal pathogen Diplocarpon rosae. Leaves are most susceptible when young and must remain moist overnight before infection can occur. The disease can be spread by rain, dew, irrigation, people, insects, and transport of infected plants.

What is the best spray for black spot? ›

There is an easy way to stop and prevent black spot – Bonide Copper Fungicide QT – this spray is safe to use on roses, vegetables, fruits, and many other types of flowers. It will prevent the spread of black spot as well as other fungus such as late blight and downy mildew.

What do you spray on black spot? ›

Fungicide: There are a number of environmentally friendly organic products that do a good job at suppressing black spot, including sulfur, neem oil, and copper. Most products are available as foliar sprays or dusting powders and will control many types of fungal diseases.

How do you make black spot spray? ›

California's Huntington Botanical Garden and other institutions recommend a spray with ordinary white vinegar as a component to help eliminate black spot. To make the spray, combine 1 gallon water, 1 tablespoon each of white vinegar and baking soda, and 1 tablespoon of canola or superfine horticultural oil.

Can leaf spot be cured? ›

There is no cure for plants infected with bacterial leaf spot.

How do you get rid of plant spots? ›

Solution: First, isolate your plant so other plants don't get infected. Cut off any leaves with spots on them and let your plant dry out. Only water it when the top two inches of soil feel dry. This method may beat a mild case, but in severe cases it may be best to dispose of the plant.

Can you spray soapy water on pepper plants? ›

A more effective strategy is to spray your pepper plants with soapy water (4 teaspoons of liquid dish soap per 1 gallon of water). The soapy solution helps smother the aphids, but you can also use it in combination with spraying down your plants with the garden hose, which will make it harder for the aphids to hold on.

What kills leaf spot fungus? ›

For spring and summer leaf spot, preventative fungicide applications, or applications in the early stages of disease development provide the best results. Products containing iprodione, chlorothalonil, mancozeb, fludioxonil, azoxystrobin, or penthiopyrad typically provide good control of leaf spot diseases.

What is the best fungicide for pepper plants? ›

Anthracnose Treatment

Liquid copper-based fungicide sprays should be applied weekly, starting when the foliage first begins to develop. Spray in the morning, not under the hot sun. Seeds can also be treated prior to planting.

How do you make a fungicide? ›

DIY Fungicides for the Garden
  1. Mixing baking soda with water, about 4 teaspoons or 1 heaping tablespoon (20 mL) to 1 gallon (4 L.) ...
  2. Dishwashing soap, without degreaser or bleach, is a popular ingredient for homemade plant fungicide.
6 Apr 2021

Can plants recover from leaf spot? ›

No. Once a leaf is infected and damaged by leaf spot diseases, it will not recover or turn green again. The diseases kill the parts of the leaf they grow on. For deciduous trees this is not usually a problem, as these trees put out new leaves each spring.

What is a natural fungicide? ›

They include milk, coffee, bicarbonate of soda, vegetable oils, detergent and white vinegar. Let's see how to mix these up to make some effective controls for a range of plant problems. First lets make a milk fungicide. Use organic milk because it contains all the antibiotic qualities necessary to make it work.

Is vinegar a fungicide? ›

Vinegar has antifungal and antibacterial properties, and it can be a cheap and effective treatment for many types of mold. Household white vinegar typically contains about 5 to 8 percent acetic acid.

Can you spray vinegar on pepper plants for bugs? ›

Vinegar is a really effective natural bug killer for plants. Dilute it 1:1 with water in a spray bottle and spray it over and under the leaves of affected plants. You can also use it around the house to deter bugs inside; the vinegary smell will quickly dissipate.

What are the tiny black bugs that look like pepper? ›

The critters are also called “snow fleas” because they're more noticeable on snow. They gather in large numbers and look like jumping flecks of black pepper. However, snow fleas aren't only found during the winter.

How do I make dish soap spray for plants? ›

Mix 1 tablespoon of soap per quart of water, or 4 to 5 tablespoons of soap per gallon of water. 3. Mix together thoroughly and use immediately. Make sure to evenly coat infected plants, from top to bottom, for best results.

What homemade spray kills aphids? ›

Soap and Water

A few tablespoons of liquid dish or insecticidal soap diluted in a pint of water is the simplest way to make a natural aphid killer spray for that aphid infestation. After mixing the water and soap mixture, fill up a squirt bottle, take a dish sponge and head out to your garden.

Does soapy water get rid of aphids? ›

You can often control aphids by wiping or spraying the leaves of the plant with a mild solution of water and a few drops of dish soap. Soapy water should be reapplied every 2-3 days for 2 weeks.

What spray kills black aphids? ›

Spray Soapy Water

Add a couple of drops of dish soap to a spray bottle, top up with water and shake to dissolve. Spray the solution liberally over the plant, remembering to reach all parts of the plant, including the undersides of leaves. The soapy water traps and suffocates the aphids.

How do you prevent fungus on pepper plants? ›

Fungal Problem On Peppers
  1. Be sure not to water in the evening and try not to get the fruit wet when watering when possible. ...
  2. Spay with one of the organic fungicides such as Actinovate, Serenade or copper. ...
  3. Throw out infected fruit – don't let it stay in the garden.
11 Sept 2017

How do you prevent disease in pepper plants? ›

Rotate your vegetable crops each season to prevent buildup in the soil of diseases or insects. Grow disease-resistant pepper varieties. Keep the pepper garden free from debris. Make sure your plants don't get excessive moisture and soil is well-draining.

What does a spider mite look like? ›

To the naked eye, spider mites just look like red, yellow, black or brown moving dots.

What does black spot fungus look like? ›

What does black spot look like? Black spot lesions are roughly circular and may be up to 1∕2 inch in diameter. Lesions often have feathery margins, and are dark brown to black in color. Black spot first appears during periods of wet weather when rose leaves are first emerging.

How is black spot transmitted? ›

Disease Spread

Fungal spores produced in the black leaf spots spread via water splash to cause new infections. Wet conditions are required for the disease to build up, but most summers in the UK are sufficiently wet.

Does neem oil work on black spot? ›

Neem oil can also kill fungal diseases like powdery mildew, black spot, scab, anthracnose, and leaf spot. Neem oil is generally safe for beneficial insects that do not feed on the plants' leaves, like ladybugs, pollinators, and earthworms.

What type of disease is black spot? ›

Black spot is the most serious disease of roses. It is caused by a fungus, Diplocarpon rosae, which infects the leaves and greatly reduces plant vigour.

What causes black spots on leaves? ›

black spot, also spelled blackspot, common disease of a variety of plants caused by species of Pseudomonas bacteria or by any number of fungus species in the genera Asterina, Asterinella, Diplotheca, Glomerella, Gnomonia, Schizothyrium, Placosphaeria, and Stigmea.

How do you treat leaf spots naturally? ›

Leaf Spot Remedy
  1. 1 Drop Ivory Dish Soap.
  2. 2 TSP Baking Soda.
  3. 4 Cups of Water.

Why do leaves get black spots? ›

Leaves and sometimes stems are marked by dark blotches caused by a fungus. The spores overwinter on fallen leaves, stem lesions and bud scales, and reinfect the plant the next spring when there's a flush of new foliage. If these leaves are then infected, they too eventually turn yellow and drop.

What does bacterial leaf spot look like? ›

Bacterial leaf spot diseases often start as small dark brown to black spots with a halo of yellow tissue surrounding each spot. In some cases, the center of the leaf spot will dry up and fall out, giving the leaf a "shot hole" appearance.

What do fungal leaf spots look like? ›

Leaf spot symptoms vary depending on the plant host and the causal fungus. A typical leaf spot is a rather definitely delimited necrotic lesion, often with a brown, black, tan, or reddish center and a darker margin. These spots vary in size from pinhead to those that encompass the entire leaf.

How does baking soda cure plant fungus? ›

Baking soda has several modes of action. When it is sprayed on plants, it disrupts the ion balance of fungal cells, which causes them to collapse. Also, fungal spores are eliminated because the baking soda leaves alkaline residues on the surface of plants.

How do you get rid of black fungus on plants? ›

The best method to remove the mold is to soak affected plants in a water and detergent mixture. Use 1 tablespoon of household liquid detergent per gallon of water and spray it on the plants. Wait 15 minutes, then wash the detergent solution off with a strong stream of water.

What insect causes black spots on leaves? ›

Tiny Black Spots on the Underside of Leaves

They could also be aphids or another kind of tiny black insect. While wearing gloves, see if you can slide them off the leaves. If they come off, you likely have an insect problem. Many plant insects, like mites, aphids and mealybugs, can be treated with insecticidal soaps.


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