How to you properly nurture a pepper?

Hi All,
I picked up two Sandia pepper plants on sale. These are an heirloom Chimayo (New Mexico Red) pepper. Chimayo is the taste in an enchilada. And they are spicy. Not any of that milk toast gross sweet bell pepper stuff. Very yummy or at least the dried one I buy at the Mexican supermarket are.
One of them is happy.
The other looks kind of sad. It is alive, but its leaves droop more than my other peppers. And it is not as green.
I give it extra water and extra fertilizer. But it is still sad looking and not growing much.
How do I properly nurture a pepper plant back to health? I WANT LOTS OF PEPPERS!
Many thanks, -T
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T wrote: ...

if it isn't actively growing it should not be fertilized much at all..
buying plants on sale. always risky as you are getting the rejects. i could have been dropped, fried in the sun one too many times. the roots may be malformed. the potting soil itself may not be all that good. etc.

pull it out of the pot and inspect the roots. maybe it is root bound or diseased...
could be a virus or fungal infection. never really know without being able to dissect sometimes so you have to go on intuition. and, well, it is only a plant... some just don't make it.
songbird
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wrote:

At least 50% of my plantings each season are rejects, either from nurseries, big box stores or groceries. I get a kick out of tending them and have no worse luck than with my own seedlings or purchased specialty plants.

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On 07/27/2016 01:55 PM, Boron Elgar wrote:

So far, I am finding that "ugly" and "sick" are not necessarily the same thing. All of the rejects I have pick up so far are doing well, with the exception of the one pepper plant. Today, he looks a bit better.
Man the free eggplant was ugly, but it is going crazy with all the good loving it is getting!
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If you have two identical plant varieties in close to identical growing conditions and one does not thrive, you, it is infestation or luck of the draw lousy plant gene.
As with anything that grows - some things do better than others. If your soil was good to start (whole 'nother topic), you likely would not need fertilizer at this point in the season anyway. I rarely fertilize my veggies directly mid-season, and instead just add soil enrichment around them once in awhile.
Dunno where you are, but here in the east, the last couple of weeks have been wickedly hot. Perhaps one of your pepper plants - even if from the same seed source, just isn't up to it.
Check it for any sort of disease or infestation - sometimes these things are not easy to spot if one is not used to be plant-nosy - and keep it watered. If it makes it, swell, and if not, cut bait.
If you find you do like the peppers the good plant puts out, save some seeds for next year. That is really easy to do with peppers.
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On 07/28/2016 09:03 AM, Boron Elgar wrote:

Thank you!
I think it may just be the plant. It now has new leaves, but they are small. The recent winds may have messed it up too.
The pot hole the pepper is in has a sunflower sprouting up in it (my neighbor grew sunflowers last season, this one too.) The sunflower is going like the wind, so it is probably the plant. Rats!
I will definitely save the seeds. Just dry the out and put them in a plastic zip lock bag?
-T
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I would suggest using a paper bag rather than plastic, in my experience, which is not that much, I found it stops seeds turning mouldy.
Mike
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On 8/4/2016 9:43 AM, Bloke Down The Pub wrote:

You're right Mike, plastic bags cause mildew and rot, paper bags generally let things dry slowly. Been there, done that.
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On 08/04/2016 07:43 AM, Bloke Down The Pub wrote:

Thank you! I think I will get a bunch of small paper envelopes.
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Boron Elgar wrote: ...

for us it is the matter of timing. by the time veggie plants are on sale here it is too late in the season for most of them (and what we grow). also we don't make a lot of trips to buy plants. we have the local greenhouse that covers everything we usually put in. the big box stores are all a further away (10 - 20 miles further).
we did get some extra perennial low growing ground cover plants a few weeks ago from our that local greenhouse, but with it being so hot and dry lately we've kept them in the pots. after it cools off a bit more i can cut them into four pieces each and then plant them.
songbird
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On 07/28/2016 06:03 AM, songbird wrote:

I figure they are still growing, even if they are in a pot. And with my soil, probably better in the pot!
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On 07/27/2016 04:19 AM, songbird wrote:

Uh oh!
How about the extra water? Am I screwing up there too?
I only use certified organic fertilizer. Does that make a difference?
Maybe I am "over loving" the thing?

Okay. Bummer. Any advice other than to do an autopsy? Autopsies are kind of hard on the patient!
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T wrote:

i don't know, it depends upon the condtions. here it has been hot and dry enough that i water the veggie patches every three or four days. a container plant in the hot sun might need water twice a day... (i don't have any veggie container plants)

i would back off a bit to see how it responds. without knowing the specific nutrients and ingredients i couldn't say. for me the organic fertilizers i use are either green manure chopped and left for the worms to digest or the worms and worm castings that i put in the gardens under the plants in the spring when i'm planting. i don't fertilize after that. by rotation planting then i may not fertilize a garden for two or more years later. depends upon what i'm growing in that space.
also, some pepper plants may not do much fruiting if the N is too high. you'll have a great looking plant though. :) that happened to me last year with the green peppers.

possibly...

is it still in a pot or is it planted in the ground?
potted plants are sometimes not too bad to inspect, water it good, cut a chunk of heavy cardboard with a slit in it that you can put over the pot and around the plant and then turn it over and see if it comes out.
if it seems to be doing better lately then perhaps it just didn't get enough water some time or a temporary set back.
songbird
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On 07/28/2016 05:57 AM, songbird wrote:

I wish I had your skills!

I hacked holes in the ground, pulled out all the rocks, stuck weeds at the bottom (your doing by the way), filled with peat moss and whatever that stuff is called that came out of the hole to start with. I figured that since my soil is so poor and hard, I would make a "ground pots". Not problem with them blowing over and cheap. They were not easy to hack out. Took forever.
I just water the ground pots with a wand. I made sure the fillings I put back didn't quite go to the surface so water would pool up.
All my other plants seen to really have taken to my ground pots too!
On the bright side, I discovered that swinging an ax is really good for my blood sugar! Vigorous exercise has the same effect on a T2 as eating a carb loaded meal. That would be your liver thinking your are running for you life!

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T wrote:

in time it comes along. i didn't know anything when i started growing plants as a kid, but i read and practiced and made mistakes and kept at it. even now i still make mistakes.
mostly i'm just a very simple gardener and in doing that and using principles like encouraging diversity and using cover crops and having areas that are insect refuges it seems to be working out pretty well.
i'm also pretty laid back. i don't always get things done on time or worry too much if there's a weed here or there.
as far as crop rotation goes, just pick plants from a different family of plants. as long as they aren't a heavy feeder you may not need as much fertilizer (or none at all). i like beans and peas enough, but plenty of other things work well too. after zuchinis onions or garlic, beans, peppers...
...

well, glad that things are going ok. i'm pretty sure i'd want something in there other than peat moss, but at least it is organic matter and better than nothing.
next time those holes will be easier to work with. each season builds upon the last... next year you can make more holes if needed, but the previous ones can be planted with some other family of plant. made a little bigger. keep chipping away. :)
songbird
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On 08/04/2016 09:16 PM, songbird wrote:

Peat changes my soil from alkali to acid. I have used local compost for years and got no where with it. I think the reason it that compost is a booster and can not help bad soil become healthy, as my alkali soil demonstrates.
My garlic is such a pretty pink!
So far the best I have done it Dr Earth fertilizer at the bottom of the hole, a bunch of weeds, then peat moss mixed with my awful dirt.

Each year I learn something new. My wife says to keep a journal of things learned.
I think I have won the war with the squash bugs. haven't seen one or eggs in over a week. Yippee! I still check though.
My garlic crop was poor this year. I feel so ripped off that I have to wait another year to try again. This time I will use peat, weeds and melon rinds which I am collecting. And remember to occasionally water them.
-T
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T wrote:

...

any organic matter will help over the long haul (humus is a weak acid).

:)

we have pictures and maps of what went in when Ma first started gardening here many years ago. now i just take a picture once in a while if there is something interesting or Ma wants a record of a new decoration or something.
she was going to throw the old records and scrapbooks away but i was able to talk her into giving them to me instead.

yay! we never did find two of the three tomato worms. i guess they went underground as there hasn't been any more damage anywhere.

too much OM in the soil will encourage diseases. the crop wasn't all that great this year here either.
songbird
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