Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Prevention of sunscald in pepper
Recognize the problem
is not a disease. It is physical damage on peppers that occurs in the high
heat of summer when humidity is also at a peak. Sunscald can cause the fruit
to get woody and tough. White or yellow blisters develop on the side of the
fruit that faces the sun. With continued exposure to sun, the damaged areas
may become papery, flattened, and greyish white. The, black or grey fungi may
grow in the patches and cause the fruit to rot.
need sun to produce plant sugars and starch. They also need the warmth of the
sun. However, plants can also get too much sun. This can cause sunscald
damage on pepper. It is common when the plants are forming fruits in the late
summer heat. Sunscald is most prevalent on the green pepper fruits. Tomatoes
are also commonly scalded, and many tree fruits are at risk. Usually the foliage
will help shield the fruits from the most intense rays of the sun. However, leaves
may have defoliated due to insects or diseases, or plants become too tall. The
developing fruits then become vulnerable to the sun.
Avoid defoliation through fungal
diseases, soil nematodes, short periods of drought, or wrong fertilisation. The
less shade there is, the higher the risk for sun damage and sunscald.
- Fertilize with an organic
fertilizer like cattle manure or goat manure (2 canned tins at each station)
prior to fruit set and after fruit set for better leaf growth to shade the
- Do not water / irrigate at
full sunlight, and rather in the evening than in the morning.
- Construct row covering
frames covered with shade cloth to deflect much of the intense sunlight and to
protect the plants from sunscald.
- The sun scalded fruits
should be isolated from the good ones to avoid secondary infections that can
spread to all fruits.
- The sun scaled fruits
can be home-consumed; the non-damaged fruits can be sold.
The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to:
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