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7 Reasons Your Jalapeno Leaves Are Turning Yellow

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Jalapeno pepper plants are easy-to-grow and produce spicy peppers many people enjoy. Learning how to give your plants what they need to thrive can enusre they reward you with fruits.

However, you may sometimes notice that their leaves are turning yellow.

Why do jalapeno leaves turn yellow?

Here are seven reasons why your jalapeno leaves are turning yellow.

close up photo of peper plant

Reasons Why Your Jalapeno Leaves Are Turning Yellow

These are the most common reasons:

1. Water Stress

One major cause of chlorosis, or yellowing of leaves, in all plants is the exposure of their roots to more or less water than they need. If plants get too little water, their leaves will turn yellow, dry up, and fall off the plant. If they get too much water, their leaves will turn yellow, and the plant will die soon.

You need to pay attention to the planting season, the location of the plant, and the properties of the container and substrate.

Note that your jalapenos will need more water in summer than in fall. Also, if you are growing them in humid-rich places, they will need less water. Lastly, if the substrate is compacted, watering will become a challenge and it will be more difficult to tell when the plants need water.

2. Nutrient-Related Problems

dried plant died due to lack of water

Your plant leaves can turn yellow because of several nutrient problems.

For example, the deficiency of nutrients like nitrogen and magnesium can turn your jalapeno leaves yellow. The chlorophyll in the plant leaves needs these nutrients, especially nitrogen, to stay green, so the lack of them is disastrous to the plant.

Aside from nutrient deficiency, an abundance of nutrients can also turn your jalapeno leaves yellow. When you give your plants more nutrients than they need, they will expel the water through their tissues, and this can lead them to wilt while their leaves turn yellow.

3. Insufficient Light

Light may be the number one factor that you should watch out for, especially when your jalapeno leaves are turning yellow.

Plants need light to produce energy through the process of photosynthesis. The plants make use of the chlorophyll in their leaves to carry out photosynthesis.

If there is not sufficient light, the chlorophyll starts to die out and it can lead to the yellowing of the leaves.

Some plants can get more light than they need without problems, but too much light can make leaves wilt or develop a yellow color instead of green. The heat of the sun without enough humidity may be too much for your plants, so you want to be sure that the plants are hydrated well if they are in sun all day.

4. Disease

bacterial leaf spot disease

Diseases of jalapeno plants can change the color of the plant’s leaves, though there are other symptoms. Some diseases that affect these peppers are phytophthora blight, bacterial leaf spot, and wilt. While the leaves may turn yellow or brown, you will also often see black or brown lesions in the leaves.

The stems and petioles are also affected by diseases and in time, the plant will start to wither. Diseases move from plant to plant by air, water, mechanical means, and pests. So, if a plant is diseased, there is a high chance that other plants will contract the disease as well.

5. Pest Attack

Some pests that can attack your jalapeno plants are aphids, flea beetles, mites, psyllids, and white flies. These pests may not directly cause the yellowing of your jalapeno leaves, but if they attack the leaves for long, the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. You need to watch out for these pests.

6. pH Problems

Soil pH is a major factor in the soil that you should watch out for. If the soil pH is too high or too low, your plants may not collect as much water or nutrients as they need from the soil, and this can lead to the yellowing of the leaves. The plants will also start wilting.

Later in this article, you will learn the best pH range for jalapeno plants.

7. Temperature

Jalapeno hot peppers on plant

Temperature is a particularly crucial factor that you must take into consideration before you start growing any plant. If the temperature is not right, your plant leaves will turn yellow, the plant will grow very slowly and cannot produce flowers and fruits.

You must get the temperature right, so continue reading to learn the best temperature range for your jalapeno plants.

How to Prevent the Jalapeno Leaves From Turning Yellow

Instead of waiting until the jalapeno leaves turn yellow before you treat the plants, here are effective ways to grow healthy plants so that their leaves do not turn yellow:

1. Do Not Overwater Your Plants

watering a plant

When you overwater your jalapeno plants, you expose them to root rot and suffocation. You should wait until their substrate is almost dry or the surface is dry before you water them again. You can use your fingers to tell if they need water or not.

Dip your fingers into the substrate and check the moisture of the first two inches. If the surface feels wet, wait a day or two before you water the plant.

You can also make use of a moisture reader. Please remember to grow the plants on a well-drained substrate. Also, if you are growing them in pots, ensure that the pots have drainage holes.

2. Ensure That the Plants Have Enough Nitrogen and Magnesium

While nutrient deficiency (generally) can lead to the chlorosis or yellowing of your jalapeno leaves, the major nutrients that give plants green leaves are nitrogen and magnesium. You need to feed your plants with nitrogen and magnesium-rich fertilizer regularly. Follow the instructions of the fertilizer.

If you do not want to feed the plants with fertilizer, ensure that their substrate is nutrient-rich. You can amend the jalapeno substrate a few weeks before planting with compost or rotted manure.

You can also feed the plants with blood meal or coffee grounds. However, note that these products need at least two weeks before they can release their nutrients to the plants.

3. Isolate Sick Plants

Brown Spotted Leaves

If your plants are turning yellow because of a disease or pest attack, you must prevent the healthy ones from turning yellow by isolating the sick ones.

Look for every plant with the disease and isolate them, especially if you are growing them in pots. Take their pots to another location and monitor the healthy ones to see if they get the disease or not.

When isolated, you should treat the plants if you can. The symptoms of the disease will tell you what disease it is, and you can use that information to get the best treatment product. As for the pests, make use of pesticides or other plant-safe products to kill them so that they do not attack your healthy plants.

4. Grow the Jalapenos Under the Right Conditions

What you want to do is to grow your jalapeno plants in the right condition. If they experience stress when growing, they will have yellow leaves. Some requirements that you must get right are:

  • Temperature: The temperature should be around 65-85°F. Keep the plants in a location with a stable temperature.
  • Light: Ensure that your peppers get at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Anything below four hours can lead to chlorosis or yellowing of their leaves.
  • pH and other soil conditions: The soil should have a pH of 5-6. Ensure that the soil is nutrient-rich and well-drained.
  • Humidity: Your pepper plants need to grow at 60 percent humidity or more.

If you can get these requirements right, your plants will grow fresh green leaves.

5. Remove Pests as You See Them

Insect pest of plants in the vegetable garden

To prevent your jalapeno leaves from turning yellow, you want to remove pests as soon as you see them. You can pick the pests with your hands or gloves or use a strong stream of water. Just make sure that you dispose of them as far away from the plants as possible or kill them if you can.

You should also buy pest-repellent products so that the pests do not come back.

What Can You Do About the Yellowed Leaves?

When your jalapeno leaves turn yellow, they stay yellow, especially if you did not detect them earlier. This is because the yellowing of leaves signifies the death of chlorophyll in the leaves, and they cannot be revived. So long as there are still some green leaves in the plant, more green leaves will grow.

However, if almost all the leaves have turned yellow, there’s just a little chance of growth for the plant.

Your plant will continue to send nutrients and energy to the living cells in the leaves. This means that the yellow leaves continue to consume energy from the plant. If you want to help the plant to revive faster, it is best that you prune off the yellow leaves and leave the fresh green ones.

Also, keep the plant in a safe place with just the right amount of light, temperature, and humidity. In time, new leaves will grow, and your plant will continue growing so long as the right conditions are met.


There are so many reasons why your jalapeno leaves are turning yellow, and you can easily fix the plant so long as you do so early enough. However, it is best to prevent the leaves from turning yellow by making use of all the tips that you have learned in this article.


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