Why Are The Leaves On My Chili Plant Curling (Causes & Solution) - May 2023

Why are the leaves on my chili plant curling (Causes & Solution)

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By Samuel Ansah

Last Updated April 23, 2023

Leaves curling in chili plants are common, especially in young, indoor chili plants. Chili leaf curling can be attributed to common factors such as water, nutrients, light, viral attack, air circulation, and some garden practices. In this article, I’ll guide you on identifying leaves curling in chili plants, the causes, and possible solutions.

So, let’s start by spotting and identifying curling leaves in chili plants which is common in chili farming.

Why are the leaves on my chili plant curling
curling leaves in chili plant

Why are the leaves on my chili plant curling?

Factors that contribute to curling  leaves in chili plants are;


Excessive watering with poor soil drainage can cause the leaves on the chili plant to curl. How much water is good for chili plants? Keep the soil moist but soaking wet to retain an appreciable amount of water for growth.

In the case of excess water, check for soil water drainage; in planting pots, ensure there are holes beneath the pot to allow excess water to drain. On the field, dig down to check for excess water. Always check soil moisture before watering.

Too much light

It is possible for leaves to curl on chili plants when they are exposed to too much light. Bubbly leaves are very common in chili plants indoors. You can move the chili plants below the light, or the light can move away. The recommended lighting distance for indoor chili plants should be 12 – 16 inches away. 

Chili plants on the field can also experience curled leaves when they do not go through proper hardening. Always ensure young chili plants go through proper hardening before transplanting to a permanent field. 

Viral attack

There is a viral infection known as ChiLCV responsible for chili plant leaves curling up. According to research, ChiLCV infection symptoms include upward curling of the leaves, a crinkly appearance, puckering, reduction of the leaf’s surface area, blistering at the interveinal areas, vein banding, shortening of the petioles and internodes, bunchy leaves, and severe stunting in plants.

Viral attack in chili plants is hard to treat and spreads very fast. The best treatment for a chili plant viral attack is to destroy all infected plants with those close.

Air circulation

Chili plants can suffer from plant edema. What is plant edema? Edema is a plant disorder caused by the build-up of water in plant tissues faster than the leaves can transpire. 

So, when chili plants retain more water than the leaves can transpire, you can introduce air circulation systems indoors to speed up the transpiration process. On the field, allow the chili plant’s soil to dry up a bit before watering again; this will about the chili plant to re-adjust.

Root bound

Using small pots for planting prevents roots from expanding and spreading efficiently. Root bound is a common occurrence in indoor chili plants. As chili plants grow, the bigger space they will need. 

The transition of chili plants to larger planting plots is the only solution to root round as this will allow proper root water absorption and air circulation for effective transpiration. 

Calcium deficiency

Curling leaves in chili plants can be caused by a nutrient deficiency. Calcium deficiency can cause “bubbly” on your chili plant leaves. A secondary nutrient for the growth of pepper plants is calcium. Plants use it, among other things, to build robust cell walls—plants lacking calcium experience improper leaf development, manifesting as curled and bubbly leaves.

Gypsum and bone meal are the best fertilizers to use to raise the soil’s calcium content before planting because they are both organic and won’t add excessive nitrogen. By including eggshells in your compost, you can also avoid calcium deficiencies in the future.


Curling in chili plants will not yield production. If you’re an indoor chili grower, you must pay attention to watering, lighting, planting pot sizes, and air circulation. Indoor chili plants hardly experience chili viral attacks compared to field chili growers. It’s best to perform regular inspections on the chili plants to take quick actions when needed. Let’s know what you think in the comment section. Thank you for reading.

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Source: PoultryABC.com
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