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Why are the leaves falling off my chilli plants?

Our plants were fine yesterday, why today did we find them with leaves fallen on the ground?  What are the causes?

pperoncino foglie

The leaves tell us the state of health of the plant- if it is getting sick or if it needs something ... The leaves must be nice and green, alive, large, and without spots or other strange anomalies. So let's sound the alarm at the first signs! Before continuing to read, there is only one case where leaves falling is normal and you don't have to worry, which is when the low leaves, that is, the older ones, fall to make room for the new shoots. The new shoots will be exposed more to the light while the low leaves will receive less light, turning yellow and falling. This is a system that the plant uses to avoid wasting energy keeping useless leaves that do not favor the development of the plant. If only the low leaves have fallen, make sure, however, that the other leaves are "healthy". General problems that cause the leaves to fall:

Jumps in temperature

The plant, especially when small, suffers from excessive changes in temperature, even more so during the spring when the temperatures drop at night.


At night, put the plants inside the house or in a container where the temperature remains mild (even on the stairs or the windowsill is enough), then the next morning put them out. However, we recommend leaving the plants outside when the evening temperature does not drop below 15 degrees centigrade.

Lack of nutrients

Did you use poor quality soil or reused pots with old soil still inside?

The roots of the plant go to look for the nutrients in the soil. If they do not find them, the plant grows little, the leaves fall, and it does not bear fruit. It must be ensured that the soil we are going to use is rich in nutrients and therefore of excellent quality. Do not use recycled soil taken from other pots because the old plants may have used up all the nutrients.


The optimal solution is to change 60-70% of the soil with new soil of good quality and fertilize it in order to give the plant the right nutrients throughout its growth, nutrients that promote healthy growth, the production of more fruit, and the avoidance of disease.

Too much water

Do you water your chilli plants every day? Are you sure that the water given to the plants is not too much? The saucers below the pots are full of water to the brim? It means that you are overwatering the plant, in which case the leaves yellow, fall, and other problems like fungi and parasites can also arise! We must water little but with regular frequency and on the hottest days of summer we should water every day. We must water the plants every day even when they are small, but remember, little and often. We must not allow water to build up. If you use a cup as a pot at the beginning, remember to make a hole in the bottom so that excess water passes through the hole and we are sure that stagnant water does not collect.


Put the plants where they get the most sun possible. If the saucers are too full, empty them! If the soil on the surface is dry it does not mean that the plants need water. Dig lightly and less than one centimeter of depth to check if the soil is moist/wet. If it is, then the plant does not need water, but if even below 1 cm from the surface the earth is dry it needs moisture. Water it moderately. The saucer should fill with a very little amount of water; if it fills up to the brim, it's too much!

Diseases and pests

If the plants are not treated properly, diseases and parasites can arise which also cause the plant to die. Every so often, check your plants, leaves, and twigs making sure that there are no strange colors, spots, insects, and so on. It is not difficult to understand that the plant is not healthy and it is necessary to intervene promptly to avoid infecting other plants and ruining them by killing the infected plants and removing them from the others. 


There are various diseases and pests of plants, a topic already discussed on our site. If you need to know what kind of disease or parasite your plant has and how to solve the problem, we invite you to read the guide Chilli sickness and parasites: a very detailed and thorough guide with images to help those less experienced treat their plants.