How to Identify Pepper Spot

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Pepper spot is a plant disease caused by the fungus Leptosphaerulina crassiasca. The disease derives its name from its characteristic small black spots that resemble grains of pepper. Here's how to identify a pepper spot.

  • Know some of the plants affected by pepper spot. The disease attacks a wide variety of the plants, including peanuts, alfalfa, clover and Napa cabbage.

  • Note the weather conditions that encourage the development of the disease. Pepper spot usually develops in cool temperatures with high humidity and substantial rain.

  • Observe the damage caused by the fungus. Leaves will exhibit small, dark black or brown spots. These spots resemble black pepper. As the disease continues, the spots can grow and may eventually connect to one another to form larger spots on the leaves. These spots may display a yellowish border. If the disease progresses further, the leaves may dry and die.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't confuse pepper spot with early leaf spot. Typically, pepper spots are smaller than early leaf spots.
  • Many plant pathologists don't consider pepper spot harmful or dangerous.

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