My chillis are not doing very well this year. I have had massive problems with aphids. I have tried everything to defeat them - proprietary bug-sprays, home-made garlic-water, brushing the insects off with a small paintbrush, etc, etc. Nothing seems to work! At best I have reduced the problem. Only one of the plants looks as good as I would like - the "Brazilian Starfish", which is shaping up to be enormous.
The other plants seem to be just surviving, and growing painfully slowly.
Last week I thought that a couple of the plants had died, because they suddenly lost most of their leaves. This is probably the result of a chemical build-up caused by the repeated spraying. This one is "Calico":
It's a really sorry sight, isn't it? I don't think the plant is dead, because there are some little shoots growing out of the leaf-axils, so it may still recover. Fortunately, I have another "Calico" plant, which seems to be OK.
These plants would benefit a lot from some time spent outdoors in full sunshine, and a bit of fresh air. Unfortunately it is has been so windy that I have not dared take them outside. This is a pity, because it has been bright and sunny most days for the last couple of weeks.
Do you remember that last year I had problems with compost contaminated with weedkiller? Well, I think I may have the same issue again - though as yet not a severe case. Look at this. It is a "Cayenne" plant, looking a bit sorry for itself.
Now look closer. See that puckered leaf in the centre of the photo? That could be a sign of weedkiller contamination.
What about this -- "Bolivian Rainbow". Look at the leaves.
Do you see how several of the leaves are rolled inwards?
Now maybe I'm over-reacting. It could just be the results of the aphids' sap-sucking antics, but it could also be a compost-contamination symptom.
Circumstantial evidence suggests that if the damage is aphid-related, then aphids are not so keen on the very hot chillis. This one is "Orange Habanero" (very hot), which looks unaffected.