Pea plants turning brown - Ask Extension (2024)

Asked June 24, 2015, 11:17 PM EDT

Hi, we have several sugar snap pea plants in pots. They grew quickly and were doing excellent up until they produced the first wave of peas. Shortly after they started to turn brown and die beginning with the bottoms of the plants, though there are still a few new growth areas on the top. They haven't produced any peas since they started to turn brown (2-3 weeks ago). We've noticed that all of our neighbor's pea plants are still doing well (in planter boxes). What might the issue be with ours? Is this a symptom of too little water, too much, or maybe too small of a pot?,

Pea plants turning brown - Ask Extension (1)Pea plants turning brown - Ask Extension (2)

Multnomah County Oregon

Expert Response

Why are my Pea plants dying from the bottom up?

It looks like they are running out of nutrients because they are in too small a pot. They could also be coming to the end of their life. Depending on when you sowed them they may be 'going over' or ending their production. This may have been hastened by the lack of nutrients.

Next year use a larger pot and nip out the growing tips when the Peas are about 2-3 inches tall. This will encourage the plants to bush out and make more flowers (and Peas).

You shouldn't need to feed Pea plants so long as the soil you use is a good all-purpose compost with lots of organic matter.

And by the way there is still time to pull the plants and replant with beans for a late summer crop.

Thanks for your interesting question.

An Ask Extension Expert Replied June 27, 2015, 3:01 PM EDT

Pea plants turning brown - Ask Extension (2024)


Why are the leaves on my pea plant turning brown? ›

It looks like they are running out of nutrients because they are in too small a pot. They could also be coming to the end of their life. Depending on when you sowed them they may be 'going over' or ending their production. This may have been hastened by the lack of nutrients.

What do overwatered pea plants look like? ›

💦 Over-watering Sweet Peas

Yellow leaves and a wilted appearance, despite wet soil, are telltale signs. If your plant feels like a damp sponge, it's time to intervene. To dry out over-watered Sweet Peas, adjust your watering routine. Let the soil's top inch dry before giving your plant another drink.

What causes brown pea? ›

What causes brown pee? Brown pee isn't always a cause for concern. If the color is between light brown and dark yellow, it may mean that you are just a little dehydrated. Even certain foods can give a brown tint to your urine, like rhubarb, asparagus, or fava beans.

What is wrong with my pea plants? ›

Caused by a number of fungi, root rot and damping off are other common pea problems exacerbated by cool, wet soil. Seeds become soft and rotted while seedlings fail due to sunken stem lesions. Older seedlings develop root rot when peas are planted in overly wet soil.

What to do when plant leaves turn brown? ›

Inconsistent watering, in particular allowing plants to dry out too long between waterings, will cause leaf edges and tips to turn brown. Excess salts can build up in the soil when too much fertilizer is applied which can also lead to brown leaf tips. Water and fertilize appropriately to prevent further browning.

How do you revive a dying peas? ›

Peas don't like extremely hot temperatures, and if the soil has become dry, the plant will wilt. If this is the case, water the plants well, and the plants should return to health within a day or two. It's best to water peas early in the morning and use mulch around the stem to help keep moisture in the soil.

Do brown leaves mean too much water? ›

If a plant is overwatered, it will likely develop yellow or brown limp, droopy leaves as opposed to dry, crispy leaves (which are a sign of too little water). Wilting leaves combined with wet soil usually mean that root rot has set in and the roots can no longer absorb water.

What are the signs of root rot in peas? ›

The central part of the taproot is a deep red. Plant growth is stunted, the foliage turns grayish, then yellow, the lower leaves wither, and the plant eventually dies. The lower stem is often girdled, causing the plant to fall over.

How do I know if my pea plant is dying? ›

Peas wilting from these diseases exhibit symptoms on stems and roots. They turn yellow or reddish-orange; plants become stunted and may die. Fusarium pea wilt sometimes spreads through the garden in a circular pattern. Near pea wilt has similar symptoms but is not as likely to destroy the entire crop.

What are the brown spots on my pea plants? ›

Powdery mildew and botrytis blight are like the Bonnie and Clyde of the fungal underworld, notorious for leaving a trail of brown spots on your Sweet Peas. Powdery mildew is the sneakier of the two, often starting as white, powdery spots before they turn your greenery to a sad brown.

What are the symptoms of pea deficiency? ›

New leaves are yellow rather than white, deficient plants are stunted, and deficiency is more likely sandy soils. The growing point and new leaves are yellow and become necrotic.

What does blight look like on peas? ›

Blight symptoms occur on leaves as small, purple lesions with indefinite margins that turn brownish-black and develop a target-like appearance. Lesions coalesce and leaves may dry up but remain attached to the stem.

How often should you water a pea plant? ›

Because peas grow during a wetter and cooler time of year, you may not need to water them at all. During dry springs, you may need to water for good pea growth. Try to water the soil, not the vines, to prevent disease. Soak the soil when watering, to a depth of at least one inch each week during the growing season.

Should you fertilize pea plants? ›

Peas do not require additional fertilizer if a fertilizer or compost was applied at planting. Adding more nitrogen will over-stimulate leaf growth, delay flowering and reduce pod set. Peas fix nitrogen from the air via soil bacteria attached to the plant roots.

What does pea wilt look like? ›

Fusarium Wilt

The lower leaves of the affected plant turn yellow and there is a stunting or dwarfing of the plant. The affected stem, just below the soil line, turns reddish to dark brown. The internal woody stem tissue might also turn a brick red. Patch of wilted peas.

Can peas be overwatered? ›

It's also easy to overwater your peas and rot the roots. Once established, mature plants need only about a half inch of water per week. Once the pods start to develop, you can increase the amount of water to an inch a week to help them plump up.

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