Pepper Problems

Harrumph. Harrumph, I say!

The pepper I grew myself by seed is doing fine, so far as I know, except for a few aphids here and there. It even has some flower buds. But the two peppers I got from Bull Run, my CSA, suddenly just, well, collapsed. Such drama queens. "Oh, I can't take this unbearable life anymore...! Le sighhhhhhhh. Ooooohhhh... Really. It's horrible. Pay attention to me, I'm throwing a fit here!"

Yesterday when I came home, I noticed that one of them had, well, gone limp. The stem from the middle up just decided that it would no longer be healthy and green.

I was upset, but the other pepper looked fine, so I removed the dying one and life went on.

Until I got home today and noticed that the other pepper, pining at the loss of its companion, decided that it too could no longer endure the hardships of life on the windowsill. From the middle of the stem all the way up and, this time, even the petioles of the leaves are all limp. Nothing is falling off--things are still well-attached, they're just very very suddenly limp and brown (click for bigger picture). Yesterday morning, both plants were fine and dandy.

It's not damping off--it's a bit old to be doing that, and it's not the right part of the plant. If it's an infection, I would think bacterial. It looks weird to be bugs, but I'm not an insect-damage expert.

My one hypothesis, if I can't blame it on anything else, is that misting the area to make it less happy for spider mites may have caused too much water to accumulate around the petioles and on the stems of these peppers, possibly allowing things (like bacteria) to grow, slowly weakening the plant until, at basically the same time, only these two pepper plants succumbed, although every other plant seems to be fine (or, at least, not doing this--they are dying in other ways).

Any hypotheses?

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