Sunday, May 18, 2008

Heirloom Pepper Plants Attacked!

Today I managed to plant out many tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, more potatoes, and peppers. Before I could get the peppers outside to harden off and then to be planted, they were attacked. I got them at the Baker Creek Festival. They were only inside under my lights for a few days when I noticed holes in some of the leaves and other leaves were outright missing.

There was a lot of damage but I couldn't tell what caused it. These were heirloom sweet bell peppers. I once wrote about pests being more attracted to heirloom tomatoes than hybrids. I guess its also true for heirloom peppers.

I just had to figure out what caused this devastation so I set up my new Cannon PowerShot G9 camera on a tripod with high speed motion detectors set to take a picture of the perpetrator overnight.

When I checked the camera the next day, I found this!

That's right, Macy - our pet cat was eating my precious pepper plants! There have been hundreds of plants in the basement under lights since Valentine's Day and she has never bothered anything before. These must be pretty sweet sweet pepper plants.

On the bright side, only one plant is damaged badly - the Chocolate Beauty Pepper. The others should still be okay even with holes in their leaves. I went ahead and planted them all out in the garden and we will just hope for the best.

As for Macy, after I scolded her a bit we made up and she apologized.

Of course I quickly forgave her since she is such a sweet kitty.



That's hysterical!! She did look sorry though.


I love it! I'm going to have to set up a camera at my garden so I can figure things like this out.

On the more serious side, peppers (and tomatoes) are part of the nightshade family, and the leaves are slightly poisonous. They're not good for a cat to eat!


Thanks for the warning Patrick. I was a bit worried about that too, but this actually happened about a week ago and the cat seems fine. She didn't show any signs of being sick or anything. I am thinking of rigging up a way to hang a curtain or a net around my light stand so this couldn't happen again.


Hello! :)

I loved this post! :) I am very sorry about your pepper plants. :( I hope the ones we planted will grow!

I loved the pictures! Macy sure has a Big mouth! She looks very sorry in the other picture though, who couldn't forgive her with that sweet cute face! :)

I hope you have a Wonderful day! Great job on your Post! ;)

I love you!

Liz (Aka. Jessica)


That was so hilarious. Beautiful set up and great photo of the cat.

Poor kitty. Plucky peppers. I hope everything is back to normal before the peppers make it outdoors.

Square Foot Hammer

What a sweetie! Glad you found your culprit, and with some nifty tech too! I'm hoping my cat (3 legged, no tailed, black long hair) will leave my sweetcorn alone for long enough for them to be able to grow! She's been eating the tips. Perhaps cats have a thing for plants starting with 'sweet'?

Caro Norris

So glad I found your blog - I've been trying to work out why my formerly healthy pepper & chilli plants suddenly have no leaves, or leaves with holes, with no sign of disease or other pest, after a week outside.
My plants' leaves look exactly like your photos - I suddenly have two prime feline suspects in my house....
Good luck!


You're not alone! My room-mate's cat devoured half my winged-elm bonsai today!

*restrains urge to kill (deceptively) innocent creature*


Just stumbled across your posting and had to chuckle ... I knew it right away. The damage had the same pattern that some of our plants have had when our cat has gotten at them

My indoor, grow-light space has a thick plastic sheet protecting the shelves from both our cats and, get to work cats, the occasional mouse.

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