How To Grow Vegetables

Aubergine Pests And Diseases

Most aubergine pests and diseases attack both fruit and the leaves, and in order to save them you will need to attack the predators early!

Firstly you need to think about where you are growing your aubergine plants, whilst many would tell you they are just as easy to grow as tomatoes, nothing could be further from the truth as they really do need to be kept indoors.

Blossom End Rot: This stems from overwatering and the fungus that grows can result in round sunken spots appearing on the fruit, which most often will result in the aubergine fruit falling off.

Bacterial Wilt: This disease can causes plants to stop withering at the bottom, which will eventually rise to the top and then turn the plants yellow, resulting in their eventual death.

The most common form of bacterial fungus to affect eggplants is verticillium wilt, which is a soil borne fungus that will cause plants to be stunted, turn yellow and then die. All affected plants should be immediately removed and the effected area segregated off with plastic or corrugated iron sheet to stop spores spreading.

The Flea Beetle: This is a common egg plant pest that results in small pinholes in the leaves, caused by very small black beetles, overall as pests go they do not cause much damage to the plants but they can carry other fungal diseases. Treat with Rotenone powder. Long term they can be prevented by rotating the crop.

Early Blight: This is a common aubergine problem and takes the form of brown or yellow leaf spots, and is easily cured as it is most often down to uneven watering such as dry, wet, dry etc. rather than keeping the aubergine plants moisture at a constant level. It can also be provoked by high levels of evaporation, and of note is that the aubergine plants need watering down to 2ft, meaning that they are not suited to the myth of planting them in grow bags!

Aphids: They attack egg plants in much the same way as they do everything else, and cause the leaves to dry out and look burnt out. They can be removed by a strong jet of water or by wiping the affected area down with soapy water, however they are best treated by the introduction of natural predators such as ladybirds, which will do a far more effective and permanent job of removing them. They can be treated by pesticides sprays but often by then the problem is too late.

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By Richard Allen -

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