Celery Pests And Diseases
Celery Pests And Diseases
Celery although looking like a simple vegetable to grow it is actually one that even given ideal growing conditions is often problematic to grow. It needs a fertile soil, plenty of moisture (It is made up of 90% or more water), and a long cool growing season. Even with all of these conditions in place it is susceptible to a lot of pests and diseases.
Some of the most common celery pests and diseases are: –
Root knot – these are very small worms that can live on the root of the plant, they feed on the roots and cause the celery to be stunted.
Wire worms – these cause plants to go brown from the bottom upwards, the plants growth slows and they become stunted. They are the larvae of click beetles and can be prevented by flooding the ground prior to planting your celery.
Aphids attack celery just like they do many other plants, they very wildly in colour from white to black, red, orange, and brown and many colours in between. They look like tiny eggs but they are small insects that will eat into the plants leaving a sticky substance called honeydew, which will turn black in time. They can be treated by wiping with soapy water or jetting them off with a water spray.
Cabbage loopers are small green caterpillars that are from the eggs of nocturnal moths, they are distinctive as they ‘loop’ up while walking, they can be prevented by placing a fleece over the plants at night to keep off the moths at night. They can be treated by dusting the celery plants with Sevin.
Celery worm – This is not the worst of celery problems despite its name, and it is actually caused by the black swallow tailed butterfly, which lays its eggs/larvae on the celery plants, usually there are only a few found on the plants and they can simply be picked off by hand. Chemical celery worm treatments include spraying with Dipel or dusting with Sevin powder.
Brown and yellow spots – these are caused by early or late blight, and are brought on by a fungal infection occurring when it is hot and humid, and following heavy rainfall. Remove infected plants carefully from the area and do not disposed of them in your compost bin, as the spores will be transported.
Damping off – This occurs when new seedlings wilt over, and when examined the stems appear dark and water soaked. This is known as damping off and is actually caused by a fungus in the soil, commonly occurring in areas that have a high humidity level. It can be avoided by letting seedlings dry out and is mainly prevented by keeping them in well drained soil.
Stunted seedlings – these can be caused by mycoplasma spread by leafhoppers, remove plants once infected and control leafhopper as above.
Slugs and snails – the ever present predators can be treated with slug pellets or beer baited traps to drown them in. Or remove them at night using a torch, and then kill them. Never just throw them away as they will crawl back.
Whilst these are the main celery pests and diseases be aware that celery is particularly susceptible to a wide variety of attacks and the above list is not exhaustive.
Why not learn How To Grow Celery