BLIGHTS

When plants suffer from blight, leaves or branches suddenly wither, stop growing, and die. Later, plant parts may rot.

Fire Blight
This bacterial disease affects apples, pears, fruit trees, roses, and small fruits. Infected shoots wilt and look blackened.

Alternaria Blight (Early Blight)
This fungal blight infects ornamental plants, vegetables, fruit trees, and shade trees worldwide. On tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers, it is called early blight.

On leaves,

1.Brown to black spots form and enlarge, developing concentric rings.

2.Heavily blighted leaves dry up and die as spots grow together.

3.Lower leaves usually show symptoms first.

4.Targetlike, sunken spots will develop on tomato branches and stems.

5.Fruits and potato tubers also develop dark, sunken spots.


Alternaria spores are carried by air currents and are common in dust and air everywhere. They are a common cause of hay fever allergies. Alternaria fungi overwinter on infected plant parts and debris, or in or on seeds.

Control this disease by

1.Planting resistant cultivars and growing your own transplants from disease-free seed.

2.Apply Trichoderma harzianum to the soil just before planting.

3.Promote good air circulation.

For early blight, apply potassium bicarbonate (baking soda) sprays starting 2 weeks before the time of year when symptoms would normally first appear. Dispose of infected plants and when possible, use a 3-year rotation.

Phytophthora Blight (Late Blight)

On peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes, Phytophthora infection is known as late blight.

The first symptom is

1.Water-soaked spots on the lower leaves.

2.The spots enlarge and are mirrored on the undersurface of the leaf with a white downy growth.

3.Dark-colored blotches penetrate the flesh of tubers.

4.These spots may dry and appear as sunken lesions. During a wet season, plants will rot and die.

The pathogen overwinters on infected tubers and in plant debris. Avoid problems by planting only in well-drained soil, and use resistant varieties if possible. For late blight, keep foliage dry as much as possible, and check frequently for symptoms whenever the weather is wet. Preventive sprays of compost tea or Bacillus subtilis may help prevent the disease. Immediately remove and destroy plants infected with late blight; prune off cankered shoots of shrubs. After harvest, remove and destroy all plant debris that may be infected.

Bacterial Blight

This bacterial disease is particularly severe on legumes in. Foliage and pods display water-soaked spots that dry and drop out. On stems, lesions are long and dark colored. Some spots may ooze a bacterial slime. To control, plant resistant cultivars, remove infected plants, and dispose of plant debris. Use a 3-year rotation and don't touch plants while they are wet, as you may spread the disease.


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