Eggplant phomopsis blight – Reasons for eggplant leaf spoilage and fruit rot

When growing aubergines in the garden, it is not uncommon to have problems from time to time. One of them can be phomopsis, what is eggplant phomopsis? Eggplant leaf blight and fruit rot, caused by the fungus Phomopsis vexans , is a destructive fungal disease that mainly affects the fruit, stems and leaves. If left uncontrolled, phomopsis blight on aubergines can cause fruit rot and render the fruits inedible. For more information on eggplant blight, read on.

Symptoms of Eggplant Blight

In young plants, eggplant blight causes dark brown lesions just above the soil line. As the disease develops, the lesions turn grey and the stems eventually collapse and the plant dies.

Eggplant blight in established plants is evidenced by the presence of grey or brown, oval or

round spots on leaves and stems. The centre of the spots lightens in colour, and you can see circles of small black dots, like grains, which are actually fruiting bodies, or spores.

In the fruit, eggplant blight begins with pale, sunken spots that can eventually invade the entire fruit. Tiny black spots are visible in abundance.

Causes of eggplant leaf spot and fruit rot

The tiny black phomopsis spores live in the soil and spread rapidly through rain splash and overhead irrigation. Phomopsis also spreads easily in contaminated equipment. The disease is particularly favoured by hot and humid weather conditions. Optimum temperatures for the spread of the disease are 84 to 90 F. (29-32 C.).

Eggplant Pest Control

Immediately destroy infected plant material and waste material to prevent spread. Never place infected plant material in your compost pile.

Plant resistant eggplant varieties and disease-free seeds. Leave a space of 60-90 cm. (24-36 cm) between plants to ensure good air circulation.

Water early in the day to allow foliage and fruit to dry before nightfall.

Rotate crops every three or four years.

Several fungicides may be useful when used in conjunction with the control methods mentioned above. Spray at harvest and repeat every 10 days or every two weeks until eggplants are almost ripe. The experts at the local cooperative extension office can advise you on the best products and specific uses for your area.

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