There are a number of diseases and pests that can potentially harm your celery crop. Luckily, there’s a fairly simple solution to avoid most of these issues: plant a less-vulnerable variety like Tall Utah.
Below, we've listed common diseases and pests, and what you can do to either avoid or fix the issue!
Bacterial blight: A disease causing small water-soaked spots to form on the leaves that are circular or angular in shape.
Soft rot: Small water-soaked lesions will form that become soft, sunken and brown. The bacteria for this disease will enter your plant through wounds (like tears in the stem), and it usually comes out when soil has been water-soaked for a long period of time.
Celery mosaic: The leaves may be twisted, curled or cupped, and young plants may be stunted. This virus is transmitted by several types of aphid pests, and symptoms usually develop within 10 days or so.
Damping-off: A disease causing soft, rotted seeds that fail to germinate. The fungus can be spread three different ways, either in water, by contaminated soil, or on your equipment.
Early blight: Small yellow spots will form on the upper and lower leaf surfaces, which then grow into brown-grey spots with a papery texture. Typically, this disease thrives in warm temperatures and high humidity.
Downy mildew: At first, this disease causes leaves to turn yellow, typically starting from the main vein then spreading outward. Fungal spores (ew!) will then grow on the undersides of leaves, appearing as gray to almost purple fuzzy spots. Downy mildew typically affects young, tender leaves.
Late blight: You’ll notice black spots that look like peppercorns embedded in the leaf tissue. It becomes a problem when heavy rainfall and dense leaf canopies keep your plants from drying properly.
Fusarium yellows: Yellowing plants that are severely stunted, with brown, water-soaked roots. This fungus can survive in your soil indefinitely once it’s there, and it’s usually introduced by infected transplants or contaminated equipment
Pink rot: Soft brown lesions on the base of celery stalks that cause the surrounding area to turn pink. Later, large black spots will develop on the infected spot. Typically, pink rot is caused by soil that’s been heavily wet for more than two weeks.
Powdery mildew: White patches that start on older leaves and eventually spread to other plant parts. It’s brought on by high humidity and moderate temperatures, with symptoms becoming most severe in shaded areas.
Armyworm: Larvae that heavily feed on leaves, turning them into “skeleton” leaves. These pests are most active in the early morning and the late evening, which are the best times to check for damage.
Aphids: Usually green or yellow, but they can also be pink, brown, black or red. A heavy infestation may cause your celery leaves to appear yellow and distorted. Sooty mold can also develop as a result of the sugary/sticky substance they leave behind.
Nematodes: Microscopic worms that live in soil and plant tissue. They stunt your celery’s growth, and cause galls (swelling growths)
to form on the roots. Because of their wide host range, it’s difficult to manage this disease sufficiently.
Black heart: This disease appears as black spots in the middle of the plant, and the damage typically isn’t visible until later in the season. Black heart is a nutrient imbalance that’s caused by a calcium deficiency
If you're having an issue with your celery that wasn't listed above, be sure to let us know! Send us a message so that we can help your plants thrive :)
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Posted 1 month ago