- Okra

Okra Okra

Leaf Spot of Okra

Fungus

Pseudocercospora abelmoschi


In a Nutshell

  • Occurrence of sooty black angular spots on the lower side of the leaves.
  • Drying, wilting and defoliation of leaves.
  • Stem and fruit are also affected.

Symptoms

Initially, indistinct olive-coloured spots can be observed on the lower side of the leaves. Especially older leaves, which are closer to the ground are affected by the disease. Light brown to grey mouldy fungal growth may develop on affected leaf surfaces. As the disease progresses, spots become necrotic and can also appear on the upper leaf surface. Infected leaves eventually become dry and wither. Stem and fruit may also be affected by similar symptoms. Under severe infestation, the plant might defoliate completely. Symptoms might be confused with C. malayensis.

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Hosts

Trigger

The leaf spots are caused by the fungus Pseudocercospora abelmoschi. It survives and overwinters on infected plant debris in the soil and thus infects roots and lower leaves of the Okra plants. The spores are spread secondary via wind, rain, irrigation and mechanical tools. Leaf spots are very common during the humid season (flowering stage), as the fungi favour warm and wet weather.

Organic Control

To this day, we are not aware of any biological control method available against this disease. If you know of any successful method to reduce the incidence or the gravity of the symptoms, please contact us.

Chemical Control

Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures and biological treatments, if available. Spray fungicide on the lower side of leaves in the afternoon. Use protective fungicides as copper oxychloride @0.3%, Mancozeb @0.25% or Zineb @0.2% a month after sowing and repeat this procedure at fortnightly intervals, depending on severity. Carbendazim 50 DF @0.1% at 15 days interval also showed promising results in controlling the disease.

Preventive Measures

  • Only use certified seed material and plant your crops with enough spacing, so that leaves can air dry.
  • Monitor your field regularly and remove infected leaves properly (burning them is also an option).
  • Good weed management is advised.
  • Avoid plant stress with adequate watering and fertilization.
  • Irrigate in the morning rather than in the evening, and avoid overhead irrigation and poorly drained soils.
  • Consider crop rotation with non-host crops.

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