What Is Okra Leaf Spot?
Black spots are not uncommon on the leaves of okra plants. They may appear as small dark circles or they may cover whole area of the plant. Black spots on okra can cause a variety of problems such as stunting, loss of vigor, and even death if left untreated. If you see these black marks, it means that your okra plants have been affected by this disease.
Okra leaf spot is caused by Cercospora vernix (Cerco) seeds. These seeds germinate and grow quickly, but they don’t produce much seed. When the female plants mature, they start producing tiny white eggs which hatch into tiny larvae called “coccidians”.
After hatching, the coccidia eat up all the plant’s nutrients leaving nothing for other parts of the plant. The coccidia can live for years without feeding, but once they die off, the plant dies.
The infection is spread from one infected plant to another through direct contact with infected plants or indirectly when infected plants are grown together in the same garden. There are several ways to get this disease; some of them include:
Planting okra together in close proximity to each other. This will increase chances of getting infected by spreading the spores between plants.
Planting infected seeds or using contaminated tools
Poorly drained soil which remains wet for a long time can increase the risk of infection in okra plants.
Tips For Treating Black Spots on Okra:
The most important thing to remember is that if you treat one okra plant for black spots, you must treat them all or else the rest will get infected quickly. To treat, simply follow these steps:
1. Clean up the infected area by removing all the dead and diseased foliage from the plants and throwing them away.
If the infected plants are very close together, then it might be best to dig them up and throw them away as well.
2. While you’re cleaning up remove all of the soil as well.
You may need to go down several inches in order to get all of it out.
3. Dispose of the dead plants and contaminated soil properly.
Don’t just leave it sitting around, or else you’re just going to end up infecting other plants later.
4. After you dispose of the dead plants and contaminated soil, take a moment to clean your tools as well.
You don’t want to spread the disease while you’re trying to prevent it!
5. Next, sanitize your hands with antibacterial soap before you get started again.
6. After the area has had a chance to dry out some, then you can replant your okra seed.
Make sure that you only plant the seeds a few inches deep and about 8 inches apart.
7. Water the area enough to keep it moist but not soggy for about a week or so after replanting.
Keep a close eye on the okra plants for any signs of disease. If you notice any, then get to treating it immediately!
Okra leaf spot is not a particularly complicated disease to get rid of, but it must be taken care of immediately before it can spread to many other plants. If you aren’t sure about something, it might be a good idea to ask your local nursery for some professional help.
Okra plants are very resilient plants, but they still need a little help recovering after an infestation. Be sure to water the area enough to keep it moist, but not soggy for at least a week after you get all of the infected plants taken care of. This will help the remaining plants to have enough water to get back on their feet.
If you planted okra seeds, then it might be best to start fresh with new seeds. You don’t want to take any chances with old seeds that could possibly still have the disease.
Once the seedlings are a little bigger, then you can start weeding them (if you haven’t already). This will help to prevent any of the pests that were damaging your okra plants in the first place from attacking again. Take care of the problem at the root (no pun intended) of the problem.
Sources & references used in this article:
Incidence and chemical control of okra leaf spot disease by AR Arain, MM Jiskani, KH Wagan, SN Khuhro… – Pak. J. Bot, 2012 – researchgate.net
Effect of temperature and pH on growth and sporulation of Curvularia lunata causing leaf spot of okra by CK Yashwant, R Singh, SK Singh – Annals of Plant Protection …, 2010 – indianjournals.com
OCCURRENCE OF CERCOSPORA LEAF SPOT DISEASE OF OKRA IN ITU, AKWA IBOM STATE, NIGERIA. by NE Nneke – FORESTRY, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE …, 2017 – uniuyo.edu.ng