How To Grow Vegetables

Brussel Sprout Pests And Diseases

In general brussel sprouts are very hardy and resist most pests, this is predominantly as they are grown in colder weather. However the following pests and diseases are ones to watch out for on your brussel sprouts.

Sprouts like most brassicas are susceptible to cabbage worms and cabbage looper caterpillars, these are best treated with an organic pesticide such as Dipel, which contains Btk, which should be applied as soon as any infestation is seen. Using Dipel results in a rapid stop of caterpillars attacking the brussel sprouts within around 3 hours and their death within days.

However the best way to prevent caterpillar problems is to place a floating cover over the seedlings. A floating cover is a fleece blanket, which allows light through, but not bugs.

The floating cover stops the moths from landing and laying eggs, which would otherwise develop into harmful larvae.

Aphids! Ah do you not just hate them! They attack out of nowhere and can be a real pain to remove. They actually suck the fluid out of the sprout leaves and if unchecked can destroy a young or a mature plant. They can be treated by washing the infected area with soapy water, however the best treatment to get rid of them is to encourage their natural predators such as ladybirds into the area, as ladybirds just love feasting on aphids. This can be done by planting flowers nearby.

Aphids are easily identifiable as they first appear to look like minute dots on the sprouts, however they can be black, white, brown, red, orange or even clear in colour. They breed fast and if left unchecked can decimate your plants in days, causing the plants leaves to look warped and burnt.

The simplest treatment for them is a good blast of strong water 2-3 times daily.

Another form of brussel sprout disease is leaf burn that can occur and cause the leaves to go brown and look burnt, this is caused by prolonged exposure to cold weather. Whilst brussel sprouts need a good frost to kick start them into growing well, too much exposure to snow or repeated heavy frosts can be the death of them.

Once the sprouts leaves start to go brown, then you should pick any fruit from them as the plant will not be able to keep itself nourished and will die soon after. If this occurs then the plant can be simply disposed of in your compost heap.

Growing sprouts is easy so read up on How To Grow Brussel Sprouts

By Richard Allen -

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