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Artichokes pests and diseases

Published: 09.04.2023
pest/disease type symptoms on artichoke control/prevention
Aphids Insect Stunted growth, curled leaves, sticky residue on leaves Spray with insecticidal soap or neem oil, introduce beneficial insects such as ladybugs or lacewings, remove heavily infested plants
Cutworms Insect Cut stems at soil level, young plants may be completely destroyed Apply a collar of cardboard or plastic around the base of plants, handpick and destroy cutworms, use insecticidal sprays
Slugs and Snails Insect Irregular holes in leaves, silvery trails on foliage and soil surface Handpick and remove, apply diatomaceous earth, use copper barriers or slug baits
Whiteflies Insect Yellowing leaves, sticky residue on foliage, sooty mold Spray with insecticidal soap or neem oil, introduce beneficial insects such as ladybugs or lacewings, remove heavily infested plants
Thrips Insect Distorted or stunted growth, silvery streaks on leaves Spray with insecticidal soap or neem oil, remove heavily infested plants, use reflective mulch
Spider Mites Insect Yellowing or bronzing of leaves, webbing on plant Spray with water or insecticidal soap, introduce beneficial insects such as predatory mites or lacewings, use reflective mulch
Verticillium Wilt Fungal Wilting of leaves, yellowing or browning of foliage, death of plant Plant resistant varieties, remove infected plants and debris, use crop rotation
Botrytis Blight Fungal Gray mold on leaves and flowers, brown spots on stems Remove infected plant material, improve air circulation, avoid overhead watering
Powdery Mildew Fungal White or gray powdery coating on foliage, stunted growth Apply fungicides, improve air circulation, avoid overhead watering
Root Knot Nematodes Pest Stunted growth, yellowing of foliage, root galls Plant resistant varieties, use crop rotation, apply nematode-suppressing soil amendments


Aphids are a common pest that can infest artichoke plants. These small, soft-bodied insects suck the sap from the plant, causing the leaves to wilt and curl. They are also known for transmitting plant viruses and attracting ants.

Symptoms: The most obvious sign of an aphid infestation is a sticky residue on the leaves, which is actually honeydew excreted by the insects. Leaves may also appear distorted or yellowed, and new growth may be stunted.

Control or Prevention: There are a few different methods for controlling aphids on artichoke plants. One option is to spray the plants with a strong stream of water to knock off the insects. Another option is to apply insecticidal soap or neem oil to the affected areas. Ladybugs and lacewings are natural predators of aphids and can be introduced to the garden to help control the population. Additionally, planting companion plants like garlic or chives can help repel aphids.

Regular monitoring of artichoke plants for aphid infestations can help prevent them from causing significant damage. Early intervention and proper management techniques can help keep these pesky insects at bay and protect your artichokes from their destructive feeding habits.


Cutworms are common pests that feed on the stems of young plants, including artichokes. These larvae are moth species, and they are typically active at night, hiding during the day under debris or soil. They can be a serious problem for gardeners as they can quickly destroy young plants by cutting them off at the soil level.

Symptoms of cutworm damage include wilted or stunted plants, as well as missing or damaged seedlings. These pests are particularly active in the early spring when soil temperatures are still low.

To prevent cutworm infestations, it is recommended to keep your garden free of debris and to remove any weeds or other vegetation that could attract them. Additionally, using physical barriers such as collars around the base of young plants can help prevent cutworms from reaching them.

If you do find evidence of cutworms in your garden, removing them by hand can be an effective control method. You can also use biological controls such as Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) or insecticides containing spinosad. It is important to read and follow all product labels carefully when using these methods.

By taking preventative measures and implementing effective control methods, you can protect your artichoke plants from cutworm damage and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

Slugs and Snails

Slugs and snails are common pests in home gardens, and they can cause significant damage to crops such as artichokes. These pests are most active at night and thrive in damp environments.

Symptoms: Slugs and snails leave a slimy trail behind them as they move, making it easy to identify their presence in the garden. They feed on the leaves of artichoke plants, leaving large holes in the foliage. In severe cases, they can completely defoliate the plant.

Control or Prevention: There are several ways to control slugs and snails in the garden. One effective method is to handpick them off the plants at night when they are most active. You can also create barriers around your plants using copper tape or diatomaceous earth, which will deter these pests from crossing.

Another method is to use slug bait, but be careful when using this method as it can be harmful to pets and other wildlife. You can also encourage natural predators such as birds and frogs to visit your garden by providing them with water sources and suitable habitats.

In conclusion, slugs and snails can be a nuisance in the home garden, but there are several ways to control their populations. By taking preventative measures and monitoring your plants regularly, you can keep your artichokes healthy and pest-free.


Whiteflies are tiny, sap-sucking insects that can cause significant damage to artichokes and other vegetable plants. These pests can weaken the plants, stunt growth, and reduce yields.


The most obvious symptom of a whitefly infestation is the presence of small, white, moth-like insects on the undersides of leaves. As they feed, they excrete a sticky substance called honeydew, which can attract ants and promote the growth of black sooty mold. Leaves may also yellow and drop prematurely.

Control or Prevention

Preventing whiteflies is easier than controlling an infestation. Here are some tips:

  • Inspect plants regularly for signs of whiteflies and other pests.
  • Use sticky traps to monitor and catch adult whiteflies.
  • Remove any heavily infested leaves or plants promptly.
  • Encourage natural enemies such as ladybugs and lacewings.
  • Apply insecticidal soap or neem oil to kill whiteflies and their eggs.

In summary, early detection and prevention are key when it comes to dealing with whiteflies in your artichoke garden. Keep an eye out for signs of these pests, and take action as soon as you see them to protect your plants.

Thrips: Artichoke's Common Pests

Thrips are a common pest in artichoke plants, and they can cause significant damage if not treated promptly. These tiny insects are only about 1-2mm long, and they have slender bodies that range in color from pale yellow to dark brown or black. Thrips feed on the sap of plants, which can cause significant damage to leaves and buds.


The most common symptom of thrip infestation is the appearance of silvery or bronze-colored streaks on the leaves. These streaks are caused by the insects' feeding, which damages the leaf tissue. In severe cases, thrips can cause the leaves to curl or become distorted, which can affect the plant's growth and yield.

Control and Prevention

Preventing thrip infestations is the best way to protect your artichoke plants. Regularly inspecting your plants for signs of pests can help you catch any infestations early. Additionally, keeping your garden clean and free of debris can prevent pests from taking up residence in your plants.

If you do notice thrip infestation, there are several methods for controlling the pests. One effective method is to introduce natural predators into your garden, such as ladybugs or lacewings. You can also use insecticidal soap or neem oil to kill thrips on contact.

In conclusion, thrips are a common pest that can damage artichoke plants if left unchecked. By taking preventive measures and using effective control methods, you can protect your plants and ensure a healthy yield.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are common pests that can cause serious damage to artichokes. These tiny pests are less than 1/20 inch long and can be difficult to see with the naked eye. They are often found on the undersides of leaves and spin webs, which is how they got their name.

Symptoms Spider mites feed on the sap of the leaves, which causes a stippled or speckled appearance. The leaves may also turn yellow or bronze, and eventually, the plant may become stunted or even die. The spider mites can also spread diseases to the artichoke plants.

Control or Prevention To prevent spider mites, it is important to keep the plants well-watered and to avoid over-fertilizing them. You can also spray the plants with water to wash off any spider mites. If infestation occurs, use a pesticide specifically labeled for spider mites. Organic options include neem oil or insecticidal soap.

Regular monitoring and early intervention are essential in controlling spider mites in artichokes. By being vigilant and taking preventive measures, gardeners can keep these pests from causing extensive damage to their artichoke plants.

Verticillium Wilt

Verticillium wilt is a fungal disease that affects a wide variety of plants, including artichokes. The fungus invades the plant's vascular system, which disrupts the flow of water and nutrients throughout the plant. This can result in stunted growth, yellowing of leaves, wilting, and even death.

Symptoms of Verticillium wilt in artichokes include yellowing and wilting of leaves, which may be accompanied by brown streaks in the stems. The leaves may also become dry and brittle, and the plant may produce smaller than usual artichokes.

Control and prevention of Verticillium wilt involve several measures. First, it is important to avoid planting artichokes in soil that has previously been infected with the fungus. Crop rotation can be used to reduce the risk of infection. Secondly, maintaining healthy soil conditions is critical to preventing Verticillium wilt. This includes keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged, providing adequate nutrition to the plants, and avoiding over-crowding.

If Verticillium wilt does occur, infected plants should be removed and destroyed to prevent the spread of the disease. Fungicides can also be used to help control the fungus, but they are most effective when applied preventatively before symptoms appear.

Botrytis Blight

Botrytis blight, also known as gray mold, is a fungal disease that affects artichoke plants. This disease is caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea and can quickly spread in moist conditions.

Symptoms of botrytis blight include grayish-brown spots on leaves, stems, and buds. The spots may be covered with a fuzzy gray mold and can quickly turn into a soft rot. Infected buds may fail to develop and may rot before they open. Botrytis blight can also cause the artichoke heads to turn brown and rot.

To prevent botrytis blight, it is essential to maintain good air circulation around the plants and avoid overhead watering. Remove any dead or infected plant material from around the plants to reduce the spread of the disease.

If botrytis blight has already infected your artichoke plants, you can control it by removing and destroying all infected plant material. Apply a fungicide containing copper or sulfur to the remaining healthy plants to prevent further infection.

Overall, preventing botrytis blight is key to keeping your artichoke plants healthy and productive. Regular inspections of your plants can help you catch any signs of infection early and take action before it spreads.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that affects many plants, including artichokes. The disease is characterized by a white, powdery coating on the leaves, stems, and flowers of infected plants. It can cause leaves to yellow and wilt, stunt plant growth, and reduce crop yields.

The disease thrives in warm, humid environments and spreads easily through spores carried by wind or water. Prevention is key to controlling powdery mildew. Plant artichokes in areas with good air circulation and plenty of sunlight. Avoid overhead watering, which can create humid conditions that encourage the growth of the fungus.

If your artichokes are already infected, you can try to control the spread of the disease by removing infected leaves and disposing of them in the trash. You can also use a fungicide spray to control the fungus. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and apply the fungicide at the first sign of infection.

In conclusion, powdery mildew is a common fungal disease that affects artichokes and many other plants. To prevent or control its spread, plant your artichokes in sunny, well-ventilated areas and avoid overhead watering. If your plants are already infected, remove infected leaves and consider using a fungicide spray to control the spread of the fungus.

Root Knot Nematodes

Root Knot Nematodes are microscopic, parasitic worms that attack the roots of plants, including artichokes. They cause root galls or knots that restrict the flow of nutrients and water to the plant, leading to stunted growth, wilting, and yellowing of leaves.

The best way to prevent Root Knot Nematodes is to practice crop rotation and avoid planting artichokes in the same spot for several years in a row. Additionally, planting nematode-resistant varieties of artichokes can help control the problem.

If your artichoke plants are already infected, there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage. First, remove and destroy any infected plants as soon as possible. Second, amend the soil with organic matter like compost to encourage healthy root growth. Finally, consider using organic nematode control products containing beneficial nematodes or marigold plants as a natural repellent.

In conclusion, Root Knot Nematodes can be a serious problem for artichoke growers, but with proper prevention techniques and timely action, their impact can be minimized. Keep an eye out for symptoms and take action promptly to keep your artichoke plants healthy and productive.

Author: Michael Chen
Bio: I'm gardening specialist with a mission to empower people to grow their own fruits and vegetables. With my background in Plant Science from the University of California and experience working with farmers and community gardens, I'm dedicated to promoting sustainable agriculture practices and helping individuals achieve bountiful harvests. Let's get growing!