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Asparagus pests and diseases

Published: 09.04.2023
pest/disease type symptoms on asparagus control/prevention
Asparagus beetle Insect Defoliation, black fecal pellets, feeding damage on ferns Handpicking, insecticides (spinosad, pyrethrin), row covers
Asparagus miner Insect Tip blight, tunneling in spears Cut off infested spears, insecticides (azadirachtin), crop rotation
Asparagus rust Fungal Yellow-orange pustules on ferns, defoliation Fungicides (mancozeb, sulfur), removal of old ferns, crop rotation
Fusarium crown rot Fungal Wilting, stunted growth, yellowing of foliage Soil solarization, crop rotation, resistant cultivars
Root rot Fungal Brown roots, stunted growth, yellowing of foliage Improve drainage, crop rotation, avoid overwatering
Asparagus virus Viral Mottled foliage, stunted growth, reduced yields Removal of infected plants, crop rotation, use certified virus-free plants

Asparagus Beetle

Asparagus beetle is a common pest that attacks asparagus plants. The beetle is about 1/4 inch long and has a black body with cream-colored spots on its wings. Asparagus beetles lay their eggs on the asparagus ferns in early summer. The larvae of the beetle feed on the asparagus spears, causing damage to the plant.


The main symptoms of asparagus beetle infestation include skeletonization of foliage, defoliation, and a reduction in spear production. The beetles also leave behind their excrement, which can cause the plant to turn brown and die.

Control or Prevention

To prevent an asparagus beetle infestation, it is important to maintain good garden hygiene. Remove any debris from the asparagus bed and destroy any spears that have been attacked by the beetles. Handpicking the beetles can also be an effective method of control. Insecticides can also be used, but it is important to read and follow the label instructions carefully. Additionally, planting resistant varieties of asparagus can help prevent future infestations.

In conclusion, asparagus beetle can be a destructive pest for asparagus plants. However, with proper prevention and control methods, it is possible to keep this pest at bay and enjoy a healthy harvest of delicious asparagus.

Asparagus Miner

Asparagus miner is a common pest that attacks asparagus plants. It is a small fly that lays eggs on the stems of the asparagus plant. The eggs hatch into larvae, which then burrow into the stems and feed on the plant tissue. As they feed, they create tunnels that weaken the plant and make it more susceptible to other diseases.

Symptoms: The first sign of an asparagus miner infestation is brown, elongated scars on the stems of the plant. These scars are caused by the larvae burrowing into the plant tissue. As the infestation progresses, the stems may become distorted and may even break.

Control and Prevention: One way to control asparagus miner is to remove any infected stems as soon as they are noticed. This will prevent the larvae from spreading to other parts of the plant. Another effective control method is to use insecticidal soap or neem oil. These products should be applied to the plant according to the manufacturer's instructions.

To prevent asparagus miner infestations, it is important to keep your garden clean and free of debris. You should also avoid planting asparagus near other plants that are known to attract pests. Additionally, you can use row covers to protect your plants from flies and other pests.

In conclusion, asparagus miner can cause significant damage to your asparagus plants if left untreated. By being vigilant and taking preventive measures, you can keep your plants healthy and free of this pesky pest.

Asparagus Rust

Asparagus rust is a fungal disease that affects the foliage of asparagus plants, causing yellow or brown spots on the leaves and stems. The fungus, known as Puccinia asparagi, can also produce orange, powdery spores on the affected areas of the plant. This disease can weaken the plant and reduce the yield of the asparagus crop.

Symptoms of asparagus rust usually appear in mid to late summer and can continue into fall. The spots on the foliage will gradually increase in size and become more numerous, leading to premature defoliation of the plant. In severe cases, the plant may die.

To prevent or control asparagus rust, it is important to practice good garden hygiene. Remove any infected plant debris from the garden and destroy it. Also, avoid overhead watering and provide good air circulation around the plants. Apply a fungicide labeled for use on asparagus, following the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

In addition to fungicides, organic controls such as neem oil or copper fungicides can be effective in preventing or controlling asparagus rust. Regular inspections of your asparagus plants will help you catch any signs of this disease early, before it has a chance to spread and cause significant damage to your crop.

Fusarium Crown Rot

Fusarium crown rot is a devastating fungal disease that affects the asparagus plant. The fungus attacks the plant's crown and roots, causing severe damage and even death of the plant. The disease is caused by the Fusarium oxysporum fungus, which thrives in warm and moist soil conditions.

Symptoms of fusarium crown rot include yellowing and wilting of the foliage, stunted growth, and brown discoloration at the base of the stems. As the disease progresses, the plant may develop soft, black lesions on the stem, which can girdle and kill the plant.

The best way to control fusarium crown rot is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Planting healthy, disease-free asparagus crowns in well-draining soil with proper irrigation and fertilization can help prevent the disease. Additionally, crop rotation can help prevent the buildup of fungus in the soil.

If your plants are already infected with fusarium crown rot, remove and destroy infected plants immediately to prevent the spread of the disease. Avoid planting asparagus in that same area for several years to allow time for the fungus to die off. Fungicides can also be used to help control the spread of fusarium crown rot, but prevention is always the best strategy.

Root Rot

One of the most common diseases that affect asparagus plants is root rot. This disease is caused by a fungus that thrives in wet and poorly-drained soil. Asparagus plants that are grown in soil with poor drainage or that are overwatered are more susceptible to root rot.


The symptoms of root rot include yellowing leaves that wilt and eventually die. The roots of affected plants will appear brown and mushy instead of white and firm. The plant may also have a foul odor, which is a sign that the fungus is present.

Control and Prevention

The best way to control root rot is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. To do this, make sure that your asparagus plants are grown in well-draining soil. Avoid overwatering the plants, especially during periods of heavy rainfall. If you suspect that your plants have root rot, remove them from the garden and dispose of them. Do not compost them as this will spread the fungus to other parts of your garden.

In conclusion, root rot is a common disease that affects asparagus plants. It can be prevented by ensuring proper drainage and avoiding overwatering. If you suspect that your plants have root rot, remove them immediately to prevent the fungus from spreading to other parts of your garden.

Asparagus Virus

Asparagus virus is a common disease that affects asparagus plants. It is a viral disease that can cause stunted growth, reduced yield, and even death in severe cases. The virus can be easily spread from plant to plant through mechanical means, such as contaminated tools or hands, or by insects that feed on infected plants.


The symptoms of asparagus virus include yellowing and distortion of the leaves, stunted growth, and reduced yield. The affected plants may also have a mottled appearance and produce smaller, misshapen spears. As the disease progresses, the plant may become weakened and more susceptible to other pests and diseases.

Control or Prevention

Unfortunately, there is no cure for asparagus virus once a plant is infected. The best course of action is to prevent the disease from occurring in the first place. This can be done by purchasing certified disease-free plants and avoiding planting new asparagus near older, infected plants. It's also important to practice good hygiene in the garden by sanitizing tools between uses and washing hands frequently.

In conclusion, asparagus virus is a serious disease that can have devastating effects on asparagus plants. By taking preventative measures and being vigilant about hygiene in the garden, gardeners can protect their crops and ensure a healthy harvest.

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!