The Q&A Archives: Grapevine Problems

Question: I have a wild grapevine which we use for leaves. For the last few years we've had ugly green lumps and warts on the leaves. It happens this time of year. I'd like to know whether it's and insect laying eggs, a virus, etc and what I can do about. Also will it affect nearby vegetables and herbs?

Answer: Based on the symptoms you describe, the grape vines may have a fungal disease called Downey mildew. This caused by the fungus Plasmapara viticola and is common in grape growing areas of the world with high humidity during the growing season. Downey Mildew is first observed as small, pale yellow to reddish spots with indefinite borders on the upper leaf surface with white downy growth on the lower surface. Infected leaves are killed, turn brown and may fall. Young infected shoots and cluster stems may curl, distort, show thickening of the infected tissue and may be covered with a whitish fungal mass. Infected berries turn brown and eventually shrivel. Infective spores are produced during rainy periods if temperatures are above 50F and infections are triggered by warm, humid nights followed by rain.

Limited testing has shown copper fungicides to reduce infections.

The problem will be limited to your grapevines and won't affect nearby veggies and herbs.

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