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Gardening Articles: Care :: Seeds & Propagation

Heat-loving Harvest (page 3 of 3)

by Susan Littlefield

Question of the Month: Yellow Leaves on Eggplant

Q: The leaves of my eggplants are covered with yellowish speckles and some are drying out and dropping. What's wrong?

A: Your eggplants are infested with tiny pests called spider mites. Related to spiders, they feed on the leaf undersides by sucking out the plant's juices, resulting in the yellowish stippling you've noticed on the leaves. You may also see fine webbing on the leaf undersides and where the leaf stalks join the stem. Hold a piece of white paper under a leaf and tap the leaf sharply. If you see tiny specks on the paper that begin to crawl around, you'll know you're dealing with mites.

Spider mites thrive in hot, dry weather and can have a midsummer population explosion if conditions are right. A light infestation can be controlled by spraying the undersides of the leaves daily with a strong stream of water from a hose to dislodge the mites. Heavy infestations can be controlled with sprays of insecticidal soap or neem.

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