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August issue of The Irish Garden








List of garden plant diseases : Virus diseases

Strawberry plant stunted by virus

Strawberry plant stunted by virus

Virus diseases can affect any type of garden plant. They cause stunting, mottling and curling of foliage, and reduce flowering and fruiting. Commonly affected plants are strawberries, raspberries, potatoes, courgettes, cucumbers, spinach, tulips and blackcurrants. But many other plants are affected too.

There is no cure for virus diseases, except to use resistant varieties, for example of courgettes. Affected plants must be removed and destroyed. Virus diseases are spread by greenflies and other sap-sucking insects, by eelworms under ground, and on pruning tools.

Controlling greenflies helps, especially on strawberries and raspberries. Avoid the use of secateurs or knives on healthy plants after pruning infected ones, for example, when harvesting courgettes.

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