Pests and diseases of the artichoke

The artichoke is a well-known crop, at least in southern Spain, and can almost be compared to any other widely commercialized crop. That is why, when it is grown en masse, a series of problems and aggravations appear that cause us to have to put the batteries if we want to get something of benefit. Hence we take this article on the physiopathies of the artichoke.



It is the females of this pest that excavate small galleries within the tender leaves of the artichoke where they lay eggs. Later, these larvae feed on the plant tissue and cause a reduction in the foliar surface so important that it generates real headaches.

They belong to the genus Liriomyza and several species can be found, some more active than others.

You can follow these recommendations for its treatment.


This borer is dedicated to feeding on the nerves of the artichoke leaves, and finally reaching the main stem. The main problem comes when it limits or reduces the growth of the cuttings, causing great economic losses.


This pest is caused by Depressaria erinacella ,  a 1 to 1.5 cm brownish-yellow butterfly. It is the larvae that gnaw the central nerves of the artichoke leaves, causing economic losses. When it is cold, this moth infestation stays lethargic waiting for the good weather with the arrival of spring. It is at this time that you have to have special control and care of the artichoke. 

You can follow these recommendations for its treatment.


Within the aphids (aphids) there are several species that attack the artichoke crop. The most problematic is usually  Aphis fabae  because it withstands low temperatures very well and does not usually interrupt its activity. It manages to suck the vegetable juice of the artichoke little by little, reducing its photosynthetic capacity.

Black aphid. Photography: Ferran Turmo Gort

The control of aphids in the artichoke can be done in several ways. One of them would be the biological route, through the use of predators such as neuropterans ( lacewing ,  Contwenzia), coccinellids,  predatory bugs (anthocoridae and myrids), larvae of dipterans, syrphids and cecidomids ( Aphydoletes aphidimyza),  parasitoids hymenoptera , and tesselebushebulae sp,  etc).

The use of potassium soap  applied in a foliar way on the artichoke and depending on the activity of the aphid does not give bad results, although it may be insufficient.

You can also follow these recommendations  of the Ministry of Agriculture for its treatment.


We must be especially careful with the attacks of the spider mite ( Tetranyclues urticae),  located on the underside of the leaf, they can dominate the plant. They usually appear when we are in an area that has been heavily treated with chemicals and there is a certain imbalance between the biological fauna.

It usually attacks in the last phase of the artichoke and, unless you want to keep it for other years, it is not profitable to make applications against the red spider . In the event that you do want to carry out some type of treatment against this pest, biological means such as phytoseid mites ( Neoseiulus californicus and Phytoseiulus persimilis) or predatory bugs ( Nesidiocoris tenuis) can be used. 

Regarding chemical control, it is very important to alter the active materials so as not to create resistance that could cause us great future headaches.

You can follow these recommendations to combat artichoke mites.


The proportion of thrips in the artichoke increases with temperature, so it is normal that when the good weather arrives we can see this pest circulating through our crops. In general, the damage that this pest causes on the artichoke itself is minimal, but it is when they are carriers of the tomato tanning virus (TSWV) or others. That is why the control is only done when you are sure that you can transmit this virus, which is very complicated. In this regard we have to say that there are many predators of the Frankliniella occidentalis such  as  Orius laevigatus,  Deraeocoris sp,  Aeolothrips,  etc.

You can follow these recommendations  from the Ministry of Agriculture for its treatment.



When a group of artichokes has a very slow growth or stops its development when the conditions of water and fertilizer are optimal, we have to stop to think that it may be a nematode. When the artichoke is plucked, nodules or hypertrophy appear on the root generated by nematodes of the genus Meloidogyne. 

There are various techniques to control nematodes in artichokes, such as chemical treatment using nematicides, physical methods such as solarization (which we already talked about in previous articles), or cultural methods such as crop rotation or fallow.


Although most farmers know it as Blanqueta , this disease is caused by a fungus known as  Leveillula taurica. A whitish layer forms on the leaves of the artichoke, which usually appears in the old parts of the plant and is favored by high temperatures. Over time, these white parts become necrotic and form yellowish-looking spots, which end up weakening the artichoke.

To carry out the correct control of oidiopsis, it is necessary to apply the treatment in the first detections of the focus. Powdered sulfur is a good option to prevent crop contamination.

You can follow these recommendations for its treatment.


Rhizoctonia is a disease that can be detected at the beginning of the plantation, when the first shoots appear on the cuttings and these wilt. When the problem is analyzed and the plant is uprooted to see if the origin is root, a poor development of the roots is observed, the presence of rhizomorphs and, in general, all the affected roots. The cause is a fungus known as  Rhizoctonia solani,  very widespread in many horticultural crops and which has a special predilection for young plants, since as they grow the disease disappears because the fungus finds many more problems to develop.

There are some chemical and cultural measures to control this disease. The cultural measures are as follows:

  • Practice effective crop rotation when problem persists.
  • Increase the C / N ratio in the soil from the application of organic matter such as manure or compost.
  • Maintain a constant degree of humidity in the soil and avoid periods of drought in the crop.
  • Use the solarization method to disinfect the soil.

You can follow these recommendations for its treatment.


The problem with this fungus is that it develops inside the artichoke, between the conducting vessels of the sap. That is why the disease is detected when the development and growth process of the plant stops or slows down. With the arrival of spring temperatures, the crop recovers enormously since the activity of the Verticillium fungus is reduced 

As it is a disease that penetrates through the roots, cultural means are quite effective, such as solarization, crop rotation, the selection of healthy cuttings (more than evident). Because the infection is internal, treatments are extremely difficult. getting the best results with prevention .


Ascochyta hortorum  affects the bracts of the different chapters of the artichoke. The damage is localized, black spots and covered with pycnidia of 1 or 2 centimeters. It can act as a secondary fungus attacking in conjunction with Botrytis or Mildew. Ascochyta occurs in times of rain, mild temperatures and high humidity.

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