Goji berry plant problems can get severe if not handled properly. You will need to check regularly for bacterial or fungal problems that may damage your plant over time.
Here are all the Goji Berry Plant problems you might face, and this article is a guide on how you can avoid all of them and acquire the best out of your plant.
- Goji Berry Plant Problems
- Solutions to Goji Berry Problems
Goji Berry Plant Problems
Goji berry, native to China, can be grown anywhere with similar climatic conditions. However, they may face issues like blossom end rot, drosophila suzuki infestation, gall mite, improper pruning, and lastly powdery mildew. You can grow it indoors, but it will best thrive when planted outdoors.
– Blossom End Rot
Blossom end rot is a common disease faced by plants of the Nightshade family. The delicious berry also belongs to this family and suffers similar threats. This issue causes the bottom of the fruit to rot. The reason it is called blossom rot.
It is the only problem that is not a cause of a disease or pest. Contrary, it happens due to calcium deficiency in the plant. The plant faces calcium deficiency when the soil is not suitable. It is said to be unsuitable if it has a low calcium level or is over-watered or under-watered.
Calcium deficiency may also occur if there is too much nitrogen in the soil, the pH level is inappropriate, or the soil is too salty. It breaks the plant’s roots, which causes them to extract insufficient calcium from the soil.
Remember that when infected, the plant shows definite symptoms. A light brown spot appears on the bottom, small at first, but as the disease worsens, it enlarges, turning to a dark brown or black patch that is not easy to miss.
– Drosophila Suzukii Infestation
Drosophila Suzukii Infestation is a bacterial disease. It gets infected by a fruit fly called Drosophila Suzukii, hence the disease named after it. Note that the male fly has spots on it and is also known as Spotted Winged Drosophila. The females have an ovipositor, and they are the ones that cause most of the damage.
The ovipositor is a tube-like organ that females use to penetrate the fruit and deposit their eggs inside the fruit. When the eggs hatch, that happens in three to four hours. Larvae are born that start to feed themselves. They start to eat the fruit from the inside.
Within a day, the skin begins to dry and shows signs of decay. Though, you may not notice it for days because the fruits can look healthy for days on the vine. So basically, if you come across a fallen fruit that looks damaged, pick it off and cut it open. You’ll see juices bubbling inside.
The larvae will grow and continue the cycle, as they would be infecting other fruit plants and destroying your crops. Once infected, the only solution is to get rid of the infected plant. Wrap it in a plastic bag and throw it away in the trash or a garden incinerator.
– Gall Mite Infestation
Gall Mite is a tiny organism, too small to see with the naked eye. They feed on leaves. Though, it does not need leaves to exist. In early spring, when berry defoliated, they move to the stem, and when new leaves emerge, they migrate back to the leaves to feed themselves.
They damage the leaves only, and you will notice galls on them. It is where they live. Galls are bumps on leaves, housing mites inside.
Look out for symptoms such as discolored bumps, leaves fading their natural color turning yellowish, and dark pink spots starting to appear. These are the signs signaling your plant has been infected by Gall mites, specifically.
The fruit does not seem to be harmed, at first, because the target damage are the leaves, but in time, the fruits bored, are small, and the production tends to be slower. Damaged leaves do not carry out photosynthesis effectively due to the loss of chlorophyll.
– Improper Pruning
When this plant, in significance, is not pruned properly, it will be a problem on the long run. The problem is that fruit only grows on an adult plant in its second season. When pruning, people often ignore this and cut off new branches. It stops the plant from flourishing. If done frequently, the plant will wither and die.
Like every other plant, the berry also needs to be pruned. Pruning is necessary to ensure faster growth. Sometimes, this action is required to stop the plant from spreading and to prevent it from growing too tall. It also results in quicker and healthy fruiting. As you strop pruning it will stop prospering as well.
– Powdery Mildew Attack
Mildew, the most common, is a fungal disease caused when the plant does not receive ample sunlight, has been left to dry, or you have overwatered it. Although it is not lethal, it can affect your plants by slowing down their growth. The yield will be less, and the quality will be impacted.
It will hurt the fruits, and they might not taste as they should. It is a seasonal problem, depending on climate and weather. Mildew is a form of mold which thrives in damp and high moisture conditions.
This disease is easy to spot, with white patches spreading on the leaves, branches, and fruits. It will also make your plant look ugly, stealing its natural color. Not fatal, but still, this disease should be dealt with immediately because it spreads rapidly and may infect other plants.
Solutions to Goji Berry Problems
Even though there are numerous issues that the plant would be facing, but they have solutions as well or ways that you can help them recover from the issue, like stopping the blossom’s end rot, or getting rid of gall mites, or even an easy task may come in handy such as pruning.
– Preventing Blossom End Rot
To prevent your plant from getting infected by blossom end rot, avoid watering it more or less than its requirements. When it rains, ensure that your soil has an excellent drainage system and remains dry. Remember that you musy be consistent when watering the plant—if you forget to water it on any day, do not overwater it the next.
Just keep the soil moist and not soggy. During dry periods, mulches can help retain moisture. Occasionally get your soil tested to ensure there is enough calcium in it. If the calcium level is not at par, refrain from adding fertilizers.
They can harm your plant. Instead, add organic sources of calcium such as lime, bonemeal, or crushed eggshells. Monitor soil pH regularly. It should be slightly acidic, around 6.5.
– Preventing Drosophila Suzukii Infestation
To stop your plant from getting infested, pick all the ripe fruit every two weeks or less. Ripe fruits attract flies and other pests. You can also use chemicals to get rid of them, but be sure there are no pollinating insects around.
You can also use a mesh net to cover your plants. That will keep flies at bay and stop them from getting infested.
– How To Get Rid of Gall Mites
It is not difficult to get rid of them and prevent the damage from spreading further. Start by cutting off the damaged leaves and carefully trashing them away. Gall mites can spread to surroundings by just touching them. So after pruning infected leaves, it is essential to wash your scissors and gloves.
For any reason, if you avoid using chemicals, you may use dormant oil. Spray the leaves every 8 to 10 days. This method is worth a try, and if still to be precautious, place insects such as ladybugs or lace wigs. It may seem weird, but they are natural predators and hunt down mites and other pests that may damage your plant.
– Pruning Properly
When pruning, keep in mind to only cut off old branches or broken ones that seem dead. Leave all the new stems or growing ones untouched because they will bore fruit in the next season, and to grow, they need time.
Pruning is easy. Grab a pair of garden scissors and get to work. One thing that might cause trouble is that goji berries plant has spines that might prick you, resulting in you getting hurt. A mature plant always has spines to protect its fruits from birds or other wildlife that may roost on it.
Wear thick gardening gloves to ensure your safety, and leave some of the spines. If there is no net surrounding your plant, it will look inviting to birds and other wildlife, so it is better if you leave some of the spines. It is for its benefit.
After you prune it properly remember that you must start watering and exposing it to the required sun.
– Treating The Mildew
To stop this disease from affecting your plant, plant it in a spot where sunlight hits for 5-6 hours. Track moisture level, and make sure it does not get too high. Water it sufficiently so it does not dehydrate. If affected, there are various ways to get rid of it.
One way is to treat it with chemical insecticides. You can avail of them from any store and spray your Goji berry plants as directed to keep mildew and other bacterial pests away. You can opt for natural remedies such as neem oil and soap water. There are different measures that people tried and proved to be successful.
You can use detergents, mouthwash, garlic, and baking soda. All of these are effective and can remove mildew. With baking soda, mix one teaspoon of it in one-liter water. Pour the mixture in a sprayer and mist it directly on the infected leaves.
If treating it with mouthwash, the same method is required. Take 250 ml of mouthwash and mix it with 750 ml of water. If you are using garlic, make a garlic paste of two to three garlic bulbs, and add 4 cups of water and two to three drops of detergent. Next, do the same as you have done with other concentrations.
This fruit is a beautiful one that can foresee different issues and its health will degenerate and sometimes it may even see fatal issues when it is not treated.
Here’s what we covered in this article:
- Avoid over or under watering your Goji berries to prevent blossom end rot.
- Collect ripe fruits every other week to protect your plant from Drosophila Suzukii infestation.
- The Goji berries look beautiful on a plant but are vulnerable to a few diseases like Drosophila Suzukii Infestation, Gall Mite, and Mildew. So ensure to treat it accordingly.
- Use detergents, mouthwash, garlic, and baking soda to cure Mildew.
- Remember to prune the plant properly, because it you don’t it will be harsh on the plant’s health as it will stop and degenerate.
Remember, you can always follow the basics of Goji berry plant care for your and enjoy its health benefits as you see it grow in your home or garden, too.
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