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Tulip diseases and pests: description and control measures

Diseases and pests of tulips and other bulbous plants - the real scourge of home gardens flower beds. You must admit that it is very disappointing to keep the bulbs during all the winter by all the rules, and in the end to lose the plant that is about to bloom because of any infection, fungus, virus, or insect invasion. To avoid this, it is important to be able to recognize threats and know how to deal with them.

In total, more than 30 tulip diseases are known, however, most of them are extremely rare and their description is not always given even in the specialized literature. The greatest damage to floriculture is caused by fungal diseases such as gray and white rot, fusarium, typhoid and penicillis.

Of the viral diseases, habits and August disease are the most dangerous. Noncommunicable diseases are not particularly dangerous and are the result of adverse external conditions. They infect tulips, usually when forcing or storing.

The amateur color grower is obliged not only to recognize diseases and know how to combat them, but more importantly, to master the methods of preventing diseases.

Among the pests, the root onion mite, the onion hover, the violet shovel and the bearfish cause the greatest damage to the tulips.

The following are descriptions of the most common diseases and pests that can cause significant damage to plantings and tulip bulbs.

Tulips protection methods

There are several methods to protect tulips from diseases and pests. The main ones are: agrotechnical, physical-thermal and mechanical.

By agrotechnical method, tulips can practically be protected from such infectious diseases as gray rot, fusarium and typhulosis, significantly reduce the spread of viral diseases, as well as successfully deal with ticks, aphids, onion hops, purple trowel and wireworms.

Agrotechnical method includes:

  • Choosing a plot for tulips
  • Soil preparation, including liming, application of organic and mineral fertilizers
  • Compliance with the required depth and density of landings
  • Timely removal and destruction of diseased bulbs and plants
  • Timely top dressing of tulips mineral fertilizers with exact observance of doses of introduction. Do not allow excess nitrogen fertilizer, leading to a decrease in resistance of tulips to disease
  • Compliance with crop rotation and selection of healthy planting material, as well as varieties resistant to diseases
  • Timely digging of bulbs, their drying and storage only in a disinfected container and in compliance with the necessary requirements

The physic-thermal method is indispensable in the destruction of root onion mites and nematodes. It consists in immersion in water heated to a certain temperature.

The biological control method plays a secondary role and consists in attracting beneficial birds to the site and protecting beneficial insects. A classic example is a ladybug. Ladybirds and their larvae eat a huge amount of aphids per day.

The chemical method includes the use of pesticides. It is absolutely necessary in large floriculture farms, but is used less often among amateurs because can have a negative impact on nature and man, especially with the inept or excessive use of chemical means of control.

No modern methods can completely defeat the disease, because they are one of the forms of the existence of matter, but it is possible and should minimize losses from them.

Fungal diseases of tulip bulbs

Gray mold

It affects both aboveground and underground parts of tulips. The disease is transmitted through the soil and with planting material. In the soil, the sclerotia of the fungus remains viable for up to 4 years. The disease often manifests itself in cold years and with high humidity.

Yellow-gray spots appear on the affected leaves. Under favorable conditions, they quickly grow in size and are covered with a gray bloom of mushroom spores. Leaves as if burned by fire.

As can be seen in the photo, the stalk of a tulip affected by this disease bends and turns brown:

Buds do not develop. The vegetation period of the affected plants is reduced, the bulb becomes shallow. Slightly indented yellow-brown spots appear in the reddish halo on the fleshy scales of the affected bulbs, and black sclerotia of the fungus is visible on the covering scales of the diseased bulbs. During storage, heavily affected bulbs soften, shrink and rot.

With a weak lesion in the form of spot blotches, the disease may not be noticed and the bulbs will land on landings. In the spring of these bulbs develop diseased plants.

Disputes from them are spread by wind and affect healthy plants, causing a secondary infection, the signs of which clearly manifest themselves by the end of the growing season and represent numerous yellowish-gray spots on the leaves and white, later brownish spots on the flowers.

If during planting of weakly damaged bulbs or infection of a bulb through the soil, the disease spreads from the bottom up - from the bulb to the leaves and flower, then during secondary infection the disease spreads from top to bottom - from the flower and leaves through the stem to the bulb.

The defeat of tulips during the growing season is promoted by perennial cultivation in one place, thickening of plantings, mechanical damage during processing, or damage due to frost and hail.

Control measures. Timely culling and destruction of diseased bulbs and plants. Strict observance of the whole complex of agrotechnical measures, including the storage of bulbs in a dry, well-ventilated area.

To protect the plants from secondary infection during the growing season, every 10-15 days are sprayed with 1-1,5% Borsos liquid or 0,5-1,0% plantings with copper sulphate with green soap for better wetting of the leaves.

Of the fungicides for the treatment of tulips, 0,5% euporen solution is used, which is the most effective way to combat gray mold, or captan in 0,5% concentration. 3-multiple spraying of plantings (at the beginning of the growing season, during budding and after flowering) will almost completely protect the tulips from secondary infection with gray rot.

White (sclerotsialny) rot

The source of infection is the soil in which the sclerotia of the fungus can last up to 5 years. Acidic soils with high humidity contribute to the development of the disease. The first sign of the defeat of this fungal disease is uneven seedling.

Affected bulbs, as a rule, do not germinate, or give weak shoots that turn yellow and die. When digging up a diseased bulb on the neck, less often at the bottom, one can find white felt patches of the fungal mycelium with a dense layer of black sclerotia with diameters from 1 to 10mm.

The tissues of the affected bulbs acquire a reddish-brown color and rot. A characteristic sign of the disease is the healthy state of the root system, not affected by the fungus. Since the tulips affected by sclerocytic rot die without germination, or during the initial growing season, the disease cannot spread with planting material.

Control measures. Diseased bulbs and plants are removed along with a clod of earth. The pits fall asleep ash. Again, tulips return to this place no earlier than 5 years. Tulips should not be planted after lilies, daffodils, crocuses and irises, also affected by this disease.

If it is impossible to transfer the tulips to another location, the infected beds should be disinfected with 1,5% formalin solution based on 10 liters of solution per 1 square meter. After disinfection at positive temperatures, the beds are covered tightly on the 2-3 of the day.

Fusarium - wet rot

Infection occurs through the bottom and roots, and the young replacement bulbs through the covering scales. In the affected bulb, the roots are poorly developed and have a yellowish-brown color. The aerial part lags behind in development, flower stalks become short and thin, the sizes of flowers decrease.

The most common infection occurs at the end of the growing season in June - early July, when the air temperature rises above 20 degrees.

Fusarium can cause great damage during storage. Temperatures above 25 ° С and high humidity in the storage facility create favorable conditions for infection. On the bottom of the affected bulb, brown spots appear, outlined along the contour by a reddish line.

Spots increase over time and darken. The tulip bulb, affected by this disease, rots from the basal part (from the bottom). The rot penetrates inward and a pinkish patina of fungus spores appears between the accumulating scales.

The bulb rots, spreading the sourish odor of ethylene released. Ethylene in storage is not allowed, because leads to the appearance of “blind” buds in healthy bulbs.

Control measures. Careful inspection of plantings and removal of affected plants. Timely digging. Delay in this type of work increases the likelihood of infection. Compliance with the temperature and humidity in the storage. Periodic inspection of planting material and removal of diseased bulbs.

Since the treatment of this disease of tulips is practically impossible, in order to avoid infection, pickle the onions after harvesting and before planting in 0,2% uzgen suspension, or in a solution of the Maxim preparation for 30 minutes.


It is a type of white or sclerocial rot. The infection is transmitted through planting material, soil and weeds on which the causative agent lives. The affected bulbs in spring give germs of a reddish color, not unfolding in the leaves. Infection begins with the bottom, which rots first.

The roots also die. Infection spreads to the entire bulb, and it dies, becoming covered with small sclerotia of the fungus of light and dark brown color. Typholesis often occurs after a warm winter and a wet spring, because low positive temperatures (1-2 ° С) and humidity contribute to the development of the disease.

Control measures. Affected plants are removed and destroyed. Weeds are promptly and carefully removed. The bulbs dug out from the site where cases of lesions with typhulosis were observed are etched in 0,5% potassium permanganate solution.

The soil is disinfected with 1,5% formalin solution at the rate of 10 liters per 1 square meter. After digging up the tulips, the soil is dug as deep as possible with the turnover of the reservoir. Sclerotia of the fungus, being at a great depth, die in 2,5-3 months.

In case of digging to a greater depth, formalin can disinfect the soil, since after three months the result will be almost the same.


Most often, bulbs that have been in chambers for a long time in preparation for spring forcing are affected, but they can also affect bulbs in the open field during the growing season. The affected bulbs are covered with yellow-brown spots with a greenish-blue patina.

Sick plants are stunted and form a weak peduncle. The development of the disease is favored by increased humidity (more than 80%) and mechanical damage.

Control measures. When a fungus is found in the storage, the onions should be pickled in a solution of manganese-acid potassium, followed by drying. In order to avoid an increase in humidity, it is recommended to disinfect the room not by treatment with copper sulphate, but by burning sulfur and subsequent ventilation.

Viral Tulip Disease


It is the most dangerous and widespread viral disease of tulips. The history of this disease goes back centuries and is known since the appearance of tulips in Europe. True, initially florist flower growers were considered new varieties that were in great demand, and tried to multiply them.

However, very soon there was a suspicion that the mottling of a flower was caused by a disease. In the 1928 year, it has been proven that variegation is a disease and is caused by a motley virus. The virus remains viable at temperatures up to 65 ° C.

One of the culprits of the death of a large number of beautiful varieties of tulips, bred in the XVII-XIX centuries, was undoubtedly a moth virus.

The virus is transferred from a sick plant to a healthy one mainly by insects (aphids, thrips) and nematodes. A person can also be a carrier of viruses if you cut flowers with one tool. In case of contact with a sick plant, the virus can be spread throughout the plantation.

The breeding virus changes the color of the flower. In pink, purple and lilac varieties, it becomes patchy, streaks and stripes appear on a white or yellow background. Only in some places remains the original color of the flower.

There have been cases when the breeding virus completely destroyed the original color and the flowers became white or yellow. It is more difficult to determine the disease in dark red varieties. Their mottlement is manifested in the form of an increase in the saturation of the strokes of its own color.

It is even more difficult to determine the disease in white and yellow varieties, since hatching on flowers and leaves is mild or not noticeable at all. In this case, the disease is detected by indirect signs.

In diseased plants, tepals are narrowed, especially at the point of attachment to the stem, the flower is smaller, and the stem is shorter. Near the stem, the tepals do not touch each other and a gap appears between them.

On the stems and leaves are faint light green stripes. Sometimes, due to the effect of the virus, the chlorophyll is not formed and the stems become transparent, as if wax, and the leaves curl and hang. Some varieties have a change in the pattern of the bottom.

In the affected plants, the weight of the bulbs is reduced, the flowering stem is shortened, flowering is delayed and other varietal characteristics are lost, although the variety can grow and bloom for a long time.

Control measures. Special preparations or pesticides to combat the breeding virus does not currently exist.

Preventive measures remain the cornerstone in the fight against the dangerous virus. When a disease is detected, the plant is removed and destroyed. It is better not to use a shovel, because cutting the roots, you can transfer the virus to neighboring healthy plants, and loosening the ground above, carefully pull out the diseased plant.

Dangerous carriers of the disease are insects, primarily aphids. It is necessary to monitor the appearance of aphids and, if they are detected, systematically spray tulips with infusions of plants that are detrimental to insects.

It is unacceptable to use one tool when cutting flowers and decapitate. Breaking of peduncles with the hands also does not always guarantee sterility.

Especially dangerous may be the neighborhood of tulips with lilies, on which the moth virus can be without visible signs of infection. The growth of tulips in the vicinity of lilies is undesirable, and after lilies - unacceptable.

Yet the best way to combat the breeding virus is to switch to growing the newest varieties. tulips since varieties The 40-80 registrations that have undergone industrial cultivation are almost completely affected by this virus.

August disease (Augusta disease) or necrotic spotting

Caused by the tobacco necrosis virus. It was first discovered in the 1931 year in Holland on tulips of the August variety (August), from which the name of the disease originated. The virus is transmitted through spores of a fungus that parasitizes on the roots of weeds and some cultivated plants (tobacco, potatoes, legumes, tomatoes, etc.). Infection occurs by contact of a spore fungus with damaged tulip roots.

On the leaves of the affected plants appear gray strokes and spots that dry and crack. The stem is bent, the flower becomes ugly. Depressed spots appear on the bulb, which later turn brown.

At cross-section of the bulb, transparent spots are observed, which later also turn brown. Augusta's disease affects tulips, both in the soil and during forcing. Early varieties are more prone to disease.

Control measures. Removal together with a lump of the earth of all sick plants. The land is disinfected or steamed. For an amateur grower, the easiest way to disinfect is to “fry” the ground taken out with a diseased plant.

Spores of the fungus (disease carrier) die. Weeds need to be destroyed in a timely manner. When a disease appears in the greenhouse, it is better to replace the ground.

Noncommunicable Diseases in Distillation of Tulips

Paperiness of flowers or the appearance of blind buds

Paper or “blind” buds most often appear during distillation, but can also occur when grown in open ground. With the early planting of tulips, when the temperature of the soil is relatively high, rooting is weak, while the bulb starts to grow. Growth imbalance and leads to the appearance of paper (“blind”) buds.

Particularly dangerous bulbs are patients with fusarium. The released ethylene has a detrimental effect on healthy bulbs and is the cause of the appearance of “blind” buds. Planting diseased bulbs is highly undesirable. Neighboring healthy bulbs, as a rule, do not bloom.

Control measures. Compliance with planting dates and storage conditions of the bulbs, careful culling of patients with fusarium.

Drifting (tilting) peduncle

Most often observed during distillation. On the stalk in its upper part a glassy spot appears, on the surface of which droplets of moisture are noticeable. Then the fabric is wrinkled and the stem wilts. The indicated disease with distilling tulips caused by a lack of calcium with too rapid growth caused by high temperature.

Calcium more slowly than other elements moves in a plant and is acquired by it. The disease manifests itself more often in plants grown from undigested bulbs (dug out too early).

Control measures. During the active growing season, tulips are watered with an 1,5% solution of calcium nitrate Ca (N03). Avoid forced mode forcing at high temperatures.

Surgery of bulbs

Caused by excessive sunlight. The disease often affects the bulbs at the end of the active growing season. Yellow-brown and bluish-brown spots appear on the stockpiling scales, from which a colorless liquid oozes, forming an infusion of yellow gum during drying.

The bulbs themselves are non-infectious and healthy plants grow from them. However, being damaged, they are more susceptible to disease.

Control measures. Timely digging and dressing for 30 minutes in 0,5% manganese-potassium solution. Maintain optimal storage mode.

Lime disease

It affects the bulbs during storage. The bulbs are as if soaked with lime, becoming white and hard. The disease manifests itself in conditions of high humidity and high temperatures and affects non-mature onions.

Control measures. Timely digging, maintaining optimum moisture and temperature during storage.

Here you can see photos of how tulip diseases are treated:

Tulip insect pests

Root onion mite

It is one of the most dangerous pests of tulips and other bulbous and bulbous plants. Mite - an insect with a length of less than 1mm has an oval body shape and a bright yellow shiny color. It falls into the bulb, gnawing the bottom, or through a mechanically damaged place. Having settled in the bulb, gnaws in it the moves and exhausts the bottom.

Excessive damage may occur during storage. It reproduces especially well at temperatures around 25 ° С and humidity over 70%. Under unfavorable conditions, it goes into a stage of rest, vital processes slow down sharply, and the tick remains viable for a long time.

Distributed through the soil or with planting material. Affected plants stop growing, turn yellow and die.

Control measures. Removal of affected plants. After digging and during storage, the bulbs are carefully examined, especially the bottom, selecting all the sick and suspicious.

The affected bulbs are subjected to heat treatment by immersion for 30 minutes in water with a temperature of 43 ° C or for 5 minutes in water heated to 50 ° C. At the same time, it is not recommended to carry out this procedure on bulbs intended for forcing and having undergone a cooling period.

After drying the bulbs should be poured with chalk, which sticks to the body of mites, and they die from the withering. Treated bulbs should be planted on a separate quarantine bed. When a tick is found, tulips are transferred to another place, and pest resistant plants are planted in this place: tomatoes, radishes.

Onion bun

The fly is larger than room length up to 1. See Color dark green with a metallic sheen. It begins to fly and lay eggs in the soil at the end of May-June. Damage caused by the larvae penetrating the bulb through the bottom.

The larvae are greenish gray in length 10-12 mm. Appear in June and from the flies of the second generation - in September. Overwinter in soil and bulbs. From the damaged bulbs in the spring grow oppressed plants with yellowing leaves.

Control measures. Removal and burning of diseased plants. Deep preseeding digging with reservoir turnover. The larvae caught in the surface layer die in winter. Mulching with peat prevents egg laying. Flies away dusting soil with mothballs.

Lilac scoop

It represents a butterfly with a wingspan of up to 5cm. In August and September flies and lays eggs on plants and plant debris. One butterfly can lay up to 2000 eggs.

Hibernate eggs on plants. The butterfly larva is a reddish-purple caterpillar with a red stripe along its back. It pupates in July - early August in an earthen cocoon at a depth of 5-9, but in the second half of August-September butterflies fly out of the cocoons.

The caterpillar damages the stems of tulips. One caterpillar can damage a significant number of plants.

Control measures. Destruction on the site of weeds and remnants of crop rotation plants. Useful in May-June dusting the bottom of the stem with mothballs.


May cause significant damage. It feeds on germinated seeds, underground parts of plants, gnawing stems and roots. Insect length 40-50 mm. From above the body is dark brown, from below brownish yellow with a silky sheen.

The front legs are modified and well adapted for digging and tricks of moves, which are mainly located at a depth of 2-4, see. The deeper insect is taken only for wintering and for laying eggs.

Medvedka winters at a depth of one meter. With a large apple, the female lays a nest in May-June below the surface on 10-15. To keep the nest warm, the bear destroys all closely located plants, which at the same time serves as a good guide to its search and destruction.

It is also possible to detect the presence of a bear on a plot by the holes in the soil or hillocks, which are formed as a result of insect cleaning of their passages. After rain or watering, the soil dries over them faster and the passages are clearly visible.

Control measures. A bear's nest, in which she lays several hundred eggs, is destroyed as a result of deep loosening of the soil. Eggs and larvae thrown to the surface die. A good result gives the use of traps, the most simple.

In early spring, sheets of iron, slate, plywood are laid out on the site. Insect crawls under them to warm. It remains only to regularly raise the spread out sheets and collect pests.

In early May, it is advisable to lay out small piles of manure on the site, preferably horse. Medvedka arranges in such heaps mink and lays eggs. Through 20-30 days, these heaps are scanned and burned along with pests and eggs.

You can catch the bear and water traps. To do this, buried in the ground with water banks. The edge of the banks is at ground level, and the water on the 6-8 is below. During the night, a significant number of insects fall into such traps.

Especially effective device bait holes. In August and early September, they dig holes up to half a meter deep, fill them with manure and cover them with earth. Insects, attracted by the heat, climb into the pits for the winter. With the onset of frost, the pits are opened, scattered manure, and the caps die.


Wireworm striking tulip bulbs during the active growing season, gnawing at them moves. Damaged bulbs rot and are more easily affected by disease.

Wireworms of yellow and light brown color, very solid, like pieces of copper wire, which is why they got the name. They are the larvae of the beetle beetle, distributed quite widely.

Click beetle, turning over from a back, jumps up and publishes click. In the Moscow region inhabits several species of click beetles. The most common dark purple with longitudinal stripes on the back

The female beetle in May - early June lays eggs in the soil near the root collar of the plants in the largest groups. For masonry, selects places overgrown with herbs, preferably wheat grass and sow thistles, which are favorite wireworm food. Beetles and larvae overwinter, usually at a depth of about 20, see

Control measures. The main method of dealing with the wireworm is agrotechnical. Autumn digging of the soil leads to the death of beetles, larvae and pupae in winter. Systematic removal of weeds and deep loosening also lead to the destruction of the larvae and eggs.

Wireworms live in acidic soils and do not tolerate neutral and alkaline. The introduction of lime, chalk, ash reduces the number of pests.

Ammonia forms of nitrogenous fertilizers are also poisonous for wireworms. Adding 20-30 g / m2 of ammonium sulphate or ammonium nitrate to the soil creates unfavorable conditions for the reproduction of snap and leads to a sharp reduction in wireworms.

Good results are obtained by catching larvae on the bait. Pieces of potatoes or beets are planted on the line with a distance of 10-15, see. The line is instilled to a depth of 15, and the ends are fixed with pegs and chopsticks. Through the 2-3 of the day, the bait is inspected and the larvae destroy.

It is even better to catch larvae on bait plants. To do this, in between rows planted with nests of wheat, barley, oats, corn. Sprouted grains of these plants, like a magnet, attract the larvae of the click beetle.

Wireworms are destroyed by pulling bait plants that are sown again. By repeating this procedure several times, it is possible to almost completely free the area from dangerous pests.

Hothouse greenhouse

It can cause significant damage to tulips, especially during forcing. The greenhouse aphid is an insect up to 2 mm long, oval in green or pink color with dark transverse stripes.

Individuals, as a rule, are wingless, and in a certain period associated with reproduction, winged ones also appear. They breed like an avalanche, which allows these defenseless insects to exist for millions of years. Settled on the leaves, peduncles, buds. They feed on plant sap.

Affected plants are deformed and even die. However, aphids are most dangerous as potential carriers of viral diseases, in particular, variegation.

Control measures. For the destruction of aphids by me I have successfully used a shag extract with the addition of soap. On 10 liters of hot water I take 5 g of shag and 50 g of laundry soap. I insist for two days, filter and get the infusion spray tulips. Good results are obtained by spraying infusions of red bitter pepper or garlic.

The golden-eyed, hoverflies (not to be confused with the onion hover), ladybugs and others are of great help to a person in the destruction of aphids. So, one larva of a ladybug eats more than 100 adult individuals of aphids in one day.

Nematodes - roundworms - live both in the aboveground part of the plant and in the bulb. The presence of nematodes is determined by tumors, growths, stem cracks and flower deformations. Sick onions become soft with brown or yellowish spots. With a horizontal cut, yellowish tissues are visible in the bulb, and with a strong lesion - brown rings.

Control measures. The most effective method is to immerse the affected bulbs for 2,5 hours in water heated to a temperature of 43 ° C.

Slugs harm tulips in wet years. They scrape the fabric from the plants.

Control measures. The collection of slugs, both directly and with the help of traps, is quite sufficient. To do this, between the ridges lay out bunches of fresh grass. Remote weeds will do as well. Slugs on the day, hiding from the sun and heat, willingly climb into the spread out piles. It remains only to choose.


The bulbs and roots of plants damage the larvae. The white fleshy larva with a dark brown head and three pairs of legs has a length of 4-6 cm. 4-5 years develop. In the first year, the larva feeds on humus, and then goes on to plant food.

It winters at a depth of one meter or more. It pupates at a depth of 30-50, see. A female beetle lays eggs at a depth of 20-30. See

Control measures. In Moscow, the invasion of beetles and larvae, as a rule, is not widespread. Sufficient deep digging with turnover of the reservoir and simultaneous selection of larvae.

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