Plant Health Problems
Diseases caused by Fungi:
Fusarium wilt, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum.
This disease is caused by fungi which persist in the soil for a very long time. Symptoms appear as yellowing and stunting of the plant followed by collapse and death of the whole plant.
There are no effective controls for Fusarium wilt of okra. Once the disease appears, growers should find new land for cultivation. Avoid moving infested soil from one area into the new area.
Leaf spots, Alternaria spp., Cercospora spp.
The leaf spot diseases of okra are caused by fungi. They usually cause brown concentric spots of varying size.
These diseases are usually rare and fungicides are not required.
The green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, sometimes infests okra. See Aphid fact sheet.
Corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea.
The corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea, occasionally feeds upon okra. The moths, with a wingspread of about 1.5", are tan with darker markings. They arrive in Connecticut each season from more southern areas after which they lay eggs singly on the corn silk. After hatching, the caterpillars feed on foliage and inside fruit. They reach a length of up to 2" and vary greatly in color. They may be brown, tan, green, or pink with light and dark longitudinal stripes. The head is golden brown and the body has small bumps and spines, giving it a rough texture. There can be two or three generations in a year, depending on when the adults arrive on winds from the south.
Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Bt) is registered for control of this pest in Connecticut. Consult the label for dosage rates, safety precautions, and preharvest intervals.