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Naranjilla Diseases: A Comprehensive Guide to Prevention and Treatment

by Donna
3 minutes read

Naranjilla: A Guide to Diseases and Their Management


Naranjilla is a unique subtropical shrub that can be grown in home gardens. It produces edible orange fruits and provides cover. However, like many plants, naranjilla can be susceptible to various diseases that can affect its growth and fruit production. Understanding these diseases and their management strategies is crucial for maintaining healthy naranjilla plants.

Common Diseases of Naranjilla

Root Knot Nematode

Root knot nematode is the most common disease affecting naranjilla. These microscopic worms live in the soil and attack the plant’s roots. Symptoms include yellowing of leaves, stunted growth, and poorly formed or small fruits.

Vascular Wilt

Vascular wilt is caused by Fusarium fungi and is particularly common in South America. It causes yellowing of leaves, wilting or limp stems and leaves, and discoloration of the plant’s vascular system.

Bacterial Wilt

Bacterial wilt is another disease that can affect naranjilla. It causes the plant to die back, and leaves to curl or curve inwards.

Root Rot

Root rot occurs when naranjilla plants are overwatered or exposed to standing water. It leads to stunted growth, leaf loss, and brown or dark, mushy and rotting roots.

Preventing Naranjilla Diseases

Prevention is key to managing naranjilla diseases. Here are some preventive measures:

  • Provide optimal growing conditions: Naranjilla thrives in well-drained soil, warm temperatures, and dappled sunlight.
  • Avoid overwatering: Overwatering can lead to root rot. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
  • Test soil for nematodes: Before planting, test the soil for root knot nematodes and treat it if necessary.
  • Practice crop rotation: Rotating naranjilla crops with other plants can help reduce nematode populations in the soil.
  • Choose resistant varieties: Look for root knot nematode-resistant naranjilla varieties, which are often grafted.

Treating Naranjilla Diseases

If your naranjilla plants do develop a disease, there are some treatment options available:

  • Root Knot Nematode: Treating the soil with nematicides can help control root knot nematodes. However, it may not entirely eliminate them.
  • Vascular Wilt and Root Rot: Treating the soil with fungicides before planting may help prevent these diseases. Treating affected plants with fungicides may be of limited help.
  • Bacterial Wilt: There is no effective treatment for bacterial wilt. Affected plants should be removed and destroyed.


Naranjilla diseases can impact the health and productivity of your plants. By understanding these diseases and implementing preventative and treatment measures, you can maintain healthy naranjilla plants and enjoy their edible fruits for years to come.

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