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Eggplant Woes

Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

Something is destroying my eggplants.

One or two at a time, when I come out in the mornings, I find plants bitten off almost at ground level. The plants just lie there---neither the stems nor leaves are eaten. Just the stem bitten through and left behind.

Anybody got a clue what they might be? And how to fix it?

Lancaster, CA

Could it be gophers? That's how Dad's pepper plants look when gophers have found them. Are they too mature for the culprit to be cutworms?


Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

Thanks for the tips, Chris,

We don't have gophers here---one headache we don't have to cope with. And if I understand it correctly, gophers would eat the plants.

Could be cutworms, although I haven't seen any indications that they're the culprit. Time to look closer, I reckon.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Try wrapping foil around the stems both above the ground and an inch or so below ground level. That will deter most pests whether animal or insect/worm. You can also spray the entire plant with hot pepper/garlic solutions.

Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

Thanks. I'll give that a try.

Lancaster, CA

gophers aren't interested in the plant necessarily. Just the roots. I personally don't have the joy of gopher battle. Dad has found several plants over the years that looked normal one day and the next was laying horizontal. When pulled from the soil, there were no roots attached at all.

Very discouraging. He's learned to build root cages for anything important. The vegie/herb garden is a work in progress adding a bit of protected area every year.

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

I had one eggplant that this happened to Brook. It was bitten off about an inch above the soil and just laying there when I found it. I haven't a clue either. I've had no rabbit damage yet and this really doesn't look like insect damage. The good news is,it is sprouting from the base.

The other good news is that it was a Black Beauty...of which I planted 6. I have a white variety called Cloud Nine that I only have 2 of. The BB is OP,but there is no info on the CL9...I might isolate and see what happens.

Spicewood, TX(Zone 8b)

Something a little easier than wrapping aluminum foil is to stick a long nail in the soil right next to the stem, and I mean right up against it. I put one on either side of the stem for extra insurance, being sure it's over an inch below and above the ground. This will keep the worm from being able to wrap himself around the entire stem and cut it. Whatever you do, Brook, good luck!

Richmond, KY(Zone 6b)

Well, whatever it was, it wasn't a cutworm. I dug around the base of the remaining plants, and found no sign of them. But, taking Leaflady's advice, I added a band of aluminum foil---about 2" above and below the soil line.

Whatever it was just cut them above the foil, reaching up about an inch higher than its edge.

After decimating my Ping Tung Longs, it (they?) moved over to the Caspers---bypassing the entire bean patch---did the same to them.

I'm about ready to give up on growing eggplant. It's always something with them, and I rarely get one to maturity.

Lancaster, CA

NOW, I'm wondering if you're dealing with something that just hates eggplant......


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