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Periwinkle: diseases & management

Diseases of Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) and their management

Dr. Vishwanath and Dr. Vineeta
College of Agriculture
G. B. P. U. A. & T., Pantnagar,
Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand


Medicinal uses: it contained a group of alkaloids that, though extremely toxic, had potential uses in cancer treatment. Two of these alkaloids, vincristine and vinblastine, can be used in purified form to treat common types of leukemia and lymphoma. Also work as antispasmodic and antidote. Periwinkle

Diseases and their management

Powdery mildew

Caused by: Eryisphe spp.

Symptoms: Usually, the white powdery dusting of the fungus developed on the upper leaf surfaces, but it was also seen on the lower leaf surfaces. Symptoms sometimes included yellow and brown lesions (approximately 3-10 mm in diameter) in association with whitish masses.

Control: Spray with Karathane @1 ml/litre of water or sulfex @ 2 g/litre Water


Powdery mildew

Grey mould

Caused by: Botrytis cinerea

Symptoms: Initiates as small brown to black spots, particulary at the margins of leaves. The spots enlarge and extend inwards, covering entire leaf surface, giving the plant blighte appearance. Under the high humidity, grayish mouldy growth can be observed over the infected areas.


  • Proper spacing.
  • Spray of captan or zineb (0.2%) or carbendazim (0.05%)


Caused by: Mycoplasma like organisms

Symptoms: Characterized by extreme dwarfing of the plant or plant parts coupled with very short internodes, flattening of stem covered with mass of highly reduced leaves and very often flowers, provided the flowering is terminal.

Control: Spray of Tetramycin @ 0.5 g/litre of water.


 Stem blight

Stem Blight  

Caused by:  Phomopsis spp.

Symptoms: Dark spots, which develop on the leaves, may be followed by browning and death of affected leaves. Diseased leaves usually fall off and are not associated with stem infections. The fungus, however, often spreads from stem lesions into the leaf petiole and the base of the leaf. Stem lesions expand rapidly and cause wilting and dieback of the stem. Some lesions may extend the entire length of the stem within a few days after initial appearance.


  • Sanitation.
  • In newly planted beds, 2 or 3 soil drenches of the systemic fungicide Benlate 50 WP at monthly intervals, beginning at the time of appearance of the symptoms.


Foliage Blight

Caused by: Phytophthora spp.

Symptoms: Dark brown lesions on stems and leaves; dieback.

Control: Sanitation. Avoid wet situations.


Crown Rot

Caused by: Fusarium spp.

Symptoms: Brown, dry rotting on stem at soil line.

Control: Rotation and solarization.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.