What type of pests do you need to watch out for when growing artichokes? Artichokes are pretty easy to grow vegetables but, like all other kinds of crops, they are susceptible to pest invasions.
The most common types of pests to affect artichokes are those that you might see elsewhere in your garden, like aphids, slugs, and snails.
While it’s rare for one single type of pest to completely decimate a crop, pest infestations can diminish your yields and stunt the growth of your plants – something that’s frustrating to deal with, to say the very least!
How can you prevent these pests, and how do you get rid of them if they become a problem?
This blog post will answer those questions and more!
Let’s dive in.
Signs of a Pest Infestation
Artichokes are a delicious and healthy vegetable, but they can be susceptible to pests. Here are a few signs that your artichokes may be infested.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action right away. There are a number of effective pesticides and insecticides available to control artichoke pests.
By being vigilant, you can keep your artichokes healthy and free of pests all season long.
Chewed Up Leaves
One of the most tell-tale signs of a pest infestation in artichokes is chewed-up leaves. This damage is typically caused by caterpillars, earwigs, snails, and other small critters that enjoy munching on soft plant tissue.
If you notice chewed-up leaves on your artichokes, it’s important to take action immediately. These pests can quickly decimate a crop, and their presence can also attract predators like birds and rodents.
Holes in Leaves and Stems
Many pests can cause holes in the leaves and stems. These holes are a sign of an infestation and should be treated as soon as possible.
Missing or Damaged Flower Buds
Caterpillars, earwigs, and other pests can all cause problems for artichoke flowers.
Discolored Spots on Bracts
If you’re an avid gardener, you know that artichokes are a delicious and beautiful addition to any meal.
But did you know that those pretty bracts can also tell you when your plant is in trouble? If you spot any discoloration on the bracts, it’s a sure sign of a pest infestation. The first step is to identify the type of pest.
Honeydew or Sooty Mold on Plant
One of the most common problems that artichoke growers face is honeydew or sooty mold.
These black, sooty deposits on the leaves and stems of plants are a sure sign of a pest infestation. The most common culprits are aphids, scale insects, and whiteflies, which all feed on the sap of plants.
When these pests feed on artichokes, they excrete a sticky substance called honeydew. This honeydew provides an ideal breeding ground for sooty mold, which can quickly cover the plant and interfere with photosynthesis.
To control honeydew and sooty mold, it is important to control the pests that are causing the problem.
What is Eating My Artichoke Plants? 14 Common Pests to Watch Out For
Artichokes are a delicious and nutritious addition to any garden, but they can be susceptible to pests. Here are some of the most common.
Aphids are small, pear-shaped insects that feed on the sap of plants. They are usually green or black, but can also be pink, red, or brown. Aphids are a common problem in gardens, and can infest both indoor and outdoor plants.
Artichokes are particularly susceptible to aphid infestation. These pests damage plants by sucking out the sap, which can weaken and even kill the plant.
Aphids also produce a sticky substance called honeydew, which can encourage the growth of sooty mold on the plant.
Aphid infestation is most often seen in late spring or early summer. However, these pests can be active throughout the year in mild climates.
Signs of an aphid infestation include curled leaves, stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and sooty mold on the plant. If you suspect that your plant is infested with aphids, inspect it carefully for these signs.
To get rid of aphids, you can use a variety of methods, including insecticidal soap, neem oil, and traps. You can also discourage them by planting aphid-resistant varieties of artichokes.
One of the most common problems that artichoke growers face is infestation by mites. These tiny pests can quickly ruin a crop, and they’re difficult to get rid of once they’ve taken hold.
However, there are a few things that you can do to prevent and get rid of mites on artichoke plants.
The first step is to be on the lookout for signs of infestation. Early signs include yellowing leaves and stunted growth. If you see these symptoms, it’s important to take action immediately.
The next step is to remove any affected leaves. This will help to stop the infestation from spreading.
Finally, it’s important to treat the plants with a pesticide designed specifically for mites. This will kill any remaining mites and help to prevent future infestations.
Thrips are tiny, winged insects that feed on the sap of plants. They can cause damage to leaves and flowers, and can even transmit diseases.
While thrips are a common problem in gardens, they can be especially troublesome for artichoke plants.
The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent and get rid of thrips on your artichoke plants.
One of the best ways to prevent thrips is to keep your garden clean. Remove any dead leaves or debris that could provide shelter for the insects.
You should also consider covering your plants with a floating row cover. This will create a barrier that will keep thrips from getting to your plants.
If you already have a thrips infestation, you’ll need to take measures to control the population.
Insecticidal soap or neem oil are both effective at killing thrips. You may also want to try using yellow sticky traps to lure the insects away from your plants.
Keep an eye out for signs of infestation, such as damaged leaves or stunted growth, and take action immediately if you see them.
No gardener wants to see their plants infested with pests, and leafhoppers can be especially troublesome.
These small insects suck the sap from leaves, causing them to turn yellow and brown. In severe cases, an infestation can kill a plant.
Leafhoppers are most likely to attack artichoke plants that are already stressed, so it’s important to keep your plants healthy and vigorous.
If you see signs of an infestation, such as yellowing leaves or small insects on the stems, you should take action immediately.
There are a number of different ways to get rid of leafhoppers, so consult with your local nursery or extension office for the best method for your situation.
5. Artichoke Plume Moth
Artichoke Plume Moths can be a real problem for gardeners, as they can cause serious damage to artichoke plants.
The moths lay their eggs on the leaves of the plant, and when the eggs hatch, the larvae start to feed on the leaves.
This can result in brown patches on the leaves, and if the infestation is severe enough, it can kill the plant.
There are a few things that you can do to prevent Artichoke Plume Moths from becoming a problem in your garden.
First, make sure to choose a variety of artichoke plants that are resistant to the moth. Keep your plants well-watered, as this will help to discourage the moths from laying their eggs.
Finally, if you do notice any signs of infestation, act quickly to remove the affected leaves and treat the plant with an insecticide.
6. Chrysanthemum Leafminer
Chrysanthemum leaf miner is a common problem for artichoke growers. The leafminer is a small fly that lays its eggs on the undersides of artichoke leaves. The larvae hatch and tunnel into the leaves, causing them to turn brown and die.
Leafminers can cause serious damage to artichoke plants, so it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of infestation.
Look for small white larvae on the undersides of leaves, or for dead patches of leaves that have turned brown. If you see either of these signs, it’s important to take action immediately.
There are a number of ways to control leafminers, including the use of insecticidal soap or setting out sticky traps. In addition, maintaining a healthy plant will make it less susceptible to infestation.
7. Cribrate Weevil
These weevils burrow into the base of the artichoke plant, causing the heads to wilt and decay.
If you suspect that your artichokes have been infested, there are some things you can do to get rid of the pests and prevent them from coming back.
First, check for signs of infestation. The most obvious sign is wilting or decaying artichoke heads.
You may also see small holes in the heads, or notice tiny brown weevils crawling around the plants. If you spot any of these signs, it’s time to take action.
One way to get rid of Cribrate Weevils is to manually remove them from the plants. This can be a labor-intensive process, but it’s worth it to save your crop. You can also try using traps or spraying the plants with an insecticide.
Cutworms are voracious eaters that can do a lot of damage to artichoke plants. The good news is that there are a few things that you can do to prevent and get rid of them.
First, make sure to properly maintain your artichoke plants.
This includes watering them regularly and keeping the area around them free of debris. If you do find cutworms on your plants, you can remove them by hand or use an insecticide.
You can also bait them with food, such as oatmeal, so they can be caught and destroyed.
Armyworms are small, green caterpillars that can wreak havoc on artichoke plants. These pests are most active in late summer and early fall, when they feed on the leaves of the plant.
This can quickly result in extensive damage, as the caterpillars strip away the foliage, leaving the plant vulnerable to disease.
If you suspect that your artichoke plants have been infested with armyworms, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them.
First, check the plants for signs of damage, such as chewed leaves or bare stems. Then, look for the caterpillars themselves. They are typically dark green in color with light stripes running down their bodies.
If you find armyworms on your artichoke plants, you can remove them by hand or use a pesticide designed specifically for caterpillars.
10. Palestriped Flea Beetle
The Palestriped Flea Beetle is a common pest of artichoke plants. These small beetles are black with white stripes, and they feed on the leaves of artichoke plants.
This feeding can cause extensive damage to the plant, and it can also spread diseases.
If you suspect that your artichoke plant is infested with Palestriped Flea Beetles, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them.
First, remove any affected leaves from the plant. This will help to stop the spread of the infestation.
Next, use an insecticide to kill any remaining beetles. Be sure to follow the instructions on the pesticide label carefully to avoid harming your plant.
Finally, take steps to prevent future infestations by keeping your garden clean and free of debris.
Loopers are small, caterpillar-like pests that can wreak havoc on artichoke plants. These voracious eaters can quickly strip a plant of its leaves, causing serious damage.
Loopers are most active in the spring and fall, but they can be a problem year-round in warm climates. Signs of an infestation include chewed leaves and the presence of small, green caterpillars.
Loopers can be controlled with regular applications of insecticide, but the best way to prevent them from taking over your artichoke patch is to take steps to keep them from getting started in the first place.
Remove any debris from around the plants that could provide shelter for overwintering larvae. In addition, keep an eye out for early signs of an infestation and treat plants promptly if caterpillars are spotted.
12. Lygus Bug
Lygus bugs are small, slim insects that can cause big problems for artichoke growers. These pests feed on the plants, damaging the leaves and preventing the artichokes from developing properly.
Unfortunately, Lygus bugs can be difficult to spot, as they tend to hide among the leaves.
However, there are a few telltale signs of infestation. Look for small, round holes in the leaves, as well as brown or yellow spots. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take action immediately.
The first step is to remove any weeds or other plants that might be serving as a breeding ground for the bugs. Then, use a strong stream of water to blast the insects off of the artichokes.
You may need to repeat this process several times before the infestation is completely eliminated.
13. Proba Bug
A Proba bug is a type of stink bug that usually attacks artichoke plants. These pests are difficult to spot, but there are some telltale signs of infestation.
The first is damage to the leaves of the plant, which will appear as brown or yellow spots. Another sign is the presence of small, black bugs on the stem or leaves of the plant.
If you suspect that your plant is infested with these bugs, it’s important to take action immediately.
The best way to get rid of them is to remove all affected leaves and stems from the plant. You can also try spraying the plant with an insecticide, but be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
14. Snails and Slugs
While snails and slugs may look cute, these pesky garden pests can do serious damage to your plants. Snails and slugs feast on leaves, stems, and flowers, leaving behind telltale holes.
These gastropods are especially fond of artichoke plants, and infestations can quickly decimate a crop.
In addition to causing direct damage to plants, snails and slugs can also act as carriers of disease. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent an infestation.
First, make sure to regularly clean up your garden. Remove dead leaves and debris, as these provide ideal places for snails and slugs to hide.
In addition, consider using traps or barriers. Copper tape or eggshells can create an impenetrable barrier for these slimy creatures.
Finally, if you already have an infestation, there are a number of effective snail and slug killers on the market.
How to Prevent Artichoke Pests
Artichokes are a delicious and healthy addition to any meal, but they can be difficult to grow due to pests. The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to deter pests from your artichoke plants.
Choose the Right Planting Location and Provide Proper Care
First, make sure to plant your artichokes in an area with well-drained soil. This will help to prevent root rot, which can attract pests.
Second, water your plants regularly, as dry conditions can also lead to problems with pests.
Keep your garden clean and free of debris, as this can provide a place for pests to hide.
Regularly Inspect Your Plants
The first step in preventing artichoke pests is to regularly inspect your plants. Look for signs of chewing or other damage, and be on the lookout for any strange-looking creatures. If you see anything suspicious, take action immediately.
Try Companion Planting
Gardeners have long known that certain plants can help to deter pests and improve the health of their crops. This is because plants produce chemicals that can either repel insects or attract beneficial predators.
Companion planting is a technique that takes advantage of these naturally occurring pesticides.
By planting certain crops next to each other, gardeners can create an ecosystem that is unfavorable for pests while still providing the nutrients that plants need to thrive.
For example, artichokes are often plagued by root-knot nematodes, tiny parasitic worms that feed on plant roots.
However, planting artichokes next to marigolds releases a chemical that kills root-knot nematodes, protecting the artichokes from damage.
Similarly, companion planting can also help to prevent aphids, whiteflies, and other destructive pests. In addition to pest control, companion planting can also improve soil fertility and increase crop yields.
Cut Back After Harvest
After you’ve enjoyed your delicious artichokes, it’s important to cut back the plant to prevent pests. If you don’t, you risk attracting Artichoke Plume Moths and other pests.
To prevent this from happening, simply cut the plant back after harvest. This will remove the egg-laying sites and give the plant a chance to regrow its leaves. As a bonus, this will also encourage the plant to produce more artichokes next season!
Try Beneficial Insects
There is a natural way to control these pests: beneficial insects. Ladybugs, green lacewings, and Minute pirate bugs are all predators that feast on smaller insects.
By releasing these beneficial insects into your garden, you can drastically reduce the population of harmful pests.
In addition, beneficial insects provide an important ecological service by helping to control the overall insect population.
One of the best ways to prevent artichoke pests is to destroy weeds. Weeds provide a safe haven for pests, and they can also compete with artichokes for resources like water and sunlight.
By keeping your garden free of weeds, you can create a hostile environment for pests and reduce the risk of infestation.
In addition, destroying weeds also helps to improve the overall health of your artichoke plants. With fewer competing plants, artichokes will have access to more resources and will be better able to resist disease.
Do Artichoke Plants Die Back?
Artichokes are notorious for dying back at the end of the season, and this natural process can be mistaken for a pest problem. The good news is that, in most cases, artichokes simply need to be cut back and composted.
So, if you see your artichokes starting to die back, don’t reach for the pesticides just yet.
Chances are, they’re just going through their natural cycle.
Although artichokes are a delicious and nutritious vegetable, they can be susceptible to pests.
By knowing what these pests are and how to get rid of them, you can enjoy your artichokes without having to worry about the damage done by unwelcome guests.
Have you had any problems with pests in your garden? Let us know in the comments below!
Rebekah is a full-time homesteader. On her 22 acres, she raises chickens, sheep, and bees, not to mention she grows a wide variety of veggies. She has a huge greenhouse and does lots of DIY projects with her husband in her ever-growing homesteading endeavor. Learn more about Rebekah here.