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My potato plants are wilting

Updated November 22, 2016

Potatoes are an easy crop to grow and they grow successfully throughout the UK. Problems occasionally crop up and potato plants wilt or die from fungus or improper drainage.

Identification

Wilted potato leaves turn yellow or brown and then die. Often the lower leaves become discoloured first or the leaves on one side of the plant. In some cases, the entire plant appears droopy and wilted.

Causes

Some kinds of wilt, such as verticillium wilt and fusarium wilt are caused by fungi, which attack the potato plant and cause the death of the leaves and wilting. Poor drainage and lack of proper aeration also cause wilting problems.

Solutions

If fungus caused the wilt, it may not be possible to save the damaged plants. Remove and destroy them immediately after harvest, and avoid planting potatoes in that area for several years. Wilt caused by poor drainage can be remedied by increasing soil drainage.

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