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A. Pest B. Diseases
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B. Diseases

The coconut palm is affected by a number of diseases, some of which are lethal while others gradually reduce the vigour of the palm causing severe loss in yield. A brief account of the important coconut diseases is given.






Bud rot

Leaf rot

Stem Bleeding

Root (wilt) disease

Tanjavur wilt






Crown chocking

Leaf blight or Grey Leaf Spot

Tatipaka Disease





I. Bud Rot

Bud Rot


  1. The earlier symptom is the yellowing of one or two younger leaves. Black spots appear on spindle leaves.

  2. In the later stages the spindle withers and drops down. 

  3. The tender leaf base and soft tissues of the crown rot into a slimy mass of decayed material emitting foul smell. 

  4. Ultimately the entire crown falls down and the palm dies.

Control measures 

  1. Remove all affected tissue of the crown and apply Bordeaux paste on cut end and provide a protective covering till normal shoot emerges (Dissolve 100 gm of copper sulphate and 100 gm of quick lime each in 500ml. water separately and mix to form 1 litre of Bordeaux paste).

  2. Spray 1% Bordeaux mixture on the crown of the neighbouring palms as a prophylatic measure. 

  3. Spray with 1% Bordeaux mixture during May and September if the disease occur frequently.

  4. Cut and burn severely affected palms which cannot be saved.


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II. Leaf Rot


  1. Blackening and shriveling up of distal ends of the leaflets in the central spindle and younger leaves which later break off in bits.

  2. Gradual weakening of the tree resulting in decline yield.


Control measures 

  1. Improve general condition of palms through proper manuring and management. 

  2. Remove the decayed portions of spindle leaf and upmost two leaves only.

  3. Pour fungicide solution of Hexaconazol (Contaf 5E) - 2ml or Mancozeb (Dithane M45/Indifil M45) - 3g in 300ml water per palm to the base of spindle leaf.

  4. Apply 20g Phorate 10G mixed with 200g fine sand around the base of spindle leaf. 

  5. 2-3 rounds of spraying is sufficient in case of mild infection.

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III. Stem Bleeding

Stem Bleeding


  1. Exudation of reddish brown liquid through cracks developing on the stem. 

  2. Decaying of tissues at bleeding point 

  3. Vigour and yield declining. 

  4. Development of big holes inside the trunk


Control measures 

  1. Chisel affected tissue and dress the wound with 5% Calixin (5ml in 100ml water). Apply coal tar after 2 days. Burn off chiselled pieces. 

  2. Avoid any mechanical injury to the stem. 

  3. To avoid spread of disease on to upper portion of trunk, root feeding with 5% calixin may be adopted 3 times a year - April-May, Spetember-October and January-February.

  4. Along with 50kg organic manure, apply 5kg neem cake containing the antagonistic fungi, Trichoderma culture to the basin during September.

  5. Provide adequate irrigation during summer and drainage during rainy season.

  6. Apply recommended doses of organic manures and chemical fertilizers.

  7. Coconut stem boring insects like Xyleborus, Diocalandra should be controlled by applying Carbaryl 50% WP on the trunk @ 3g per litre water.

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IV. Root (wilt) Disease

Root wilt


  1. Abnormal bending or ribbing of the leaflets, flaccidity of the leaves, general yellowing followed by marginal necrosis of the leaflets. 

  2. Abnormal shedding of buttons, reduced leaves and crown, gradual reduction in yield.

Control Measures

Being a non-lethal, debilitating disease an integrated approach is to be followed for management of root wilt.

  1. Recommended control measures for leafrot disease as this disease gets superimposed on most of the root wilt affected palms. 

  2. Follow integrated nutrient management
    apply organic manure @ 50kg / palm / year.
    apply balanced dose of chemical fertilizers i.e. 500g Nitrogen (1.1kg urea), 300g Phosphorus (1.7kg Mussouriphos), 1000g Potassium (1.7kg Muriate of potash) in two splits - 1/3rd during April-May and 2/3rd during September-October under rainfed condition and in four splits during January, April, July and October under irrigated condition. In addition to this 500g MgO (1kg Magnesium sulphate) also has to be applied along with second dose of fertilizer application.

  3. Cut and remove disease advanced, uneconomical palms yielding less than 10 nuts per palm per year. 

  4. Grow green manure crops - cowpea, sunhemp (Crotalaria juncea), Mimosa invisa, Calapagonium mucanoides, Pueraria phaseoloides etc. may be sown in coconut basins during April-May and incorporated during September-October.

  5. Irrigate coconut palms with at least 250 litre water in a week.

  6. Adopt suitable inter/mixed cropping in coconut gardens.

  7. Provide adequate drainage facilities.

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VI. Tanjavur wilt

Tanjavur wilt


  1. Decay of finer nuts, withering, yellowing, drooping and drying of outer whorl of leaves and exudation of reddish brown fluid at the base of the trunk.

Control Measures 

  1. Practice growing banana as intercrop in coconut. 

  2. Root feeding with Calixin (2ml in 100ml water) once in 3 months.

  1. Drench the basin with 25 litre of 0.1% Calixin.

  2. Apply neem cake containing Trichoderma @ 5kg /palm/year.

  3. Apply recommended dose of organic manures.

  4. Avoid flood irrigation and follow drip irrigation.

  5. Practice clean cultivation and burn off diseased plant pests.

  6. Isolate infected palms by taking trenches of 1m depth and 0.5m width around the palm at 1.5m away from it.

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