Protecting Your Lauki: Essential Tips for Controlling Pests and Diseases

Bottle Gourd Pests, Diseases (Lauki), Control
Protecting Your Lauki: Essential Tips for Controlling Pests and Diseases

Introduction to Bottle gourd pests, disease and control methods: The bottle gourd is a very important vegetable crop in India and it belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. Bottle gourd is also known as lauki, ghia or dudhi in India.  The Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) plant is affected by many more diseases. It occurs almost on all the cultivated cucurbits. The diseases are confined mostly to the plant leaves, although the fruit of infected. Bottle gourd plants may be of poor quality resulting from the loss of foliage.

A step by step guide to Bottle gourd pests, disease and control

The vegetable in green stage and leaves with stem are used as a vegetable and the hard shell of the Bottle Gourd is used for a different purpose. In this article we also discussed below topics;

  1. Pests attack in Bottle gourd
  2. Diseases of Bottle gourd
  3. Protect Bottle gourd from insects
  4. Organic pest control in Bottle gourd
  5. Growing conditions for Bottle gourd

You can apply this pests and diseases information for growing Bottle gourd in pots, growing Bottle gourd from seed, growing Bottle gourd at home, growing Bottle gourd from seed indoors, growing Bottle gourd on the terrace, growing Bottle gourd in the backyard, growing Bottle gourd in the balcony, growing Bottle gourd outdoors, and growing Bottle gourd in containers.

Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) is an annual, vigorous, climbing vine with large leaves and has white flowers. Bottle gourds come in many shapes and sizes. They are;

  1. Round (called calabash)
  2. High round
  3. Cylindrical
  4. Bottle
  5. Long

The plant grows quickly and vigorously, spreading over large areas.

Conditions for growing Bottle gourd

  1. Bottle gourd requires a minimum temperature of 18°C during early growth, but optimal temperatures are in the range of 24 to 27°C. The crop can tolerate low-temperature ranges, but extreme cool temperatures will retard growth and frost will kill the plant.
  2. The Bottle gourd plants are adapted to a wide variety of rainfall conditions. Bottle gourd tolerates a wide range of soil but requires a well-drained sandy loam soil that is rich in organic matter. The optimum soil pH level is 6.0 to 6.7, but plants tolerate alkaline soils up to pH 8.0
  3. Growing bottle gourd in pot or ground – Bottle gourd can be grown in-ground in the garden or pot. If you plant bottle gourd in a pot, select a wide and deep pot, at least 50 cm diameter, also you can plant a bottle gourd type that grows slowly or remains short.
  4. If you have a small place to grow bottle gourd, you can grow it in a pot, spread the vine on trellis or roof. If you are growing Bottle gourd on your terrace, then spread the plant on the fencing (the outer wall on the terrace).
  5. When to plant bottle gourd – Bottle gourd is a summer-growing vegetable plant. Raise the seedlings in 4-inch pot indoors (growing vegetables from seeds) or ground by sowing 2 seeds, half-inch deep. And keep the pot moist.
  6. Germination of Bottle gourd – The bottle gourd seeds are slow in germination, could take from 7 to 25 days to germinate depending on the soil temperature. You can soak the Bottle gourd seeds in water overnight to speed up germination. Use only the Bottle gourd seeds that go to the bottom of the soaking bowl. When the seeds germinate and the plants grow 2-3 leaves, transplant them to the final place and discard the weaker plants.
  7. When each main vine grows to about 6 to 8 feet long, cut off the growing tip. This will force the plant to produce side branches that will produce fruit much sooner, more flowers and fruits.
  8. Spray seaweed solution or liquid fertilizer or comfrey tea fertilizer regularly every 3rd week to the plant. The plant can grow to over 15 ft, so they want solid support to climb by the tendrils or trellis along the stem.
  9. Bottle gourd fruits are harvested at a tender stage when it grows to one third to half. Fruits attain edible maturity 10 to 12 days after anthesis and judged by pressing on fruit skin and noting pubescence persisting on skin. At edible maturity gourd seeds are soft. Bottle gourd seeds become hard and the flesh turns coarse and dry during aging. And tender fruits with a cylindrical shape are preferred in the market.
  10. The time of harvest in bottle gourd is very important. When the bottle gourd begins to change color or becoming yellowish, and it is time to harvest it. You must be able to pierce your nail in it easily. Harvest the Bottle gourd with at least one inch of stem attached. If the fruit becomes hard and you cannot pierce your nails in it, it is over-ripe and not good for cooking but good for decoration purposes. Over-ripe gourds are good for making seeds, which can be used to grow gourds next year.


  1. Removing weeds and diseased gourd plants from fields can reduce the chance of infections. Maintaining clean and sanitized tools, some machines and hands can help.
  2. The use of resistant varieties is another way farmers control virus spread.
  3. Vector control by using systemic insecticides (Metasystox 0.1%) and resistant cultivars have been developed recently.
  4. Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus of Bottle gourd
  5. Some of the seedlings symptoms are severe infections cotyledons may become yellow but more often symptoms are not seen until the 1st or 2nd leaf stage. Leaf symptoms are mottling and mosaic on leaves, fruit mottling and distortion. Early symptoms contain vein clearing and crumpling on young leaves while mature leaves become bleached and chlorotic. Fruit symptoms can be symptomless, at least externally, or can become severely spotted or streaked and distorted, especially during high temperatures.
  6. Management
  7. Seed treatment methods are;
  8. Plant virus-free seed
  9. Rouging of infected plants
  10. Crop rotation may be applied
  1. Shoot and fruit borer
  • Remove the affected terminal shoot showing boreholes
  • Remove the affected fruits and destroy
  • Spray Neem oil
  1. Beetles and caterpillars
  • Handpick off the plants
  • Dislodge with jet water spray
  1. Damping-off and Nematode
  • Treat the gourd seeds with Trichoderma viride or Pseudomonas fluorescens 24 hours before sowing
  • Apply Pseudomonas fluorescens as soil application
  • Avoid water stagnation
  1. Spider mites and Aphids
  • Spray homemade garlic and insecticidal soap solution
  1. Leaf spot
  • Remove the affected plants in the early stages to control this pest
  1. Fruit fly
  • Remove the affected fruits and destroy them.
  1. Downey mildew
  • Prune plants to improve air circulation
  • Water in the morning then plants have a chance to dry during the day
  1. Powdery mildew
  • Mix about 1 part milk with 9 parts water and spray the stems and tops of leaves with the solution. Reapply after rain.
  • Spraying leaves with baking soda (1 teaspoon in 1-quart water) raise the pH level, creating an inhospitable environment for powdery mildew.

Posted 1 year ago

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