Gooseberries are very robust because of their thorns, but this plant is not immune to diseases and pests. Here is an overview of the most common gooseberry diseases and possible pests.Gooseberries have thorns, but they are no less susceptible to fungal diseases and other pests than other plants. On the contrary. Gooseberries in particular are particularly susceptible to mildew.
The yellow gooseberry wasp, the American gooseberry powdery mildew and the leaf fall disease are among the greatest dangers for gooseberry bushes in your garden. Find out here how to identify the respective infestation and which preventive and control measures you can take to protect the plants and fruits.
Possible diseases and pests at a glance
Yellow gooseberry wasp
The larvae of the yellow gooseberry wasp eat the leaves of the berry bush. Heavy infestation without determined control often leads to complete bald eating, which also spreads to the fruit. Typically, the damage to the bush's inner shoots begins and then gradually spreads to the outer area. You can easily recognize the larvae by their greenish-yellow bodies and studded with black spots.
The most important preventive measure is a loose, open cut of the shrub, which is also good for berry growth. Check the inner shoots regularly. As soon as you see the white, elongated eggs of the gooseberry wasp, collect them thoroughly. Shake the shrub vigorously. Overlooked larvae then fall off. An advanced infestation can unfortunately only be effectively combated with insecticides. Since the larvae of the yellow gooseberry wasp hibernate in the soil, it makes sense to exchange the soil under the bush for protection next year.
Leaf fall disease
If you discover yellowish spots on the leaves of the berry bush in rainy weather in the summer months, this is an indication of the leaf fall disease. The dots soon take on a darker color and expand into spots that eventually merge. The leaf turns yellow and falls off during the summer. The shrub does not die immediately, but is extremely weakened.
The leaf fall disease is caused by the harmful fungus Drepanopeziza ribis, which hibernates in the leaves of the gooseberry. The complete removal of all leaves is the first and most important control measure.
Before starting the growing season of next year, make sure to light the shrub to ensure good leaf ventilation.
American gooseberry powdery mildew
An infestation with American gooseberry powdery mildew can be recognized by a dirty-white discoloration of the shoot tips, the leaves and the fruit. Unfortunately, the disease cannot be completely ruled out even with varieties that are marked in the trade as mildew-resistant.
Remove all affected parts of the plant as soon as you identify an infestation. Shorten the shoots, which do not fall victim to the annual rejuvenation cut anyway, by a third before the start of the next growing season. The fungus prefers to hibernate in the tips of the shoots.