Protection for Tuberose: Managing Pests and Diseases


Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is celebrated for its captivating fragrance and elegant flowers, making it a favorite among gardeners and floral enthusiasts. However, the cultivation of tuberose comes with its share of challenges, particularly from pests and diseases that can mar its beauty and reduce its vigor. Based on specific pests identified, here are targeted strategies to protect tuberose effectively.

Battling Bud Borer (Helicoverpa armigera)

The bud borer is a significant pest, primarily damaging flowers by boring into buds and feeding on them. This action not only ruins the aesthetic appeal of the flowers but can also diminish the overall health of the plant.

Control Measures

Regular collection and destruction of damaged buds can significantly reduce further damage. Light traps are effective in controlling the population by attracting and capturing the pests. Chemical treatments with Endosulphan (0.07%) or Methyl Parathion (0.05%) sprayed at the first sign of egg presence on buds can control borer damage effectively. Alternatively, a 1% Neem oil solution provides a natural repellent to various stages of the pest.

Aphid Infestations

Aphids are small, often clustered insects that can be green, deep purple, or black. They damage tuberose by feeding on flower buds and young leaves.

Control Measures

Aphid populations can be managed by spraying infected plants with Malathion at a concentration of 0.1%, repeated every 15 days to ensure effectiveness.

Grasshopper Damage

Grasshoppers target young leaves and flower buds, causing significant aesthetic and physical damage to plants, especially during the rainy season.

Control Measures

Dusting plants with 5% Cythione, DDT, or Folidol dust can deter grasshoppers. Physical removal of egg masses and the use of netting can also protect young plants. Chemical sprays with Quinalphos (0.05%), Malathion (0.1%), or Carbaryl (0.2%) offer additional protection for foliage.

Red Spider Mites

Thriving in hot, dry conditions, these mites attack the underside of leaves, creating webs and causing yellow streaks or discoloration on foliage.

Control Measures

Effective control can be achieved by spraying with Kelthane at a 1.2% concentration to eliminate mite populations.

Rodent Threats

Rodents can cause considerable damage to tuberose plants by burrowing around them, affecting plant stability and health.

Control Measures

Poison baits, such as 'Roban', can be effectively used to manage rodent populations in tuberose fields.

Thrips Invasion

Thrips are sap-sucking pests that attack leaves, flower stalks, and flowers, potentially leading to the malformation of inflorescences, known as 'bunchy top'.

Control Measures

Spraying plants with 0.1% Malathion can control thrips effectively, preventing damage and disease spread.

Weevil (Myllocerus sp) Damage

Weevils, particularly active at night, feed on the edges of leaves and shoots, while their larvae target roots and bulbs.

Control Measures

Application of BHC dust (10%) in the soil before planting is effective in controlling larvae, preventing damage to the plant's foundational structures.


The successful cultivation of tuberose requires vigilance and proactive management of pests and diseases. By employing a combination of cultural practices, biological controls, and chemical treatments as needed, gardeners can protect their tuberose plants from common threats, ensuring their garden remains a fragrant and visually appealing sanctuary.