Diseases of Arecanut

Major diseases of Arecanut are:-

1.Arecanut Foot rot or Anabe roga: Ganoderma lucidum

foot rot of arecanut

  • The leaf lets in the outer holes of leaves become yellow and spread to the whole leaf and the leaves drooping down covering the stem.
  • Later, the inner whole leaves also become yellow. Subsequently, all the leaves droop, dry up and fall off, leaving the stem alone.
  • Then the stem also becomes brittle and easily broken by heavy wind.
  • The base of the stem shows brown discoloration and oozing of dark fluid.
  • Bracket shaped fructifications of the fungus called ‘anabe’ appear at the base of the trunk. Roots become discoloured, brittle and dried.
  • When the infected trunk is cut brown discoloration can be seen up to one metre from ground level.
  • Clean cultivation
  • Destruction of infected trees and stumps
  • Maintaining optimal plant population without over crowding.
  • Providing good drainage facility and fertilizers and manures.
  • Digging trenches to avoid root contact from diseased to healthy.
  • Drench 1% Bordeaux mixture at frequent intervals.


2.Arecanut Yellow leaf disease: Phytoplasma

arecanut yellow leaf disease

  • Yellowing of tips of leaflets in 2 or 3 leaves of the outermost whorl.
  • Brown necrotic streaks run parallel to veins in unfolded leaves.
  • The yellowing extends to the middle of the lamina. Tips of the chlorotic leaves dry up. In advanced stage all the leaves become yellow.
  • Finally, the crown leaves fall off leaving of a bare trunk. Root tips turn black and gradually rot.
  • Maintain trees in seed vigour.
  • Growing resistant varieties like true Mangala and south Kanara
  • Application of potassium and magnesium more than the recommended level.


3.Arecanut Mahali / kolerogo/ fruit rot: Phytophthora arecae

Arecanut mahali

  • Rotting and excessive shedding of immature nuts from the trees.
  • The water soaked spots initially develop at the base of the nut. Fruit stalks and rachis of the inflorescence are also affected.
  • Nuts show large vacuoles and dark brown radial strands.
  • Very often the top of the affected trees dries up resulting in the withering of leaves and bunches.
  • Affected nuts fall off and show the white mycelial growth of the fungus.
  • Clean cultivation
  • Destruction of affected trees.
  • Collection and burning of fallen nuts.
  • Spray with Bordeaux mixture 1% before on the set of the monsoon and second spray 40-45.


4.Arecanut Bud rot: Phytophthora arecae

bud rot of Arecanut

  • The first symptom is the change of spindle leaf colour from green to yellow and then brown.
  • The leaves rot and the growing bud rots causing the death of the palm.
  • The affected young leaf whorl can be easily pulled off.
  • The outer leaves also become yellow and drop off one by one leaving a bare stem.
  • Destruction and removal of dead palms and bunches affected by mahali disease and drenching crowns with Bordeaux mixture 1% including surrounding healthy palms.


5. Inflorescence die back of Arecanut  and button shedding: Colletotrichum gloeosporioides

Arecanut die back

  • The disease appears on rachillae of the male flowers and then in the main rachis as brownish patches which soon spread from tip downwards covering the entire rachis causing wilting.
  • The female flowers of the infected rachis shed and the whole inflorescence show ‘die back’ symptom.
  • The fruiting bodies of the fungus, (conidia ) appear as concentric rings in the discoloured areas.
  • The disease is severe mostly during dry condition. (February – March)
  • Spraying with COC 0.25% or Mancozeb 0.2%




  • TamilNadu Agritech Portal
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