Are you a new home gardener impatiently waiting for your crops to yield you a bountiful harvest? Or are you on the lookout for crops that would be ready to be reaped in a jiffy? Then radish is just the plant for you.
Every gardener’s dream plant, radish can grow anywhere from farms, gardens, and lawns to medium-sized containers kept on your roof or balcony. With just a little amount of care and the right climatic conditions, you can grow the perfect radishes in no time.
A native of Asia, radish is a root vegetable grown in all parts of the world. Coming in numerous shapes, sizes, and colors, these vegetables have a peppery, almost spicy taste.
Also Read: Why Potato Leaves Turning Yellow/Back?
Abundant in antioxidants, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin C, radish helps your body fight off infections, reduces risks of heart diseases, helps in lowering high blood pressure and improves liver function.
Though these root vegetables might not be a particular favorite for you, they can take on starring roles in some finger-licking dishes. Serve them raw with butter and salt, pickle them, toss them in risottos, roast them, use them in delicious salads, or go for the million varieties of Indian ‘mooli ki sabzi’ who’s recipes you’ll find scattered all over the internet- these vegetables will surprise you with their zingy and peppery taste.
However easy and favorable growing radishes might seem, as all gardeners would tell you, you can grow no vegetables without facing the little cultivating problems that would invariably come with them. Radishes too can take away your peaceful night’s sleep with signs of pest infestations and unknown growing problems that would threaten your harvest.
One of the most common problems with radish plants is that of radish leaves turning yellow. This problem can be caused by a large variety of reasons, including the overcrowding of the seedlings, the presence of weeds in the garden, nutrient deficiency, diseases, or even lack of sunlight.
If your radishes have been tormented by the yellowing of leaves leaving you confused, frustrated, and hopeless, you are at the right place.
In this article, we have assorted a list of common causes of this problem and some of the most effective solutions so that you can put an end to your worries and enjoy a delightful harvest at the end of the growing season. So read on and find out the causes and solutions to this never-ending problem.
Also Read: Spinach Leaves Turning Yellow
Introduction: Know What Your Plants Need
In general, radishes need loose, well-drained, and fertile soil. These cool-weather plants grow best during spring or fall and need full exposure to sunlight.
Doing best in temperatures between 50°F to 70°F, radishes start flowering when temperatures are higher. Although most varieties of radish are ready to be harvested in as little as three weeks, some varieties take about 50 to 60 days.
These vegetables do not need excessive watering, but too little water can spoil their texture and taste and make them woody. Make sure that your radish planting beds are mostly moist, but not dripping wet. Overwatering leads the plants to develop fungus, which they are already prone to.
Radish plants need fertile, porous soil for their proper growth. Make sure that your soil has been manured well with organic compost that can provide the plants with the much-needed nutrients.
However, do not plant radish seedlings on freshly manured soils. Even though radish plants are generally hardy, a lack of basic care can easily destroy your harvest.
Why Do Radish Leaves Turn Yellow?
Now that you have acquired some idea about how to grow radish plants, let us now discuss one of the most common problems affecting these plants.
Yellowing of radish leaves is a major concern among radish cultivators all over the world. One of the most discussed problems, this can be caused by a variety of reasons, many of which often claim a large section of the harvest.
Most of these problems arise from soil conditions, climatic changes, and diseases and pests that affect your plant underneath the soil. While these problems are majorly ascribed to diseases and pests, other causes like nutritional deficiency and climatic maladjustments can be equally dangerous. Let us take a look at some of the most common causes of this problem.
Also Read: Why Eggplant Leaves Turning Yellow?
Radish plants are affected by a host of fungal infections, whose most common symptom is yellowing leaves. The yellow spots found on leaves, which may end up wilting, is just a symptom of the infection. If the problem is not identified in time and is left untreated, plants may die leading to greatly reduced harvest.
#1 Septoria leaf spot:
One of the most common fungal diseases found in root vegetables, Septoria leaf spot has been the cause of anguish for many gardeners across the globe. The yellow spots arising from this disease look like water blotches with gray-colored centers.
Septoria can affect plants at any stage of their growth. It forms in the soil under wet conditions and damp, warm weather helps it to spread. While it is not completely fatal, it can weaken your radishes and hinder their growth and maturation.
When you see your radish leaves become brittle, with yellowing between the veins, know that your plants have the dreaded Blackleg. This fungal infection causes your treasured radish underneath the soil to turn slimy and black, doing the same to its stems.
If this disease affects even one of your radish plants, it will spread to all the others in the garden before you know. The leaves of your infected plants would soon curl up and the leaf margins would turn brown. Blackleg can be fatal to the plants as it gets to the roots in no time.
#3 Stem rot:
Another dreaded disease that yellow leaves might be indicating is called stem rot. Under this condition, mostly caused by waterlogging and wet soil, along with yellowing leaves the plants would also show symptoms like red, oval blotches at the base of the stems and red streaks along the plant body.
This problem is also known as Fusarium root or Rhizoctonia and affects various other plants. The fungi causing this disease thrives well in warm soil and damp conditions.
#4 Club root:
Caused by overwatering and soil deficiency, club root is a dangerous disease that poses a serious threat to your labored-after harvest. Apart from causing the leaves of the radish plants to turn yellow, club root also leads to swelling up of the radishes with large tumor-like galls.
If your soil has a low pH level, and if you are overwatering your plants, this fungi is most likely to invade your garden. With a long life of about 18 years, this fungi is really hard to get rid of once it has infected the soil. Unless handled effectively, these fungi can keep affecting your plants every year.
Also Read: White Lines on Tomato Leaves
Caused by a microorganism closely related to algae, Downy mildew is a very common infection affecting numerous varieties of plants. With its growth mostly appearing on the lower leaves of the plants, this disease requires you to overwater your plants to live and spread.
Mostly found in regions with cooler temperatures your radishes are most likely to be infected by downy mildew if sown in spring. More often than not, this disease causes the leaves not only to develop yellow spots but also to show a mottling pattern.
The color of the spots on the leaves can also be green, black, or purple depending upon a large number of factors. This disease can be really fatal to your radish crops as it leaves the plant stunted, hindering its growth, and causes leaf loss. In severe cases, the plants might even die.
Yellow leaves on radish plants are also frequently caused by pests which are a huge concern for radish cultivators. Leafhoppers, acting as vectors, can bring in the virus called Aster yellows into your garden. This mycoplasma disease is a serious threat to your plants as it spreads very fast and there is no cure for plants that have been infected.
Another feared pest is the Harlequin bug which sucks fluids from your plant cells, causing your plants to wilt. By the time you can visibly see yellowing leaves, much of the damage has been done. Other symptoms of this pest include wilting of the plants, deformation of the leaves, dotted marks, and yellow or white spots.
The deficiency of nitrogen causes leaves to lose color and then yellow in a large number of plants. However, in the case of radish plants, this is a rare situation as radish is not a heavy eater. If the nitrogen levels in your soil are too low, leaves are bound to turn yellow.
If you had been wondering why are my radish leaves turning yellow, hopefully now you have the answer. However, mere knowledge does not save your radish plants. To make sure that you do not lose your treasured vegetables, you must identify the problem in time.
In most cases, gardeners end up losing their harvest to fungal diseases and pests solely because they were late in discovering the symptoms. To avoid this, you must keep a watchful eye over your plants as they gradually grow and near maturity. Proper care and vigilance alone can make sure your plants give you a healthy batch of delicious radishes.
Listed below are some of the most effective solutions to yellow radish leaves.
- Fungal diseases can infect your plants only when you practice overwatering. Wet soils and damp weather conditions encourage the growth of fungus which prove fatal to radish plants. Therefore watch the amount of water you provide your plants with. That being said, it is also important to make sure that your plants are not going completely without water. The best way to ensure this would be to check the moisture in the soil. In an ideal condition, the soils should be moist, not dripping wet.
- Once your plants have been infected by a fungal disease or a pest, you should remove the leaves as quickly as possible to prevent the spread. In case your plants have blackleg, you might have to uproot the severely infected plants to ensure that the disease does not spread to the other plants.
- The practice of crop rotation is a good way to treat the soil to prevent the spread of infection to future crops. Plant legumes and cereals after radishes so that the fungi in the soil die out.
- Check the soil properly before planting radishes. Have the soil tested to make sure that the pH levels are not too low. Also, check the levels of nitrogen and other minerals in the soil. In case your soil does lack in any mineral, add the required fertilizers.
- Make sure your plants get at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.
- Before planting your radishes prepare the soil by removing all weeds and debris. Add old manure and compost to facilitate speedy growth.
- Use organic fungicides to treat fungal diseases.