How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Verticillium Wilt

Pathogen: Verticillium dahliae

(Reviewed 4/10, updated 4/10, pesticides updated 5/16)

In this Guideline:


Verticillium dahliae can infect eggplant plants at any growth stage. Symptoms include yellowing and drooping of leaves on a few branches or on the entire plant. The edges of the leaves roll inward on infected plants, and foliar wilting ensues. The foliage of severely infected plants turns brown and dry. Plants infected early in the season can be severely stunted with small leaves that turn yellow-green. Subsequently, the dried leaves and shriveled fruits remain attached to plants that die. Brown discoloration of the vascular tissue is visible when the roots and lower stem of a wilted plant are cut longitudinally. Root rots also cause similar foliar symptoms; however, root rots cause extensive browning and rotting of the root cortex, while the roots of V. dahliae-infected eggplant plants show no external discoloration or decay.

Comments on the Disease

Verticillium wilt, caused by Verticillium dahliae, is a soilborne fungus that colonizes the vascular tissues of plants. Verticillium dahliae has a broad host range, causing vascular discoloration and wilt of many economically important crops. Microsclerotia produced by V. dahliae may survive under field conditions for up to 14 years in the absence of a host. The microsclerotia germinate in the vicinity of host roots and cause infection. Verticillium wilt is favored by cool air and soil temperatures.


Soil fumigation of V. dahliae using chloropicrin (most effective) or metam sodium is effective. Because of the longevity of microsclerotia and the broad host range of V. dahliae, crop rotation is usually not a feasible option for control of Verticillium wilt in many crops. However, rotations with broccoli, corn, wheat, barley, sorghum or safflower for a period of at least 2 years (the longer the rotation, the better) can reduce inoculum. These crops are not hosts for the Verticilliumpathogen, and populations of the pathogen will decline in fields where host plants are not present. In any case, do not replant eggplants in the field for a minimum of 3 years. There are no known varieties with resistance.

While solarizationis very effective against Verticillium, its use is limited because the process is done during the middle of summer, which interrupts the growing cycle of the eggplants. Beds that are solarized are actually being prepared for planting the following year. For more information see Soil Solarization for Gardens and Landscapes or UC Publication 21377 Soil Solarization: A Nonpesticidal Method for Controlling Diseases, Nematodes, and Weeds.

Common name Amount per acre** REI‡ PHI‡
(Example trade name)   (hours) (days)

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  (InLine) Label rates See label NA
  COMMENTS: Multi-purpose liquid fumigant for the preplant treatment of soil against plant-parasitic nematodes, symphylans and certain soil-borne pathogens using drip irrigation systems only. Use of a plastic mulch or tarp seal is mandatory for all applications of this product.
  (Vapam) Label rates See label NA
  COMMENTS: For use in sprinkler, drip, or furrow-irrigated fields. Apply with enough water to penetrate 18 to 24 inches and treat at least 50% of planting bed width. Follow recommended waiting period on label before planting to avoid injury to plants.
** See label for dilution rates.
Restricted entry interval (REI) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing.
* Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
NA Not applicable.



[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Eggplant
UC ANR Publication 3475


J. J. Stapleton, UC IPM, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier
R. M. Davis, Plant Pathology, UC Davis

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