Disease:Slow decline/Slow wilt

This is a debilitating disease of pepper found in all pepper growing areas of Kerala.

  • disease 22
  • disease 23
  • disease 24


  • Foliar yellowing, die back of aerial stems, occasional tip burn, interveinal chlorosis and flaccidity of leaves are some of the foliar symptoms.
  • Foliar yellowing starts after the North-West monsoon (October-November) and reaches its maximum during summer (April-May).
  • The root system of the affected vines shows the presence of root knots and root necrosis leading to varying degrees of root degeneration.
  • The affected plants dies within 2-5 years.
  • This disease is a fungal nematode complex coupled with moisture stress and malnutrition. Pathogenicity of Meloidogyne incognita and Radopholus similis has been established.
  • Association of Rhizoctonia sp., Fusarium sp and Diplodia sp with root system of wilt affected black pepper also has been confirmed. Slow wilt incidence is generally noticed in neglected gardens.

Procedure for Observation

Observe 20 standards selected at random from the plot. Look for typical symptom of slow decline. Examine the roots of diseased vines for the presence of root knots or root necrosis.


  • Mere presence of the disease.
  • Control Measures

  • There is no spatial segregation of plant parasitic nematode and fungi under field conditions.Hence, a holistic approach must be taken to check nematodes and fungi.
  • Raise pepper cuttings in solarized nursery mixture.Use nematode free rooted cutting for planting.Apply green mulch of Eupatorium odoratum at the rate of 45tonnes /ha.
  • Selection of standards tolerant or resistant to nematodes. Garuga pinnata and Erythrina indica are less susceptible to nematodes.
  • Treat the vines with native isolates of Mycorrhizae/Trichoderma/Paecelomyces lilacinus/Pseudomonas/Bacillus macerans/B.cerculans at the time of planting in the nursery as well as in the main field.Assure root mealy bug control if observed.