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Leaf Nematodes
(Aphelenchoides olesistus)


Leaf Nematodes are microscopic, unsegmented worms which actually feed from within African Violets, entering the plant through wounds or leaf pores (stomata). In almost all cases, Leaf Nematodes are fatal to African Violets. The best control for Leaf Nematodes is, therefore, prevention.

Distinguishing Symptoms

If your African Violet has these symptoms, it probably has Leaf Nematodes.

Other Symptoms


Unfortunately, the only effective treatment for Leaf Nematodes requires the use of Metasystox or Vydate, neither of which is available without a pesticide license. Unless you have one of these, your only remedy is to dispose of the affected plants. If the Nematodes are not too far advanced, you may be able to remove all the leaves and repot the crown. If you try this, however, be sure to isolate it in case the crown is infested.


Always isolate new plants until you can positively determine that they are not infested.

Thoroughly wash hands before handling your plants.

Before repotting, pasteurize soil and disinfect pots with a 10 percent bleach solution, i.e., 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Always isolate new African Violets until you can determine that they are not infested.

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