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Root Nematodes
(Meloidogyne incognita)

Also known as Root Knot Nematodes


Root Nematodes are microscopic, unsegmented worms which actually feed within the roots of African Violets. In almost all cases, Root Nematodes are fatal to African Violets. The best control for Root Nematodes is, therefore, prevention.

Distinguishing Symptoms

If your African Violet has this symptom, there is a strong possibility that it has Root 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.

You many also want to try adding soil amendments containing seaweed or humic acids. These natural amendments have been shown to reduce the incidence of Root Nematodes.

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