What causes large buds on blackcurrant bushes?
Posted by Dobies Staff on 17 November 2014 01:28 pm

Blackcurrant Gall Mites can be a serious pest. The buds become abnormally large and rounded in shape, failing to develop further into leaves or shoots. Each big bud will contain hundreds of microscopic white mites which can spread reversion disease.

The mites breed in the buds during summer and autumn and many will over winter in them. There is an increase in numbers from January onwards. When the buds start to open in March and April the mites disperse, invading young healthy buds that will develop in the following season. The mites can only crawl a short distance but can be spread by wind, rain or on flying insects such as aphids. Dispersal occurs mainly during warm, humid weather conditions in May and June. By July the mites are established and breeding in the dormant buds where they remain until the following spring.

Keep a close watch on the bushes during winter and early spring removing and burning any swollen buds. It is very difficult to control established colonies and plants badly infected with big bud should be burnt, as there is no chemical control available.

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