What is wrong with my Brussels sprouts?

Asked July 25, 2015, 1:51 PM EDT

What's eating our pot-grown Brussels sprouts, and what can we do to fix it?

James City County Virginia

3 Responses

Hi! I'm working on the question you submitted to the "ask an expert" forum. Can you please describe the symptoms you are experiencing on your Brussels sprouts? Have you noticed any insects on the plants?

we are unable to see any insects or other creatures in or around the plants. All the leaves have holes in them. Some leaves are nearly gone. There are two plants in two pots which share the back yard with peppers, tomatoes and onions in pots. All are thriving except the sprouts. The Brussels are beginning to sprout on the stems and are about a half inch in diameter.

I believe the holes may be caused by a tiny insect known as a flea beetle, but without seeing the damage or the insect, I can't say for certain. Diseases can also cause holes in the leaves, but these would normally start out as yellow areas/lesions that eventually turn into holes. If the overall health of the plant seems to be o.k., then again, we are probably looking at flea beetles.

The Pest Management Guide for Virginia lists several products for flea beetle management in brussels sprouts. This publication can be found at http://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/456/456-018/456-018-15-Home-grounds-and-animals.pdf