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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Management of Banana Leaf Diseases

Mycosphaerella musicola, Cordana musae
Sri Lanka

Recognize the problem

With the popularization of intensive cultivation technologies, such as high density planting, Banana leaf diseases are emerging as important problems. Poor field sanitation conditions and unaware farmers aggravates the problem.


There are two common leaf diseases.
  1. Sigatoka Leaf spot    2. Cordana Leaf Spot
          Symptoms may emerge in any growth stage of the plant. Initial symptoms appear in the bottom leaves as yellow spots. Later, these spots become brownish to black and form a yellow margin around. Then, the spots coalesce and the leaf tends to die. The diseases spread to healthy plants through wind and water.


  • Use field tolerant cultivars such as Seeni (Embul and Kolikuttu are susceptible so do not use these)
  • Use proper spacing in order to avoid mutual shading and contact of leaves (8x8 to 12x12 ft2)
  • Make sure that new plantations are an appropriate distance from existing disease affected plantations
  • Avoid sprinkler irrigation to minimize the relative humidity of the microenvironment. Drip irrigation is preferred.
  • Balanced fertilization (avoid excess N fertilizer)
  • Avoid high density planting methods for highly susceptible cultivars and high risk areas such as some areas of Down South in Dry Zone.
  • Remove infected leaves and burn them
  • Practice field sanitation by removing old dried hanging leaves
  • If the fourth leaf from the bottom is infected, chemical control measures should be applied. Alternate sprays of a contact fungicide, e.g. chlorothalonil 500g/l SC (30ml/ 10l) or mancozeb 75% WG (20g/ 10l) and a systemic fungicide, e.g. Tebuconazole 250g/l EW (3.5 ml/10l) or Propiconazole 250g/l EC (3.5 ml/ 10l). Make sure the spray reaches the top of the leaves

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Sri Lanka

Authors: W.A.R.T. Wikramaarachchi, M. T. Gunasena, Sakila Banu, Disna Rathnasinghe

©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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