Wilting Cauliflowers

Just noticed several of my cauliflower plants are not putting on growth and have wilted. There is no evidence of pest attack and they are  as they are well netted and they are.not lacking water Any clues anyone?


  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    I wonder if it might be vine weevil grubs nibbling at the roots. Could you dig one up and see if there are any c shaped creamy maggot things with dark heads in the soil?

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,356

    It could be cabbage root fly - same advice as figrat - dig one up and inspect the roots and surrounding soil.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Baggies2Baggies2 Posts: 14

    dug up the wilted plants and found little or no roots left but no evidence of maggots or such like- will revert to my foolproof erecting of KEEP OF WEEVILS signs. I will persevere with organic veg growing bur cauliflowers do seem to have the whole world trying to eat them before me.

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    Oh how disappointing. I don't know much about carrot root fly, vine weevil grubs are pretty obvious, but something's obviously chomping away. Maybe a brassica expert will pitch in.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,356

    Caulies are the hardest brassica to grow well in my experience, too.  You definitely have a root-eating pest of some kind.  I would try growing them to a larger size before planting out, then plant them deep - right up to the first leaves - maybe even an inch deeper.  Also make sure you firm the soil really well after planting, then place a collar around the stem (see RHS link below.)

    Most pests like acidic conditions so next Winter it might also be worth liming the area where you will be growing them.

    RHS advice on cabbage root fly:



    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Baggies2Baggies2 Posts: 14

    I had a collar around them to stop cabbage root fly but that was just harboring three small slugs? Last time the cabbage white desimated the whole crop. They sure present a few challenges thats why I've stayed away from brasicas for that reason.

  • wrinkly1wrinkly1 Posts: 50

    if you put collars on . o.k. check next[god forbid] for club root disease.i hope not because you have it for ever.i/m an expert on it .i,ve been battling it for years and losing. good luck.

  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    What was the root system like before you put them in ? Did you grow them in modules/cells or were they grown in situ.

  • Baggies2Baggies2 Posts: 14

    they were grown in modules and the root system was healthy before planting.

  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    You say you dug out a wilting specimen and it's roots had almost gone. The problem must lie there then. Perhaps it was the cabbage root fly - when fully fed, they turn brown and enter the pupal stage.

    Do you have any healthy ones - I'd sacrifice one which is nearby and check it's roots.

    Or, should I say it's off-spring.

  • Baggies2Baggies2 Posts: 14


    Her are three very fat magots a just dug up from under a wilted caulifower with all it roots gone. As I want to be organic have I just got to accept half will be devoured or what do you recomend as they had been fitted with collars since planting?


  • Andy73Andy73 Posts: 1

    Can you get rid of those maggits

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,802

    Can't see them clearly, but if they have chestnut coloured heads then they're vine weevil grubs and they're eating the roots of your plants.

    You can get rid of the little bu$$ers by applying the appropriate nematodes https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=234 .  You can buy them online -now is a god time to do it.

    Good luck image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
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