- Capsicum & Chilli

Capsicum & Chilli Capsicum & Chilli

Chilli Leaf Curl Virus



In a Nutshell

  • Upward curling of leaf margins.
  • Yellowing of veins.
  • Reduction of leaf size.
  • Older leaves become leathery and brittle.
  • Stunting of plants.
  • Small-sized fruit clusters.
 - Capsicum & Chilli

Capsicum & Chilli Capsicum & Chilli


Symptoms of Chilli Leaf Curl Virus are characterized by upward curling of leaf margins, yellowing of veins and reduction of leaf size. Additionally, leaf veins become swollen with shortening of internodes and petioles. Older leaves become leathery and brittle. If plants are infected during the early season, their growth will be stunted, resulting in significant yield reduction. Fruit formation in susceptible cultivars is rudimentary and distorted. The virus causes similar symptoms as the feeding damage of thrips and mites.

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Symptoms are caused by begomovirus, which is primarily transmitted through whiteflies in a persistent manner. They are characterized as 1.5 mm long, waxy white wings with a pale yellow body and are frequently found on the lower side of the leaves. The spread of the disease depends on the wind condition, which will indicate how far the whiteflies can travel. Whiteflies are most problematic in the mid-to-late season. Since the disease is not seed-borne, the virus persists in the landscape via alternative hosts (such as tobacco and tomato) and weeds. Some additional factors that can favor the development of the disease are recent rainfall, infected transplants, and the presence of weeds. In nurseries, chilli plants are most prone to infection during the seedling and vegetative stages.

Organic Control

Control whitefly populations to reduce transmission of the virus. Neem oil or horticultural oils (petroleum-based oils) can be used. Make sure the oils thoroughly cover the plants, particularly the lower side of the leaves where whiteflies are most likely to be found. Some natural enemies such as lacewings, big-eyed bugs, and minute pirate bugs can control whitefly populations.

Chemical Control

Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures together with biological treatments, if available. There are no known effective methods for preventing or reducing chilli leaf curl virus. Follow chemical control methods, such as imidacloprid or dinotefuran. Spray seedlings with imidacloprid or lambda-cyhalothrin before transplanting to control the vector. Excessive use of insecticides will harm beneficial insects and also make many whitefly species to become resistant. To prevent this, ensure proper rotation between insecticides and use only selective ones.

Preventive Measures

  • Use the available plant-resistant species and extract seeds only from virus-free plants.
  • Raise at least two rows of a barrier crop such as maize, sorghum or pearl millet around your fields.
  • Control whitefly population and protect particularly seedlings from them by establishing nylon nets over the nursery plants.
  • Monitor regularly to detect early infections by looking for symptoms of curled leaves and stunted growth.
  • Position a number of sticky yellow traps or sheets in your field that attracts whiteflies.
  • Control the vector by growing the seedlings under the net, which can also prevent whiteflies attack the seedlings.
  • Ensure a weed-free field and surroundings.
  • Collect and destroy early infested plants by burning them.
  • Plow deep or burn all plant debris after harvest.
  • Encourage beneficial insects by growing mixed cropping.

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