Common Cauliflower Problems


If growth is interrupted, the heads may not develop or may develop poorly. Growth can be interrupted by plants being held too long, causing hardening and cessation of growth before transplanting; by too much chilling before or after transplanting; or by drought.


Chief insect pests are cutworms, slugs, cabbage looper, cabbage root maggot, imported cabbage worm, aphids and flea beetles. Deter cutworms and root maggots by fitting paper or metal collars around stems of transplants. Control slugs with slug bait placed in shallow pans to prevent the poison washing into the soil.

To combat chewing insects such as flea beetles, apply the organic sprays rotenone or pyrethrum, which are best used in combination. To control caterpillars, use Dipel or Thuricide organic products. Sevin, a chemical spray, is also effective against most cauliflower pests.


Blackleg, black rot, club root, and cabbage yellows are disease problems. These are difficult to control once they make an appearance. Plant disease resistant varieties as a defense. Winter clean-up and crop rotation will also help to keep these diseases at bay.