Clover treatments, most common diseases and pests of this technical plant

clover trifolium

clover trifolium

The clover is the common name for all the Trifolium species, that contains around 250-300 leguminous species. The clover species can be planted for forage purposes, or to improve the soil qualities (the clover forms knots which enrich the soil with nitrogen), or for decorative purposes (it can replace the lawn), or medical purposes or as a honey plant.

The most common clover species are: the red clover (Trifolium pretense) and the white clover (Trifolium repens). The Trifolium species are annual, biannual or perennial plants. A forage intended clover crop is viable for 3-4 years. The optimum sowing period is at the beginning or March, or the beginning of August. The soil must be prepared, free of boulders and levelled.

Only certified seeds need to be used, do not use Cuscuta seeds; the seeds must have a germination higher than 70% and purity higher than 95%. After planting, we recommend you to use the road roller as this will assure a closer contact of the seeds with the soil. The parcel can be mowed during the blossoming phase for the first time and for the last time it can be mowed when the temperatures are 0 degrees Celsius.

The main maintenance procedures are: destroying the pest plants (herbicides to be used: Kerb 50 W, Agil 100 EC, Roundup, Glyphogan 480 SL), mowing, treatments when diseases or pests are spotted and fertilizing. When sowing, you can apply NPK 60:60:60 kg active substance per hectare during spring or 30:30:30 kg active substance per hectare per summer. Later on, fertilizers can be applied during early spring, using 40-50 kg per hectare of complex fertilizers. Well fermented organic compost can also be applied, using 20 tons per hectare per vegetation cycle (3-4 years).

Main diseases

Alfalfa mosaic virus

Symptoms: the green healthy tissue alternates with discolored stains that are parallel with the veins, plant dwarfism, leaf distortion. The virus is transmitted through aphids, infested seeds and pollen.

clover trifolium - Alfalfa mosaic virus

Prevention methods:

  • Using healthy seeds
  • Using resilient species
  • Destroying the affected plants
  • Preventing and fighting aphids. Insecticides to be used: Actara, Mospilan;

Micoplasma like organism

Symptoms: the disease affects the floral elements and turns them into rudimentary leaves. The disease can be spread either genetically, through seeds, or by aphids.

clover trifolium - micoplasma like organism

Prevention and control methods:

  • Destroying the aphids and cicadas
  • Destroying the affected plants

Bacterial leaf blight, caused by Xanthomonas alfalfa

Symptoms: dark brown and moist stains emerge (bacterial exudate) on the sprouts, leaves, stems, floral elements. The stains evolve, grow bigger and the affected tissue becomes dry and crumbly.

clover trifolium - bacterial blight

Prevention and control measures:

  • Destroying the affected plants
  • Using resilient seeds
  • Chemical treatments using Zeama bordeleza,Funguran, Champ.

Powdery mildew, caused by Erysiphe martii

Symptoms: this disease normally attacks the leaves, where a white-gray mycelium appears, making the tissues turn yellow. The felt becomes dusty, small and black dots appear and these represent the fungus’ fruition.

clover trifolium - powdery mildew

Prevention and control measures:

  • Using resilient species
  • If the attack is severe, we recommend early mowing, before the fungi appear
  • Chemical treatments using Topsin, Dithane, Systhane, Falcon.

Downy mildew, caused by Perenospora trifolium

Symptoms: yellow stains emerge on the upper part of leaf and on the inferior part of the leaves a white-gray felt appears. The fungi grow in a high humidity and temperature environment and this can cause plant defoliation.

clover trifolium - downy mildew

Prevention and control measures:

  • If the attack is severe, we recommend premature mowing, before the fungus will bear fruit
  • Chemical treatments using Ridomil, Equation.

Rust, caused by Uromyces trifoli

Symptoms: yellow pustules appear on the leaves; these turn black as the diseases evolves. The fungus attacks the leaves, petiole and the young sprouts. These become deformed and dry out.

clover trifolium - rust

Prevention and control measures:

  • If the attack is severe, we recommend premature sowing, before the fungus will bear fruit
  • Chemical treatments, using Mirage, Falcon.

Common leaf spot, caused by Pseudopeziza trifolii

Symptoms: small, yellow spots appear on the leaves, that gradually evolve and turn into larger brown-black spots. Black dots emerge on the middle of these spots as these represent the fungus’ fruition.

clover trifolium - common leaf spot

Prevention and control measures:

  • Maintain soil drainage
  • If the attack is severe, we recommend premature mowing, before the fungus will bear fruit

Main pests

Wireworms (Agriotes lineatus)

These pests can be observed when they dig around the stems. The larva phase of the worms can last between 1 to 5 years, depending on the species. It is impossible to chemically treat these once the plantation is fully grown. These must be fought, before sowing, using Basamid, Force. It is recommended to have a crop rotation using plants that don’t act well as hosts.

clover trifolium - wireworms

Seed weevils (Apion apricans)

This pest affects crop clovers and spontaneous clovers, causing massive damage to the red seed intended clover. The adults attack the leaves and sometimes even the sprouts, making small and irregular perforations. The larvae grow inside the flowers, feeding only with their internal parts. A single larva can destroy 11-16 flowers. It is recommended to apply chemical treatments once the adults have emerged, using Decis Expert, Fastac, Karate Zeon.

clover trifolium - seed weevil


It attacks the inflorescences of different planted or spontaneous leguminous plants, especially the clover. The adults and the larvae sting and suck the sap, causing the flowers to become sterile. Chemical treatments are commended, using: Mospilan, Actara, Biskaya.

clover trifolium - thrips

Clover seed chalcid (Bruchophagus gibbus)

The larvae will attack the clover seeds, for both planted and spontaneous clover species. A larva will develop in one seed. This pest can damage up to 10-15% of the seed production. If the attack is severe, we recommend premature mowing. Chemical treatments can be applied, using Actara, Calypso, Fastac.

clover trifolium - clover seed chalcid


These are small insects that can be found on the inferior side of the leaves, or on the stems, and that are green or yellow. These pests can also be pink, brown, or black, depending on the species of the host plants. These can cause yellow stains on the leaves, distorted plants or anemic sprouts. The aphids produce sticky discharges that contain sugar and favor the emergence of rot on the plants. Chemical treatments are recommended, using: Actara, Mospilan.

clover trifolium - aphid

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