While peas are relatively easy to grow, they are not immune to diseases that can impact their growth and yield. By familiarizing themselves with the common diseases that affect peas and implementing appropriate management strategies, gardeners and farmers can mitigate the impact of these diseases and enjoy healthy, productive pea crops year after year. Regular monitoring, proper sanitation, and timely intervention are key components of successful disease management in pea cultivation.

Peas, with their tender pods and sweet flavor, are a favorite vegetable in many households and a staple in gardens worldwide. However, like any crop, peas are susceptible to various diseases that can hinder growth, reduce yield, and compromise quality. Understanding these diseases is crucial for gardeners and farmers to effectively manage their pea crops and ensure a bountiful harvest. In this article, we'll explore some of the common diseases that affect peas, their causes, symptoms, and management strategies.

1. Powdery Mildew (Erysiphe pisi):

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that affects a wide range of plants, including peas. It appears as a white, powdery growth on the surfaces of leaves, stems, and pods. The disease thrives in warm, dry conditions with high humidity levels. Powdery mildew not only weakens the plant but also reduces photosynthesis, leading to stunted growth and decreased yield.


  • Plant resistant varieties when available.
  • Ensure proper spacing between plants to promote air circulation.
  • Avoid overhead irrigation to reduce moisture on foliage.
  • Apply fungicides labeled for powdery mildew control at the first sign of infection.

2. Downy Mildew (Peronospora viciae):

Downy mildew is another fungal disease that affects peas, especially during cool, wet weather conditions. It appears as yellowish-green patches on the upper surfaces of leaves and a fuzzy grayish growth on the undersides. Infected leaves may eventually turn brown and die, leading to defoliation and reduced yield.


  • Plant certified disease-free seeds.
  • Rotate crops to reduce the buildup of pathogens in the soil.
  • Practice good garden hygiene by removing and destroying infected plant debris.
  • Apply fungicides preventatively, especially during periods of prolonged wet weather.

3. Fusarium Wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. pisi):

Fusarium wilt is a soilborne fungal disease that affects the vascular system of pea plants. It causes yellowing and wilting of lower leaves, followed by stunted growth and eventual death of the plant. Fusarium wilt is more prevalent in warm, moist soils and can persist for several years in the soil.


  • Plant resistant varieties whenever possible.
  • Practice crop rotation with non-host plants to reduce pathogen buildup.
  • Improve soil drainage to minimize waterlogging, which favors fungal growth.
  • Avoid planting peas in fields with a history of Fusarium wilt.

4. Pea Enation Mosaic Virus (PEMV):

Pea enation mosaic virus is a viral disease transmitted by aphids. Infected plants exhibit symptoms such as mottled yellowing or browning of leaves, stunted growth, and distorted pods. Severe infections can lead to significant yield losses.


  • Use virus-free seeds obtained from reputable sources.
  • Control aphid populations through insecticide application or biological control methods.
  • Remove and destroy infected plants to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Plant virus-resistant pea varieties where available.

5. Ascochyta Blight (Ascochyta pisi):

Ascochyta blight is a fungal disease that affects various parts of the pea plant, including leaves, stems, and pods. It appears as small, dark lesions with concentric rings, which can coalesce and cause defoliation and pod rot. Ascochyta blight is favored by cool, wet weather conditions.


  • Practice crop rotation with non-host plants to reduce pathogen buildup.
  • Space plants adequately to improve air circulation and reduce humidity levels.
  • Apply fungicides preventatively, especially during periods of high disease pressure.
  • Remove and destroy infected plant debris to minimize overwintering of the pathogen.