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Effect of Aloe vera Foliar Spray on Control of Insect Damage and Growth of Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) Seedlings

Aim: This experiment was conducted to assess the effect of Aloe vera extract foliar spray in the control of leaf eating insects of eggplant (Solanum melongena, L.) seedlings and on growth and development of eggplant seedlings. Study design: The experiment was carried out using a completely randomized design with three replicates. Analysis of variance was used (P=0.05) to test treatment effects and mean comparison was by LSD. Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted in the Plant Science and Biotechnology Department of the Rivers State University, Rivers State, Nigeria, between February and September 2018. Methodology: Water extracts of Aloe vera at three concentrations [100%, 50% and 0% -water (control)] were applied weekly as foliar spray to eggplant seedlings from three weeks after transplanting to the nursery. Plant height, number of leaves per plant and the number of insect holes (feeding punctures) per leaf were recorded. Results: Eggplant seedlings sprayed with 100% and 50% Aloe vera extract were significantly (P=0.05) taller than those sprayed with water (control). Seedlings sprayed with 100% Aloe vera extract had significantly (P=.05) higher number of leaves than those sprayed with 50% extract and water (control). However, seedlings sprayed with 50% extract of Aloe vera and the control showed no significant difference in the number of leaves. The number of insect holes on the leaves of seedlings treated with 50% and 100% Aloe vera extract foliar spray were significantly less (P=0.05) than those of the control. Conclusion: In this study the reduced number of holes caused by insects on leaves of eggplants treated with 50% and 100% of Aloe vera foliar spray suggests its effectiveness as a bio-pesticide. The increase in height and number of leaves of eggplants treated with 100% Aloe vera imply that it could be used as a growth promoter.

Author(s): Victoria Wilson

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