Sclerotium Crown & Root Rot (Southern Blight)

Sclerotium Crown & Root Rot (Southern Blight) - image 1

Causal Agent:

Sclerotium rolfsii, Sclerotium spp.

Susceptible Crops:

Affects all turfgrass, Canna, Chrysanthemum, Delphinium, Hosta

Symptoms:

  • The pathogen invades through the roots and lower stem causing the lower leaves to turn yellow, followed by wilting and death of the plant
  • Fans of white-cream color mycelium may be seen growing on the infected stems at or below the soil line along with clusters of small, round, seed-like fruiting bodies called Sclerotia
  • Sclerotia are initially light tan in color, turning dark brown as they age and will persist in plant debris and soil for long periods causing new infections
Sclerotium Crown & Root Rot (Southern Blight) - image 2