US: MSU tips to better control Pythium root rot in your greenhouse

Pythium crown and root rot is a troubling disease for many growers and at times may seem unavoidable and tough to control. Pythium is a water mold and “nibbles” the feeding roots of plants, resulting in stunted growth and death. Root rot disease is favored by growing conditions that are “too wet,” such as when media does not drain quickly or when weather doesn’t allow rapid drying.

Pythium can be introduced into a greenhouse via plant plugs or other pre-finished plant material. This pathogen can also be a greenhouse “resident” that hibernates on dirty plant containers, benches, hoses and greenhouse walkways, ready to become activated by the right plant and weather conditions. Although Pythium can be a problem on many annuals and perennials, it seems to favor certain crops, for example geraniums and poinsettias, more than others.

Sanitation is especially important in limiting root rot. First, use a pressure washer with soap and water when cleaning walkways, benches, etc. Second, treat cleaned surfaces with a disinfestant to remove any remaining “unseen” problems such as Pythium. Conditions that favor good plant growth and minimize stress make the plant less vulnerable to attack by a root rot. If you’ve done everything right and still find yourself with a Pythium problem, choosing the fungicide tools that work can minimize your losses.

Click here for the complete article by Mary Hausbeck, Blair Harlan of Michigan State University Extension, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences.

Pythium crown and root rot is a troubling disease for many growers and at times may seem unavoidable and tough to control. Pythium is a water mold and “nibbles” the feeding roots of plants, resulting in stunted growth and death. Root rot disease is favored by growing conditions that are “too wet,” such as when media does not drain quickly or when weather doesn’t allow rapid drying.

Pythium can be introduced into a greenhouse via plant plugs or other pre-finished plant material. This pathogen can also be a greenhouse “resident” that hibernates on dirty plant containers, benches, hoses and greenhouse walkways, ready to become activated by the right plant and weather conditions. Although Pythium can be a problem on many annuals and perennials, it seems to favor certain crops, for example geraniums and poinsettias, more than others.

Sanitation is especially important in limiting root rot. First, use a pressure washer with soap and water when cleaning walkways, benches, etc. Second, treat cleaned surfaces with a disinfestant to remove any remaining “unseen” problems such as Pythium. Conditions that favor good plant growth and minimize stress make the plant less vulnerable to attack by a root rot. If you’ve done everything right and still find yourself with a Pythium problem, choosing the fungicide tools that work can minimize your losses.

- See more at: http://leamingtongrower.com/2013/10/pythium-root-rot-in-the-greenhouse/#sthash.8qIJRjk6.dpuf

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