University of Maryland Extension

Phytophthora - Vegetables

wilted pepper plant

Pepper or Eggplant Wilting

Wilting of vegetable plants can indicate Phytophthora, a potentially devastating soil-borne fungal disease that may infect pepper, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and eggplant. Happens particularly on poorly drained soils during warm, wet weather. All plant parts may be affected. Lower stems develop cankers and crown tissue becomes discolored. Phytophthora also causes water-soaked leaf lesions, black stem lesions on branches and root rot. Fusarium causes a browning of internal stem tissue.

Management

Select resistant cultivars. When symptoms are widespread it is best to remove and discard plants. These diseases are longlived in the soil. Avoid poorly drained soils. Plant on ridges or beds and irrigate when necessary around the base of the plants. Rotate crops to a different area next year.

wilted cucumber plant
Symptoms on cucumber

infected pepper
Symptoms on pepper fruit

 

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