Question of the Week – Phytophthora Crown Rot

This week, the question was: What caused the dark brown discoloration in this strawberry crown?

This discoloration is a common symptom of Phytophthora crown rot. Wet conditions favor this disease; therefore, we tend to see it develop after periods of increased rainfall, especially in low areas in the field. The first symptom we notice is usually the whole plant crashing, as seen below.

When you see a plant dying back like this, pull up the crown and carefully cut it in half to see if there is discoloration inside. These plants can also be sent to Clemson’s Plant and Pest Clinic for diagnosis. For information on management strategies, see the 2023 Strawberry IPM Guide or contact your local Extension Agent.

This week’s question is from Justin Ballew, Extension Fruit and Vegetable Research Associate, and Sarah Scott, Ridge Area Horticulture Agent.

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