Botrytis blight often strikes when you least expect it. Plants are doing well, flowers are attractive and plentiful, and growth seems vigorous. Then spots appear, plants decline, and rot and mold occur. Activity for this disease peaks during cool, damp seasons, but infections may occur all year round. Poor air circulation, high humidity, and overcrowding aid its spread by wind, rain, or irrigation.
Botrytis blight affects many popular plants, including beautiful garden roses, tasty tomatoes, beans, geraniums, and petunias. Leaves, buds, stems, flowers, petals, and fruit are all potential targets for this widespread disease.
Botrytis Blight Identification/Symptoms: The earliest symptoms of botrytis blight are often brown spots on leaves and buds, or spots of dark color on flower petals. As the disease progresses, flowers and fruits rot, and spots begin to show fuzzy, grayish mold.
Botrytis blight is one such fungal infection where you eventually see the offending fungus, not just the symptoms of the underlying disease. Masses of dust-like gray fungal spores develop on dead and dying plant tissue where they're easily seen.
How to Control Botrytis Blight: Once botrytis blight becomes active, it's more difficult to control. Prompt action is crucial. This disease often enters plants through small wounds and moves quickly once it starts. Preventive application of fungicide early in the season helps prevent botrytis blight infections and halt their spread.
GardenTech® brand's highly effective Daconil® fungicidesoffer three-way protection to stop, control, and prevent botrytis blight and more than 65 other fungal diseases. Start preventive treatments whenever conditions are ripe for disease, or treat at the first hint of symptoms. These products can treat tomatoes right up to the day of harvest or treat beans up to seven days before harvest time:
- Daconil® Fungicide Ready-to-Use provides the perfect option for treating containers, individual plants, or small garden spaces. Shake the sprayer container and it's ready. Spray all upper and lower plant surfaces until they're thoroughly wet.
- Daconil® Fungicide Concentrate simplifies protecting larger garden areas from botrytis blight's threat. Measure concentrate into a hand-held, hose-end, or tank-style sprayer with the convenient measuring cap. Then add water, mix well, and spray until all plant surfaces are thoroughly covered.
Botrytis Blight Tips: If botrytis blight hits your garden, immediately remove diseased plants or prune affected stems back into healthy tissue. Sterilize your pruners with household disinfectant after every use to prevent the spread of disease. Keep your garden tidy; the fungus can overwinter in plant debris.
Always read product labels thoroughly and follow instructions, including guidelines for treatable plants and pre-harvest intervals (PHI) for edible crops.
GardenTech is a registered trademark of Gulfstream Home and Garden, Inc.
Daconil is a registered trademark of GB Biosciences Corp.
Metin Gulesci, Bugwood.org (CC BY 3.0 US)
Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org (CC BY 3.0 US)
Photo credit: Svetlana Lisova (CC BY-SA 2.0)