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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Fruit > Strawberry > Stunted plant

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Strawberries >Whole Plant > Stunted plant

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  • Image: Black Root Rot 1
  • Image: Black Root Rot 2

Black Root Rot
Rhizoctonia sp. Pythium sp. and Fusarium sp.

  • After first year, plants in a field showing reduced vigor, often in low or wet spots or in areas where the soil is compacted
  • Roots appear ‘rat tailed’ and do not have fine fibrous root hairs
  • Irregular black patches occur along the length of the fleshy white roots
  • Interior of infected older woody roots turns black
  • Common in areas where strawberries have been grown for many years
  • More information on Black Root Rot
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  • Image: Red Stele 1
  • Image: Red Stele 2
  • Image: Yellow Nutsedge 2

Red Stele
Phytophthora fragariae

  • Plants start wilting and dying in the lower portions of the strawberry planting
  • Roots appear ‘rat tailed’ and do not have fine fibrous root hairs
  • Root tips are soft, discolored and rotten
  • If the white root above the rotten tip is cut lengthwise, the root core (or stele) will appear to be dark red
  • Common and most destructive in heavy clay soils or low wet areas
  • Favored by cool, wet spring weather
  • More information on Red Stele
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  • Image: Nitrogen Deficiency 1

Nitrogen Deficiency

  • Leaves turn yellow, most obvious on older, lower leaves
  • Plants grow slowly, produce few leaves and daughter plants
  • Plant produce few and small berries
  • Common in sandy soils
  • More information on Nitrogen Deficiency
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  • Image: Winter (Cold Weather) Injury 1

Cold Damage

  • Plants exhibit poor growth in early spring
  • Flowering is sparse
  • When cut in half, the interior of the main stem (crown) is brown
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  • Image: Glyphosate Herbicide Injury 1

Glyphosate Herbicide Injury

  • Yellowing appears suddenly, and is restricted to the veins
  • Plant appears stunted because of small leaves crowded close together
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  • Image: White Grubs 1
  • Image: White Grubs 2

White Grubs
Phyllophaga spp.

  • Plant is stunted, will wilt, and eventually dies
  • Grubs feed on roots throughout the summer months
  • Grubs have a white body color, brown head capsule, and c-shaped body
  • Occurs in plantings that were previously grassy
  • Adults do not feed on strawberries
  • More information on White Grubs

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