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

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Strawberries > Whole Plant > Wilted 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: Verticillium Wilt 1

Verticillium Wilt
Verticillium albo-atrum or V. dahliae

  • Outer and older leaves droop, wilt, turn dry and become reddish-yellow or dark brown at the margins and between veins
  • In severe infestations rapid plant death can occur
  • Severely infected plants may appear stunted and flattened, with small yellowish leaves.
  • Brownish to blue-black streaks or blotches may appear on the runners or petioles
  • More prevalent in cool, overcast weather interspersed with warm, bright days
  • More information on Verticillium Wilt
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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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