Bacterial soft rot is causing the death of succulents

Bacterial soft rot is causing the death of succulents

Succulents have year-round popularity, and many greenhouses have increased production due to demand for individual plants and decorative combination containers. Often when plants brown, collapse, and die, the root and crown rot pathogens of Phytophthora, Pythium, or Rhizoctonia are usually suspected.

However, when the University of Georgia’s Jean Williams-Woodward made a recent greenhouse visit, she saw that Zebra Haworthia (Haworthiopsis attenuata) was collapsing and dying not from the usual suspects, but by bacterial soft rot.

Bacterial soft rot is most often caused by the bacterium Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum (formerly known as Erwinia carotovora). Other bacterial species causing soft rot include Pectobacterium atrosepticum and Dickeya chrysanthemi (formerly E. chrysanthemi). Bacterial soft rot disease is not common within greenhouses and nurseries; however, it is seen sporadically and can cause soft rots of crowns, corms, rhizomes or stems on numerous ornamental plants including cyclamen, hosta, osteospermum, and poinsettia.

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Image by ArthurHidden on Freepik

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