There is a Fungus Among Us, Bot Rot in Manatee County

Botryospshaeria within hedge. Photo credit Michelle Atkinson

Are you finding dead shrubs in your hedge? Botryosphaeria, bot rot, has hit Manatee County.  Bot rot is a disease whose symptoms includes yellow, spotted and blighted leaves, dried leaves, defoliation, cankers, tip dieback, branch dieback, and often death of the entire plant. Plants in a hedge row are often randomly affected with no discernible pattern.

What can you do? Manatee County and surrounding counties have numerous hedges with this disease. Good sanitation measures are recommended to manage this disease. It is best to sanitize pruning shears between each plant that has been pruned. There are numerous disinfectants commercially available at home or hardware stores for this purpose. One can also make their own disinfectant solution.  Once symptoms (i.e. branch dieback) are present, the affected tissue should be pruned a minimum of 4 inches below the lowest symptomatic branch on the main stem. After pruning, ensure that the exposed vascular tissue of the freshly cut stem is not discolored. If discoloration remains, cut lower on the stem until only healthy tissue remains.

Ligustrum affected by Botryosphaeria. Photo credit Michelle Atkinson.

The complex of fungi belonging to the Botryosphaeriaceae usually cause disease when the host plant is under stress such as drought or a nutritional disorder and disease is generally most severe under hot and humid conditions.

 

For more information please click here. Information in this post came from Stephen Brown, UF IFAS Lee County Extension.