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Botrytis Blues

Mon, May 14th, 2018, created by Lee Stivers
The cool, late spring experienced by much of the mid-Atlantic region has provided excellent conditions for Botrytis grey mold to appear in some retail greenhouses. Not only has the weather favored disease development, but slower early sales mean that plants can get backed up in the greenhouse. The resulting  crowded conditions further restrict airflow, so petal and leaf surfaces stay moist longer. This increases the opportunity for the fungal pathogen to spread. I observed Botrytis symptoms on geranium, petunia, and leucanthemum plants last week at a large retail operation in Pennsylvania. At this point in the season, control options are somewhat limited, but retail managers should keep a careful eye on displays, and pull plants with obvious disease symptoms. Botrytis can be managed effectively, but this requires a proactive approach to prevent the disease from creating significant problems. An earlier eGRO Alert, by Paul Thomas and Jean Woodward, provides a thorough discussion of Botrytis prevention and control. 

About the Author:

Lee Stivers

Extension Educator, Penn State University

Lee Stivers has been a horticulture educator with Penn State Extension since 2001. Based in Washington County, Lee is a member of Penn State Extension's Statewide Horticulture Program Team, and specializes in vegetables, small fruits, and greenhouse floriculture production. Prior to 2001, Lee served as Area Extension Vegetables Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension. She received her MS from the University of California, Davis.

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