Anthracnose is a fungal disease that affects plants by forming dead areas on leaves and fruit. It can attack many different types of plants, from grasses to flowering trees such as dogwood. Found mainly in the eastern United States, the disease causes “dark, water soaked lesions on stems, leaves or fruit,” according to Planetnatural.com. It can spread quickly and cause extensive damage in less than one week after it appears. Moisture and cool temperatures are responsible for its development, so it is important to keep garden areas clean. You won’t be able to eliminate anthracnose after it enters your garden, but if you follow these simple steps you can help to reduce and control its spread.
Prevent anthracnose from beginning by growing plants that are resistant to this disease. Nurseries can advise you of specially developed hybrid plant varieties that are less likely to become victims of anthracnose.
Refrain from collecting and saving your own seeds if anthracnose is a common problem in your region or your garden.
Stop the spread of anthracnose by staying out of infested areas when plants are wet.
Disinfect garden tools with one part bleach to four parts water after you use them on infected plants.
Dispose of any infected plant parts at your landfill instead of your compost pile.
Clean up your garden periodically, especially in fall, because the colder, wetter conditions are conducive for the anthracnose spores to over winter and later germinate.
Spray affected plants with sulfur or copper sprays once each week as soon as you notice any occurrence of anthracnose. Repeat this application weekly during the entire growing season.
Things You Will Need
- Sulfur or copper spray
- Sulfur and copper sprays are organic. They won't kill anthracnose but will help to keep it under control by not allowing its spores to germinate.
- The Pacific dogwood tree is susceptible to a form of anthracnose. You can help to prevent this disease if you do not water them overhead. Also, keep trees pruned to allow good air circulation.
- In tropical climates, a type of anthracnose can affect papayas, avocados, mangoes, bananas and other fruit trees. Control is the same as described for other plants.
- Treat anthracnose as soon as you notice spots on plant leaves or fruit. Your county agricultural extension office, University Extension service or Master Gardener Program can help you to identify anthracnose.
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