Garden Action

The premier gardening information source

Foot and Root Rot also called Fusarium Foot Rot

Foot and Root Rot / Fusarium Rot
Foot and Root Rot is a fungal disease that attacks a wide variety of plants, trees and vegetables. For plants and vegetables it can be caused by a wide variety of fungi including species of Fusarium, Phytophthora, Pythium.


The fungi cause the stem base and roots to rot causing the leaves to become discoloured. The rot at the base of the plant spreads up the main stem discolouring that as well. If the disease progresses the plant collapses completely.

The fungus is normally introduced to an area by the introduction of a plant which is already infected although it can be bought in on garden implements and machinery. Occasionally this garden pest is introduced with new soil which is already infected.

Once in your soil, the garden disease Foot and Root Rot can over winter for several years as spores. It is very difficult, if not impossible to remove it completely.

Conditions Which Cause Foot and Root Rot
There are two main causes of the garden pest Foot and Root Rot. Firstly, warm damp conditions especially if followed by cold dry conditions. Secondly, growing plants too closely which traps in damp and prevents free circulation of air.

What To Do?
First, there is no effective treatment, chemical or otherwise. Prevention is the key, sow or plant at recommended distances apart. Do not over-apply nitrogen rich fertilisers, this only encourages excessive leaf growth which makes plants more vulnerable. Buy plants and seeds from good sources to avoid bringing in the infection. Crop rotation will also help to avoid this disease.

Burn infected plants and clear the area of all debris from the plants. Don't plant the same crop on infected areas for many years. Use the infected area for plants which are not affected by this disease. Foot and Root Rot (Fusarium) affects a large number of vegetables and fruit.