April 16, 2021

Reducing strawberry disease starts when purchasing the plant

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Recognizing diseases in strawberries is key to helping stop the spread among other plants.

Janna Beckerman, a professor of botany and plant pathology at Purdue University, said producers sometimes get strawberry diseases from the plants they buy because they might already have rot in the roots.

“If plants don’t look good, don’t plant them,” Beckerman said, adding that if they don’t look good the strawberry plants may already have phytophthora, which causes root rot, or anthracnose, which causes rot around the crown of the plant.

Beckerman said buying plants that already have rot could mean that more chemicals will be needed to treat them, which in turn could produce less yield.

If individuals purchase a plant that is already garbage, because it is riddled with root rot or other diseases, it won’t make for a very good planting year, Beckerman said.

She added she believes the rot that is already on the plants when producers go to purchase them is due to the demand for strawberries across the country the past few years and good sanitation around the plants isn’t being used.

Ashley Langreck

Field Editor