Definition - What does Fusarium mean?

Fusarium is a soil-borne plant pathogen. Once the soil has been contaminated by a fusarium fungus, the fungi will reside in the area indefinitely.

Fusarium can affect many types of plants, ornamental flowers, and crops that are planted in the afflicted location. Fusarium produces a wilt disease in plants and is sometimes called ‘yellows’. Once it infects plants, it causes them to wilt, turn yellow, and start exhibiting stunted growth.

Many fusarium-diseased plants will eventually perish, but others will just grow stunted and produce poorly. The fungus commonly attacks eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes.

MaximumYield explains Fusarium

Fusarium fungus occurs in warm soil and usually starts thriving when the soil temperature reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Times of drought and dry weather also encourage the fungus to spread. It is highly contagious and difficult to control or eradicate. The fungus is spread by gardening tools, equipment, water, and insects.

Once a plant's root system absorbs the fungus, the fungus immediately starts restricting the plant’s water-absorbing ability. The fungus is believed to be harbored in old and decaying plant material and in the soil. Crop rotation as a preventative measure is highly suggested. Soil that is believed to contain the fusarium fungus should have black plastic spread across its surface for a month to kill off the fungus via heat.

Boots, equipment, and gardening tools should all be sanitized with bleach if they have come into contact with fusarium-infected soil. Some plant varieties have been developed to be resistant to fusarium fungus.

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