Damping Off

Last Updated: August 7, 2017

Definition - What does Damping Off mean?

Damping off is a common horticultural condition caused by various pathogens that kill off a seed or seedling. Damping off occurs most often in moist, cool conditions.

MaximumYield explains Damping Off

Damping off is most recognized in seedlings as a rotting portion of the stem beginning down at the base of the plant and extending upward.

Once a plant has matured and has leaves and a strong stem, it is usually able to overcome the stress of excess moisture and is not as prone to the fungal pathogens that cause damping off.

Damping off is almost always the result of cool, wet conditions such as the overwatering that commonly occurs in spring.

Gardeners can avoid or reduce damping off by making certain their planting beds are well-drained and that young seedlings are protected from heavy rainfall in early spring.

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