Definition - What does Botrytis mean?

Botrytis is a fungal disease that commonly affects plants exposed to cool, damp climates. This disease characterizes itself as grayish and mushy spots on produce, flowers, stems, and leaves. If the humidity is particularly high, the plant can be covered by fungal spores. Some produce, such as fruits, tend to shrivel up when affected.

Botrytis may also be known as gray mold or fruit rot.

MaximumYield explains Botrytis

This fungus tends to affect ornamental plants such as petunias, periwinkle, marigold, hawthorn, geranium, fuchsia, and anemone. It also affects vegetables such as tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, onions, grapes, beans, and carrots, among others.

If botrytis affects wilted flowers, it can also spread to the neighboring plants and flowers. In fact, this fungus has been known to spread to harvested vegetables and fruits during storage if they are kept in areas with high humidity.

To prevent this disease from spreading, it is important to stake or prune the plants, hence improving air circulation and oxygenation. However, gardeners should remember to carefully disinfect their pruning equipment with bleach after each procedure, since the fungus can stick to the blades.

As a precautionary measure, it is also important to keep the diseased plant away from other plants because botrytis can spread very quickly. Organic compost can also keep botrytis at bay.

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