Anthracnose is a fungal disease that tends to attack plants in the spring when the weather is cool and wet, primarily on leaves and twigs. The fungi overwinter in dead twigs and fallen leaves. Cool, rainy weather creates perfect conditions for the spores to spread. Dry and hot weather stop the progression of the disease that may begin again once the weather conditions become optimal. The problem can be cyclic but is rarely fatal.
- On leaves, anthracnose generally appears first as small, irregular yellow or brown spots. These spots darken as they age and may also expand, covering the leaves.
- On vegetables, it can affect any part of the plant.
- On fruits, it produces small, dark, sunken spots, which may spread. In moist weather, pinkish spore masses form in the center of these spots. Eventually, the fruits will rot.
- On trees, it can kill the tips of young twigs. It also attacks the young leaves, which develop brown spots and patches. It can also cause defoliation of the tree.
How to prevent:
- Plant resistant plants, or buy healthy transplants.
- Plant your plants in well-drained soil. You can also enrich the soil with compost in order to help plants resist diseases.
- Water your plants with a drip sprinkler, as opposed to an overhead sprinkler. Don’t touch the plants when they are wet.
- Keep ripening fruits from touching the soil.
- Remember to rotate your plants every 2 to 3 years.
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