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Signs of damage
- Phoma mold begins in the soil and can linger in old plant debris. This is a patient mold and will wait for the right conditions, such as wet or moist soil, to begin growing.
- Look closely at the soil line of your plants. If plants begin to wilt and brown, Phoma mold may be the culprit.
- Phoma mold can develop into Phoma blight, where dark brown and black lesions form on the plant stems. Phoma blight will take over one side of a leaf and destroy a plant quickly once it has taken hold.
- This mold can also be present on mature fruits and vegetables, commonly known as mold and easily identifiable.
How to prevent
This plant disease is difficult to eradicate. As a fast-growing mold that thrives in moist soil, it is key to catch Phoma in its early stages. Remove overhead watering and provide plenty of air circulation in the soil, if possible. If in a nursery, remove all old plant debris from under new plants and in existing soil if possible to prevent the spread of this disease.
A specific fungicide may work in most cases. You’ll need to check with each plant to ensure that your chosen fungicide will not damage your plants. If the disease cannot be removed from the soil, new mold-resistant plants will need to be placed instead, or the soil may need to be abandoned.
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