Northwest berry Foundation

Management Detail

Black Root Rot

in Strawberries

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Latin name: Rhizoctonia sp., Fusarium spp., and Ramularia spp.


Black root rot symptoms include black discolorations on roots; the entire root or all but the core often darken, look unhealthy, and lack new growth. Foliage is reduced in size, has poor color, and wilts in warm weather. Although many roots rot away completely, they lack the red core discoloration typical of red stele. Black root rot is a complex interaction of fungi, nematodes, weather, and poor soil characteristics. Organisms or factors involved in one area may not be involved in others. Some of these organisms are native soil fungi and survive indefinitely in soil. Root-lesion nematodes are frequently involved in black root rot.



  • Watch for areas of weak, stunted growth. Leaves may be wilted. Some plants may be dead.
  • Dig up affected plants to examine the roots to determine cause of problem.
  • Diagnostic of Black root rot are main roots that are black on the outside while the core is a normal whitish color. (A red core indicates Red Stele disease).
  • Very few feeder roots will be present.

Cultural Controls:

None listed at present.


For information about chemical controls, check with our Pesticide Guide.


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