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What Is Begonia Pythium Rot – Managing Begonia Stem And Root Rot

What Is Begonia Pythium Rot – Managing Begonia Stem And Root Rot


By: Teo Spengler

Begonia stem and root rot, also called begonia pythium rot,is a very serious fungal disease. If your begoniasare infected, the stems become waterlogged and collapse. Exactly what isbegonia pythium rot? Read on for information about this disease and tips fortreating begonia pythium rot.

What is Begonia Pythium Rot?

You may have never heard of begonia stem and root rot. Ifyour begonias are infected, you’ll likely want to know more about it. This is adisease caused by the fungal-like organism Pythiumultimum.

This organism lives in the soil and can subsist there forlong periods of time. It is likely to become active when the ground is very wetand the weather is cool. The pathogen spores travel in water and are spreadwhen infested soil or water is transferred to healthy areas.

When begonia stem and root rot infects your plants, they arelikely to show a variety of symptoms. These include darkened foliage, blackenedand rotting roots, rotting stems just above ground level, and collapsing crown.

Stem and root rot of begonia usually kills seedlings by dampingoff. It often leads to the death of mature plants too.

Treating Begonia Pythium Rot

Unfortunately, once your plants have been infected bybegonia stem and root rot, it is too late to save them. There is no product foreffectively treating begonia pythium rot. You should remove infected plantsfrom the soil and dispose of them.

However, you can make efforts to prevent stem and root rotof begonia when you are first putting in the plants. Sterilizethe soil or growing medium before planting and, if you must reuse pots,sterilize these as well. Don’t plant begonia seeds too deep.

Use bleach to disinfect any garden tools you use on thebegonias. To avoid infection by stem and root rot of begonias, avoidoverwatering and never apply water to the leaves or set the hose end on theground. It’s also wise to avoid fertilizing the plants too much.

Keep the plants far enough apart to allow excellentventilation. Use fungicide, but rotate the type you use regularly.

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Begonia Dregei Must-Know Care Tips

Begonia Dregei is a remarkable herbaceous, shade-loving, and summer-blooming plant that makes an excellent indoor pot display. It is an evergreen, attractive plant that has an upright growth habit and grows conveniently through either seeds or cuttings.

Good care of a plant is vital for the successful growth of the plant. Begonia Dregei requires an average amount of water. Neither overwater it nor underwater. The soil of Begonia Dregei should not be soggy but moist. Provide the plant bright filtered light but never place it in direct sunlight.

It will bloom from mid-summer to winter for a prolonged period. It is an easy to grow pot plant which is mostly pollinated by bees.

Begonia Dregei gets its name from J.F. Drège (1794-1881), a German horticultural and plant enthusiast who found it close to Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. It belongs to the Begoniaceae family and is known by various names, such as Maple-Leaved Begonia, Idula, Dwarf Wild Begonia.

Begonia Dregei’s leaves are slightly serrated and green on top and red beneath. They have two big and two minor tepals in the middle, along with a stamens cluster or a curled pistil, which are bright yellow.

The stem is light green to reddish-green or grey-brown. The leaves are tiny with a blade sometimes with purplish or reddish veins and borders. In winter, when it becomes leafless, the elegance of its swollen and yellow stem is noticeable.

Begoniaceae family occurs in tropical and subtropical regions. These species are present in nature in small and isolated groups, and they effectively hybridize with each other. Begonia Dregei is indigenous to Southern Africa.

This species grows in woodland, on rugged, moss-covered cliffs and steep banks. It is classified endangered in habitat but well developed in cultivation.




Treating Begonia Pythium Rot: How To Fix Stem And Root Rot Of Begonia Plants - garden

University of Florida, IFAS,
Central Florida Research and Education Center - Apopka,
2807 Binion Rd. Apopka. FL 32703.
CFREC-Apopka Research Report, RH-93-3

Some of the most common and costly diseases of ornamental plants are caused by Phytophthora and Pythium spp. These diseases can affect cuttings, seedlings, and all other stages of the crops. Pythium spp. primarily attack plant roots. Diseases caused by Phytophthora can occur on any part of the plant. In Florida, aerial leaf spots caused by Phytophthora parasitica occur on a number of ornamental crops although stem rots are probably the most common problems. The roots of some types of plants, such as schefflera (Brassaia actinophylla), are almost always infected with Pythium spp. despite preventative use of fungicides.

Fungicides remain an important method to control losses due to Phytophthora and Pythium spp. The following review was developed to summarize the fungicides which are available for ornamentals to assist in control of Phytophthora and Pythium spp. The table gives a summary of studies performed at the CFREC-Apopka since 1981.

Currently, there are relatively few fungicides available for controlling Phytophthora or Pythium. Propamocarb (Previcur N), etridiazole (Terrazole and Truban), fosetyl aluminum (Aliette), and metalaxyl (Subdue) have been tested on one or more ornamental crops. All of these fungicides are applied to the potting medium with the exception of Aliette which can be applied as a drench or a foliar spray. Although some differences in efficacy occur from plant to plant, some general conclusions can be drawn.

The best control of Phytophthora and Pythium spp. on ornamentals occurs when Subdue is applied as a soil drench. Aliette drenches are nearly as effective and sometimes more effective than Subdue. When Aliette is applied as a foliar spray, efficacy is usually a little lower than a drench of either Subdue or Aliette. Terrazole and Truban drenches can also be effective but are usually a little less effective than Subdue drenches. It is perhaps a little confusing to find Subdue listed as both "excellent" and "good" in the table for a single plant. This variability in the degree of control can be explained by the effect of disease pressure since under very severe conditions a fungicide generally does not work as well as it can under more normal conditions. Overall, Subdue gives good to excellent control of these diseases depending on disease pressure. Only a few tests were performed with Previcur N but they showed that this compound had a significantly lower efficacy than the other fungicides. This conclusion has been supported by researchers working on other ornamentals.

This information may allow growers to choose the best fungicide for Phytophthora and Pythium spp. Schefflera requires preventative fungicide applications since Pythium root rot is common on all stages. Other diseases can be controlled following diagnosis of the problem. Finally, some diseases, such as Phytophthora aerial blight on vinca are rarely controlled with any fungicide treatment and cultural control methods must be used for these diseases.

Table 1. Summary of fungicide tests for control of Phytophthora and Pythium diseases on some ornamentals.
Plant Disease Excellent
control
Good
control
Poor
control
Aglaonema Pythium
root rot
Aliette drench,
Subdue drench
Aliette spray,
Captan drench,
Truban drench
Previcur N
drench
Aphelandra
(zebra plant)
Phytophthora
stem rot
Aliette drench,
Subdue drench
Aliette spray,
Subdue drench
Begonia Pythium
root rot
Subdue drench,
Terrazole drench
Subdue drench,
Aliette spray
Brassaia
(schefflera)
Pythium
root rot
Aliette drench,
Subdue drench,
Terrazole drench,
Truban drench
Aliette spray,
Subdue drench
Aliette spray,
Previcur N
drench,
Truban drench
Catharanthus
(vinca)
Phytophthora
aerial blight
Aliette drench,
Subdue drench
Subdue drench
Epipremnum
(pothos)
Pythium
root rot
Aliette drench,
Subdue drench
Aliette spray,
Subdue drench,
Terrazole
drench
Peperomia Pythium
root rot
Subdue drench Subdue drench
Spathiphyllum Pythium
root rot
Aliette drench
Aliette spray
Subdue drench

Pesticides should be applied according to label directions.

Regardless of the pesticide or mixture of pesticides used, it is
strongly recommended that the effects be evaluated on a few
plants, under your particular conditions before treating all plants.

Mention of a commercial or proprietary product in this paper
does not constitute a recommendation by the authors,
nor does it imply registration under FIFRA as amended.

Reference to University of Florida/IFAS Pest Control Guides


Considerations

Begonia plants also are susceptible to Armillaria root rot, crown gall, black root rot, root knot nematode, cottony rot and foliar nematode. Once any signs of a begonia disease appear on a plant, the owner should remove the affected begonia and quarantine it from other plants. Spotted leaves must be carefully removed and burned. Any knives used for cutting an infected begonia should be disinfected with 70 percent rubbing alcohol before it is used on another plant. Soil from an infected begonia should be destroyed.


Don't toss those tuberous begonias - save for next summer

CORVALLIS - Many people enjoy the lush blossoms of tuberous begonias in pots on patios and as outdoor hanging plants. There's no need to throw them away when cold weather hits and the tops die. The tubers can be saved over the winter and planted again the next spring for another year of showy color.

Take the following steps to save your potted tuberous begonia tubers:

  1. Remove plant from pot before hard frosts occur. Cut back most of the top of the plant, leaving the ball of roots and soil intact.
  2. Place in a dry, cool storage area (a basement or garage) and allow the tubers to cure for several weeks.
  3. After curing, shake off the soil and remove the remaining stalks and roots. Any stalk or root left has the potential to rot and spread to the tuber. Put them on screen trays or pack them in dry peat, sawdust, sand or other insulating material.
  4. Store tubers in a dry, dark, cool (above freezing) area.
  5. In the spring, start begonia plants by placing the tubers on damp peat moss in a warm environment. When roots and tops have started, plant them in pots in rich, well drained potting soil. Bring outdoors when all danger of frost is past.


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