Fusarium wilt can wreak havoc in your garden. Learn how you can prevent and treat Fusarium wilt if it develops in your garden! – Gro Indoor
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Everything You Need to Know About Fusarium Wilt

by 09 Apr 2023

Everything You Need to Know About Fusarium Wilt

Fusarium wilt is a harmful plant fungus that wreaks havoc on whatever you have grown. It's not easy to treat this fungus once it spreads throughout your garden, so the best strategy is to learn how to prevent it.

Detecting this fungus is not as easy as detecting powdery mildew or rot bud since the disease itself starts in the soil.

However, there are some signs that you pick up to catch Fusarium wilt before it spreads like wildfire into your garden. Let's talk about this now!

What is Fusarium Wilt?

Fusarium oxysporum is an ascomycete fungus belonging to the Nectriaceae family, which causes the plant leaves to wilt. This deadly plant disease kills plants inside out through a slow process. It starts in the soil affecting the roots first. After that, it progresses upward through the rest of the plant.

Asexual reproduction helps this fungus spread spores swiftly to new plants. But their reproduction takes place through flowering too. The germ tubes of chlamydospores and conidiophores penetrate the roots through the cortex, then reach vascular tissues and the epidermis.

Currently, we have no reliable approaches or methods of treating infected plants with Fusarium wilt. Still, there are multiple ways to prevent it from infiltrating the plants in the first place. Let's go over some quick facts about Fusarium wilt now!

Facts about the Fusarium Wilt

The Fusarium wilt becomes more prevalent at 80 °F and above.

The spores of Fusarium wilt can remain dormant in the soil for years.

The disease is more harmful in acidic soil than in basic or alkaline soils. This is exactly why we recommend testing your grow medium beforehand.

Along with the airborne spread, it can exist in infected clones or seeds, carrying the disease wherever you take these plant parts.

This disease is more dominant in broad-leafed vegetables than in narrow-pointed ones.

Before we proceed to any prevention methods, it is important to discuss that this plant disease is dangerous for humans. Let us discuss if you should be concerned about your own health with Fusarium or not.

Is Fusarium Harmful to Humans?

Not each strain of Fusarium wilt is harmful to us. But with all types of mold/rot, it is best to assume that it is instead of taking chances of consuming fruits or flowers with this fungus.

It can also cause some dangerous infections, especially in the eyes. It is not advised to expose a smoking flower to Fusarium even if you believe the flowers look fine.

If you suspect the plants are infected, you are better off trashing them and starting fresh.

How Does Fusarium Wilt Look?

The Fusarium wilt fungus is characterized by plants' wilting, with leaves turning to different yellow and brown shades until they ultimately die. Start curling your dying leaves upwards as they lose their vigor.

You can even watch out for a red-spotted appearance of the plant's stalk or individual stems and branches. This normally starts in the roots, and of course, you won't see it as the soil covers them. With time, Fusarium will start taking hold and moving up the plant.

Fusarium wilt essentially kills plants inside out and takes over the plant overnight. Constantly monitoring your garden is, therefore, essential.

Why Does Fusarium Wilt Develop?

Fusarium oxysporum is a soil-borne pathogen that can cause plant infections and even kill plants. It is typically caused by waterlogged grow media and warm weather. It takes a start in the soil and enters the entire root system. Once it's in, it interferes with the water-conducting vessels of the plant.

All this ends in limited water uptake to the stems and leaves. The dryness causes the plants to turn yellow and eventually die. Fusarium oxysporum is also transported to a garden through the wind, rain, insects, and even birds. When a dry condition is coupled with a high temperature, it spreads.

One additional cause of its spread is low till or no-tillage practices in outdoor gardens. This style of growing does not let the soil pulverize and prevents air circulation deep within the soil. Consequently, the pathogen has an increased survival chance. It can spread through infected cuttings and seedlings, which forces most growers to isolate their new plants before introducing them to the growing environment.

This way, you ensure there that there are zero underlying issues with your clones or seeds. In most cases, this disease won't present itself anytime soon in the plant's life cycle.

Another cause can be reusing grow media. By reusing coco or soil, you can save money. However, that can be problematic at times.

Infested garden tools like scissors and pruners can even spread Fusarium. So, let's talk about preventing Fusarium wilt before it spreads.

How Can Fusarium Wilt Be Prevented?

Preventing this disease depends on how you grow your plants. If you grow outdoors, you will have less control over prevention, but using fresh soil and testing your media at the very start of each growth is often all you need to worry about to prevent this issue.

Container gardening on your patio or balcony. You can prevent plants from wilting by keeping them moist, but not too much so that they become soggy and start drying out again as soon as possible! Suppose you can manage and control all your inputs to your garden through soil and pots. In that case, you will drastically lower your chances of infection.

If you plant directly into the ground, then you have many ways to safeguard your garden. You can avoid repeated gardening of the same plants in the same place in your garden, for starters. How about rotations? Since soil-borne disease is normally carried forward through infested organic matter and plant debris, rotation can be a great option!

Improve the water-holding capacity and the garden soil's drainage by deep hoeing practices followed by a prolonged contact of the soil to direct sunlight before a new planting expedition. Similarly, grow pads are supposed to be replaced after each growing season.

As mentioned earlier, humidity and waterlogged soil create a breeding ground for this fungus. Therefore, getting rid of Fusarium is not an easy task, but growing your plants indoors will allow you to control all conditions for growth and prevent infestation.

What Products can you Use to Prevent Fusarium Wilt?

Some gardeners use a soil drench or spray preventatively at the beginning of or throughout their growth to decrease their likelihood of developing Fusarium wilt. Here are two products that can help prevent this plant disease:


The effectiveness of mycorrhizae when it comes to preventing Fusarium wilt is still up for debate, but there are some who believe they have a place in prevention. Typically, this bacterium improves the condition of the soil, working to improve plant resistance.

It also increases root development, meaning you should consider adding it to your feeding regimen anyway!

Mycostop (A Biological Fungicide)

A mycostop is used in a drench or as soil spray (2gram/10 square meters) immediately after planting fruits, vegetables, and micro greens as a preventive measure. Apply a significant quantity of water to move Mycostop in the root zone of plants, which later acts as a biological defense against the fungi causing the Fusarium to wilt. Mycostop can be applied once the disease spreads in a similar fashion in the drench.

Dealing with Fusarium Wilt Outbreaks in your Grow

There are a few proven methods for eradicating this fungus. Once Fusarium overtakes the plants, there is no coming back. Your only real option is to ensure that it doesn't spread any further.

First things first, remove the infected plants from the growing environment with anything they come in contacts with, such as soils, tools, pots, and more.

Act quickly and salvage uninfected plants simply by removing the culprits. When growing outdoors directly in the ground, clean the soil with hydrogen peroxide. But even so, we highly recommend sticking to container gardening. Further questions are always welcomed at GroIndoor.com.

Sep 5th 2022
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