How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Fusarium ear and stalk rot—Fusarium moniliforme

Corn plants with the fusarium fungus exhibit rotting of the roots, plant base, and lower internodes. The rot normally begins soon after pollination. The lower stem becomes soft and eventually collapses. The pith inside the stems becomes tan to pink and disintegrates, leaving the vascular strands intact. Kernels may develop a salmon pink discoloration and become covered with a pinkish weft of mycelia.


Stress and injury to a plant favors infection. Optimal cultural practices, including balanced fertility, good water management, and crop rotation can help reduce fungus levels. Some varieties may be more resistant than others.

Fusarium rot on corn ears
Fusarium rot on corn ears

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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