How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Root rot on cucurbits—Pythium and Phytophthora spp.

Root rot can occur on all cucurbits. Crown leaves turn yellow followed by a rapid collapse or wilt of the entire plant. Roots show varying degrees of rot.


Root rot is usually more common on crops planted for a fall harvest and generally follows a period of cool or damp conditions. Plant in high, well-drained beds and avoid heavy clay soils. Use a shorter duration when irrigating in the fall. Avoid water stress after fruit set, and do not allow water to saturate beds.

For more information, see the Phytophthora Root and Crown Rot Pest Note.

Rotting of melon root
Rotting of melon root

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