How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Fusarium Crown and Foot Rot

Pathogen: Fusarium solani f. sp. cucurbitae

(Reviewed 12/09, updated 12/09)

In this Guideline:


Although all cucurbits are susceptible, Fusarium crown and foot rot is a problem only on squash and pumpkin. The fungus causes water-soaked lesions on the stem at the soil line. Infected plants wilt and die. On the fruit, the lesions usually begin on the area that is resting on the ground. Fruit lesions are firm and dry, with the decayed area exhibiting a concentric ring pattern.


This fungus survives in the soil and on seed. The disease occurs most often in the Central Coast of California. There are two races of the fungus; Race 1 attacks any part of the plant, while Race 2 attacks only the fruit. This disease tends to be most severe when melons are planted following barley or other grain crops that are plowed under by not completely decomposed.


Rotate out of cucurbits for 2 to 3 years and use clean seed. Don't plant melons following a barley crop.


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Cucurbits
UC ANR Publication 3445


R. M. Davis, Plant Pathology, UC Davis
T. A. Turini, UC Cooperative Extension, Imperial County
B. J. Aegerter, UC Cooperative Extension, San Joaquin County
J. J. Stapleton, UC IPM Program, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier

Acknowledgment for contributions to Diseases:
W. D. Gubler, Plant Pathology, UC Davis

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