Anthracnose Fungus Disease

Anthracnose fungus is a disease of importance to gardeners because it affects so many trees and plants. There is no cure. This page is about identifying the disease and choosing a fungicide treatment for it.

Pictures to help you make a correct diagnosis.

Affected Plants

Stem canker caused by dogwood anthracnose.

Anthracnose susceptible trees include:

  • Dogwood
  • Sycamore
  • Ash
  • Oak
  • Sorghum
  • Maple or Acer
  • Japanese Maple

Some Vulnerable Perennials are:

Affected fruits include:

Disease Symptoms

Anthracnose infected sycamore leaf.

Infected Sycamore Leaf

The Colletotrichum fungus which causes this disease is most common to the eastern United States. The fungi live in seeds, soil and the above ground portion of plants.

Cold does not kill it and temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees F. encourage its growth.

Infected Oak Leaf

Fungal spores develop only in the presence of moisture. Wind, splashing water, dirty garden tools, and garden insects then spread the disease from plant to plant.

Anthracnose infected peach.

Infected Peach Fruit

Infected plants develop dark, wet-looking spots on their leaves, stems, or fruit. During rainy summer weather, pink clusters of spores will form in the centers of the dark spots. Infected fruit will rot in a few days.

Rose canker is caused by anthracnose.


Organic Anthracnose Control

Anthracnose infected strawberries.

The most important way to control this fungus is to keep the garden clean. Rake up and bag fallen leaves and fruit at the end of the growing season.

Discard all trimmings of infected plants and clean your pruning tools with a bleach solution (1 part bleach to 3 parts water) before using them on uninfected plants.

Do not save seed from infected plants as the seed may be infected as well.

Sulfur or copper based fungicides will prevent the spores from germinating. Spray infected plants on a weekly basis throughout the growing season.



Other Pesky Garden Diseases:

Alternaria
There are many species of Alternaria fungus. A. alternata is the most common followed by A. solani. They cause disease in both plants and people. Mold prevention tips.

Symptoms and Treatment of Rose Rosette Disease

How to Prevent Blossom End Rot on Garden Vegetables

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