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Purple Power

Pest: Fusarium solani

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Pest: Fungus species that causes Root rot, Stem cankers, Dump off



(Fusarium solani)





Stringy stem with light salmon colouration on the outside. Note the breakdown of the inner tissues and the white cottony-like growth of fungal mycelium on the surface of stem





Can cause Root rot, Stem cankers, Dump off, and fruit rot. It can sometimes causing Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) of soybeans, foot rot of bean and dry rot of potato.


Fusarium solani can cause failure of an entire crop in very short order. Formerly classified as a fungus, scientists have learned much more about the varying “strains” of Pythium and have changed its classification to a pathogen. Regardless of the type of pathogen involved, the mechanism of action for the Pythium genus remains the same. Fusarium solani was classified as a phytopathogenic and filamentous fungus in the genus Fusarium,  and the anamorph of Haematonectria haematococca. The fungi's chlamydospores are sometimes found in soils and plant debris. .


Some strains may cause infections in humans. If someone with a compromised immune system consumes fusarium contaminated cannabis, it can be extremely damaging to their health.


Fusarium is actually being used to kill off cannabis plants by the US government in the “War on Drugs” campaign, which gives you an idea as to how powerful this fungus is. It is both devastating and selective, making it the perfect weapon to kill off cannabis plants. Oftentimes Pythium root rot is referred to as “damping off.” It is difficult to reverse root rot once discovered.


Special Species Notes


The fungus has a worldwide distribution. Fusarium solani is found in most states in the United States.


The genus Fusarium comprises a wide and heterogeneous group of fungi important for the food and drug industry, medicine and agriculture.


It happens most often in warm, tropical areas of the world, or in greenhouses. It's found in soils and plant debris.




Colonies are fast growing, variable in color and texture, often granular or fluffy, rose-red, purple, or lavender, but may start out as white, cottony colonies that darken with maturity.





Common Species:


There are at least 50 subspecies lineages. Some strains, it causes Fusarium wilt, and in others it causes Fusarium root rot. Some harmful fusarium varieties can grow in anaerobic conditions. This includes fusarium oxysporum


In cool, wet soil, these species can proliferate and wreak havoc underground without proper treatment. Species that can cause root rot: F. acuminatum, F. chlamydosporum, F. compactum, F. culmorum, F. equiseti, F. graminearum, F. merismoides, F. proliferatum, F. pseudograminearum, F. semitectum, F. subglutinans, and F. verticilliodes.



Host plants:


soybean, corn alfalfa, African daisy, African violet, lentil, banana, plantain, black walnut, cassava, sweet potato, sunflower, red, clover, poinsettia, capsicum peanut, peach, nectarine, papaya, mint, mango, hemp, cucurbit (melon, cucumber, pumpkin, etc.),  coffee, coconut palm, citrus, chickpea, common bean



First signs:



Leaf Symptoms:

You will first begin to notice Fusarium when you see little dark spots on your plant’s lower leaves. The affected leaves will quickly become yellowish brown, and then the tips will start turning upward, and wilting will start its deadly course.


Plant Symptoms:

– Wilting: Leaves will wilt but they won’t fall off, and the stems on your plant will droop significantly.

– Swelling stem
– Breaking open of stem
– Red stem
– Red-colored roots


For Fusarium root rot, you might not notice its effects right away. Before the rot really sets in, the cannabis plant itself will show signs above the soil surface in the form of stunted flower growth and yellowed, wilting leaves, as the roots lose their ability to capably bring up nutrients, minerals, and water from the soil.


Symptoms of Fusarium infection include brownish-black discoloration of the primary root and lateral roots branching off of it. The roots will normally start to become red-colored first, which of course you won’t notice until that red color travels up through the stem. The stem will swell and then break open, which can lead to an onslaught of diseases and pests that will cause further harm to your plant. The plant will then wilt and collapse, and the Fusarium will go further and further up its stalk.


Fusarium clogs up the xylem vessels of your plant, which means that water and nutrients will not be able to travel through and reach the other parts of the plants. This is why the root rot has such a devastating effect on your entire cannabis plant. Left untreated, these roots will eventually die and decompose, taking away the crucial nutrient absorption organ of the plant.


Damping off usually affects seedlings first since they are young and frail. The fungi kills seeds in soil or seedlings shortly after they emerge from the soil. 


Damping off, or stem rot, is a reaction to a disease.  Roots, seeds and seedlings are attacked by soil born fungi causing the delivery of nutrients to the plant to be thwarted


Warm temperatures favor the pathogen, making it an issue in most greenhouses.


Damping off starts below the soil line. The fungi invades the stems of seedlings at the soil line, causing a brown watery soft rot. The first sign is when the lower portion of the stalk becomes discolored, usually yellow or brown.  The result is mushy, damp, soft stems. This will cause the plant to topple over and die.


Life cycle


The fungus can persist dormant in the soil for several years. The spores and the mycelium are carried into the soil on tools and in bean straw manure. They may also be splashed by rain or carried by floods.  The chlamydospore is the survival structure in the absence of a host plant. 


Fusarium solani produces asexual spores (microconidia and macroconidia).  Its sexual state is Nectria haematococca (Ascomycete).  It produces chlamydospores and overwinters as mycelium or spores in infected or dead tissues or seed.  It can be spread by air, equipment, and water.


How it spreads:


Fusarium is that it can sit in the soil for years, completely dormant. During this time, it will basically be impossible to notice its presence. Fusarium spreads through water movement, as well as through touching gardening tools or farm equipment. As soon as they come in contact with a viable host plant, they jump into action and come alive.


What to do For preventative use


You don’t want to prevent all fungus from growing in your soil. Your plant needs fungi to help create nutrients and protect itself from diseases. The trick is cultivating the right kinds of fungi, and minimizing the opportunity for harmful fungi to take over. There’s a simple way of doing this: make sure your soil is getting enough oxygen.


You don’t want one specific species of fungi to dominate your soil. You need a fairly balanced ratio of healthy bacteria to healthy fungi. In order to keep fungi in check, make sure you’re cultivating healthy bacteria in your soil. You can do this a couple of ways:


1) Inoculating your plant with a bacterial dominated compost tea, or

2) Adding bacterial foods such as diluted molasses


Make sure there’s enough ventilation. Creating a nice cross breeze is nice. Invest in a hygrometer and keep track of the rooms humidity. When you first start your plants, the humidity can be at around 70%. Then you need to gradually decrease it by about 5% each week until you hover around 40%.


Overwatering and poor drainage creates the perfect conditions for undesirable fungal growth, as well as other potential pathogens. Water only when your soil is completely dry, then drench, then let it completely dry again. Repeat until your plant is fully grown and ready to harvest. Aerating your water ahead of time will also make sure that when you do water, you’re also introducing oxygen into the soil.

Manage your pH, fusarium fungi can grow in a pH of six. Try to keep it above 6, in the range of 6.3 to 6.5. This is not a fool-proof plan, but it will definitely help check back fungal growth. Higher pH levels encourage bacterial growth, lower pH levels are more suitable for fungus.


If you are living in a location that naturally has clay soil, your risk of getting Fusarium is already lower. Since clay has a higher pH level, it naturally suppresses fungus. Loamy soils can often be useful as well since they might be housing microbes that keep Fusarium under control – this happens most of all when cannabis and other healthy plants are growing together in the same area.


Whenever you use any kind of tool, always sterilize it thoroughly after use. You should always use compost for your soil (compost that has been aged properly) to introduce beneficial bacteria that will help fight off any bad fungi.


For outdoors, Rotate your crops. If you’re only growing one crop, lack of crop rotation really puts your harvest at risk. Basically, you’re creating a marijuana monoculture which makes your plants more susceptible to disease over time. This includes susceptibility to fusarium fungi. You can have a crop growing during the winter such as clover, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, kale, celery, carrots, ect.

If you're growing in extremely close quarters, you may just want to sacrifice the diseased one. Fusarium can spread to other plants in the room, quickly creating chaos for your entire harvest. You won’t want to risk that.


As soon as you notice the problem with your plants, you need to remove the affected parts right away. Do not let the plant matter remain in the grow area and decompose, especially since it’s sitting in the soil. If it remains, it will only ensure that any future plants growing there will be devastated as well.


Don’t throw this soil into your compost. You need to throw it somewhere else, take it offsite, dump it in a yard waste container. Or, rake it out into a thin layer and let it bleach and dry out completely in the hot sun. covering it with black plastic and letting it sit out in the sun. This cooking process will kill off much of the fusarium and allow you to use the soil again in the future.


If the disease persists, it is best to remove the entire plant and solarize the soil before planting again. How to sterilizes your soil is post 5 of the Quarantine thread: http://freemygreenpdx.com/topic/14249-quarantine-what-is-it-and-why-do-i-need-to/


Treatment methods will vary depending on the severity of the infection, but there are some methods that are generally considered acceptable.


Spray the soil with a copper-based anti-fungal treatment


Most preventative measures will include the use of an enzyme product (such as Hygrozyme) to facilitate the breakdown of dead matter. Hygrozyme, used at 10mL-15mL per gallon will ensure that any dead organic matter that finds its way into the growing systems will be consumed and converted into a usable mineral matrix for your plants. Hygrozyme works great for this purpose and has the added benefit of being a bacteria free enzyme concentrate. Hygrozyme is also great to use to clean your equipment mid-cycle. It has no toxic ingredients, leaves behind no residues, is OMRI certified and is completely safe for any types of plants whether in soil or hydroponics.




There are fungicides available commercially that will work to suppress and control Pythium, look for products containing the Trichoderma genus of fungi. There is some evidence that the Bacillus subtilis can also play a role in preventing and controlling certain root zone problems. (Hydroguard is a commercially available biological water treatment containing B. subtilis.) Again, these fungicides are at their best when used in an overall preventative capacity. Bacillus Subtilis is a naturally occurring anti-fungal bacterium found in soils. bacillus subtilis spray Biological based foliar sprays containing Gliocladium and Trichoderma species. Trade name Cease, bacillus subtilis QST 713, Compaion liquid bacillus subtilis GB03or products like Serenade that contain Bacillus subtilis. The bacillus subtilis produces a chemical compound of some type (antibiotic or toxin) that acts against the pathogen. directly attacks the pathogen. Induction of host plant resistance: bacillus subtilis triggers a defensive response in the host plant that limits the ability of the pathogen to invade the plant.



Mycostop  is a biological fungicide that will safely protect crops against wilt caused by Fusarium. Approved for use in organic crop production, it can be applied as a soil spray or drench (1-2 gm/ 100 sq ft) to seedlings, ornamentals and vegetables. Apply sufficient water during application to move Mycostop into the root zone.






The link below will take you to "An Intro to beneficial bugs and beneficial insect food" it has a list (been worked on) to pests and beneficial insects




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