What is aster foot rot? This nasty, soil-borne fungal disease enters asters through the taproot and spreads through the roots before moving upwards through the entire plant. Once established, treating aster foot rot is difficult; however, the disease can be prevented. Let’s learn more about asters with foot rot.
Aster Foot Rot Symptoms
What causes aster foot rot? Aster foot rot is most common in damp weather. The disease is favored by poorly drained soil and overwatering. Once aster foot rot is in the soil, it spreads quickly, even in very small amounts of water.
Symptoms of asters with foot rot include sudden wilting of leaves and a brownish-black discoloration of the lower part of the stems. Plants often shrivel and collapse at soil level. Because the disease affects the roots, asters with foot rot are easily pulled from the soil.
Treating Aster Foot Rot
Prevention of asters with foot rot is key to its treatment, as infected plants cannot typically be saved.
Plant disease-resistant varieties, which are less likely to develop aster foot rot. Plant the asters in well-drained soil. Never plant where the soil remains soggy during the winter and avoid planting asters too deeply. Never plant asters in soil that has previously been affected by aster foot rot.
Don’t plant asters too early in the season when the weather is more likely to be cool and damp. Wait until mid- to late spring. Also, allow 1 to 3 feet (30-90 cm.) between plants. Trim leaves that touch the soil.
Asters prefer a location in partial to full sunlight. (Hot, afternoon sunlight may be too intense in warmer climates).
Never water asters more than necessary – provide only enough moisture to keep the plants healthy. Never overwater or irrigate to the point of runoff.
If you’ve discovered affected plants in your garden, remove them promptly. Burn the plants or destroy them carefully in sealed containers. Never place diseased plant matter in compost.