Phytophthora, the cause of an array of rot diseases in citrus, can be exacerbated by citrus greening.

Phytophthora inoculum causes an array of citrus rot diseases, including brown rot, foot and crown rot, and root rot, and it can directly impact citrus production. Usually it’s controlled with treatment and choosing tolerant rootstocks. However, citrus greening, also called HLB, has thrown a wrench in the mix. According to a Citrus Industry article, citrus greening predisposes citrus roots to infection by phytophthora. See recommendations for managing this dynamic in your orange groves.

Recommendations for Combating Phytophthora

The first recommendation in the article is to choose phytophthora-tolerant rootstock, such as trifoliate rootstocks. While not immune, these rootstocks are better able to fight off the inoculum and recover faster.

Next, it is important to properly prepare the land to reduce the conditions favored by the inoculum, such as reducing an overabundance of moisture through bedding preparation and adequate drainage. It is also a good idea to make chemical management targeting the inoculum a priority when replanting, as it can linger in the soil, be present in potting medium, and travel from nearby infected trees in the grove.

Furthermore, citrus growers should time their chemical management of phytophthora with major root flushes as much as possible. According to the article, root flushes typically follow leaf flushes in citrus trees, and the largest one occurs in the fall. However, it has been found that citrus greening does lower the efficacy of chemical management of phytophthora-sourced diseases.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.