University of Florida

Damping Off


Fusarium and Pythium spp., Phytophthora nicotianae var. parasitica, P. capsici, Rhizoctonia solani, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Sclerotium rolfsii.


Roots and lower stems.


Seed decay or seedling death prior to emergence from soil; death of emerged seedling or transplants as roots rot, lower stems appear water-soaked and shriveled at soil line followed by plant wilt and death.

Pathogen Spread


Favorable Conditions

Wet soils during seeding through the first 2 weeks after transplanting-especially during August and September. Usually a problem in late summer, early fall in peninsular Florida.

Damping-Off Picture

Damping-Off Fungi
Image # 101.
Pythium postemergence damping-off of tomatoes grown on unfumigated land.