Anthracnose Disease: What Is It, [HOW TO] Prevention and Treatment

Anthracnose disease is a plant disease that affects a number of shade trees and shrubs, even ornamental plants during the growing season.

Belonging to the kingdom of fungi, Anthracnose disease is generally common in the eastern parts of the United States.

It was identified in 1875 in Germany. Since then, it has spread all around the world.

Today, a number of nations, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, India, China, Myanmar, and Argentina consider it to be a highly destructive plant disease, especially for the bean crops.

Anthracnose fungal disease on chili pepper

What is Anthracnose Disease?

The disease Anthracnose is caused due to a fungus known as Colletotrichum lindemuthianum. It is a fungal disease that generally attacks plants when the weather is cool and wet.

This is why it is common to encounter Anthracnose attacks during spring as the cool, humid, and rainy weather provides the ideal condition for the spread of spores.

During the colder months of the year, the fungi overwinter in dead twigs, seeds, fallen leaves, soil, and garden debris.

As soon as the conditions are right, the pathogens spread to infect the nearby plants.

Perhaps, the most alarming thing about the disease Anthracnose is that it can infect a wide variety of plants, including:

The optimal temperature for the growth and spread of spores lies between 75° – 85° degrees Fahrenheit.

The disease also requires moisture for the fungal spores to develop, germinate and infect the plant.

It can spread through multiple means, including wind, insects, rain, and even garden tool.

What Damage Does Anthracnose Cause?

The early signs of Anthracnose fungal disease include the appearance of numerous brown spots on the underside of infected leaves.

This is one characteristic of Anthracnose, which distinguishes it from other leaf spot diseases.

In some time, noticeable water-soaked lesions appear along the leaves, stems, flowers, and even fruits.

These lesions are generally dark and sunken and, over time, their centers may become covered with a pink gelatinous mass, which eventually causes the plant to rot.

Pest Control For Fungal Anthracnose

An attack by Anthracnose can ruin a beautiful harvest in a few days.

This makes it important to learn about this highly destructive disease and take preventative and recovery measures when required.

Here’s what you can do ensure your plants remain healthy and steer clear of Anthracnose disease.

  • Use seeds free of disease and are disease-resistant.
  • Control insects and mites that may play a part in spreading the Anthracnose fungus from one plant to another.
  • Try and limit the accumulation of fungi spores in the soil.
  • If a plant is infected, refrain from using the same garden tools for it that come in contact with other plants.
  • Remove/destroy infected plants from the garden to control the spread.
  • Use well-drained soil and add loads of compost.
  • Rotate your plants every few years.
  • Proper pruning to get rid of old and dead parts of the plant may also assist.
  • Make sure you don’t compost infected leaves or other infected parts of the plants.
  • Destroy infected parts and use a good quality fungicide to restore the plants to health.