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Strawberry Grey Mould


Strawberry Grey Mould

Usually appear in

All Year

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Caused By:-     The Fungus Botrytis cinerea


Strawberry Grey mould is caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea which is widespread and also attacks many other plants. See below.
At flowering time, spores, blown by the wind, enter open flowers and lie dormant until the fruits begin to ripen when small brown spots form on the skin, then spread over the whole fruit, turning it soft and brown. As the fruit deteriorates, a furry grey mould envelopes the fruit.
This furry mould is covered in spores that are blown by the wind or watering and therefore spores are always present. It usually infects plants through a wound particularly if the plants under stress, but will infect healthy plants as well, especially under humid conditions and can occur at any time of year.
The fungus forms black, seed-like resting structures (sclerotia) in dead plant tissue which can carry the fungus through the winter or periods when host plants are scarce.
Because the existence of a sexual stage, the fungus should be known by the name Botryotinia fuckeliana; however the name Botrytis cinerea is much better known to gardeners.
There are many closely related species which only attack specific plants. See also Bean Chocolate Spot, Botrytis, Grey Mould, Lettuce Grey Mould, Lily Disease, Onion Neck Rot,
Peony Wilt, Rose Grey Mould, Snowdrop Grey Mould.
Picture by Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service,


Controlling this fungus is often difficult as it is so widespread so prevention is better than a cure.
Hygiene is very important, especially under glass. Remove dead and dying leaves, buds and flowers promptly and preferably burn. Reduce humidity by improving ventilation and do not overcrowd plants.
Spraying with a fungicide is often not successful, but I have found that Scotts Rose Clear gives some control. Several sprayings over a long period may be necessary.
Systemic fungicide is often necessary as the fungus can live in the tissue of the plant.
Soil sterilants like Armillatox or Jayes fluid can be used on soil in winter.

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