Celery (Apium graveolens var. dulce)-Fusarium Yellows

Cause Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. apii, race 2. This is a soilborne fungus that has been spreading throughout the celery-growing areas of North America since it was first seen in California in 1975. Before that, Fusarium yellows affected only yellow, self-blanching varieties of celery.

Symptoms Affected crops show uneven growth with patches of stunted, yellowed plants. Infected plants have brown roots, discolored crowns, and yellow, curled leaves.

Cultural control

  • Avoid introducing this disease by preventing movement of soil, water, or plants from infested areas. Never dispose of celery trimmings on land that may grow celery because all parts of infected plants may contain fungal propagules.
  • Never grow transplants in soil that may be infested unless soil is first fumigated or steamed to destroy the soilborne inoculum.
  • Once introduced, buildup of inoculum can be slowed by rotating with unrelated crops such as corn, Brassicas, cucurbits, or onions.
  • The varieties, Picador, Matador, and Starlet, are resistant. Varieties T.U. 52-70 HK, Tendercrisp, Vicar, Deacon, and Bishop are moderately resistant.

Biological control

  • Actinovate AG at 3 to 12 oz/A as a soil drench at planting. 1-hr reentry. O
  • Actinovate Lawn & Garden at 0.5 to 1 teaspoon/gal water. H O
  • Double Nickel LC at 0.5 to 4.5 pints/A as a soil drench at planting. 4-hr reentry. O
  • Rootshield Home and Garden at 1 to 3 Tbsp/gal water as a soil drench at planting. H O
  • Rootshield WP at 3 to 5 oz/100 gal water for greenhouse soil drench and field chemigation or at 16 to 32 oz/A as an in-furrow spray. 0-hr reentry. O

References Awuah, R.T., and Lorbeer, J.W. 1991. Methyl bromide and steam treatment of organic soil for control of fusarium yellows of celery. Plant Disease 75:123-125.

Gaye, M.M., Ormrod, D.J., Seywerd, F.M., and Odermatt, W.J. 1991. Occurrence of fusarium yellows on celery in southwestern British Columbia and evaluation of cultivars for disease tolerance. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 13:88-92.