Ajuga-Crown Rot

Latest revision: 
March 2023

Cause The fungus Phoma sp. has been found in greenhouse grown plants by the OSU Plant Clinic and reported from Georgia. The problem in Georgia was attributed to infected plants coming in from plug production facilities in Central America. Plants die quickly.

Sclerotium rolfsii can also infect crowns and causes a sudden wilting and death but is rarely seen in the PNW.

Symptoms A thin white coating may develop across the leaf surface or whitish patches can occur scattered on upper leaf surfaces. This can develop into yellowing, dulling, wilting, and death of plant foliage. Roots have a dark brown discoloration.

Cultural control Sanitation of diseased plants will be the best option as there are no controls once the fungus has infected plants.

  • Inspect plugs for discolored roots and discard plants when found.

Reference Williams-Woodward, J. 2005. Pathogenicity of crown rot and root rot disease of Ajuga reptans caused by Phoma sp. Phytopathology 95:S111