The Q&A Archives: Southern Bacterial Wilt

Question: I have found out from the NC Ag Agent that I have Southern bacterial wilt. What veggies can I plant that are non-host plants? Is there nothing that I can do? I have no other place to plant tomatoes, etc? What is the cause of this horrible disease that wipes out my garden?

Answer: Southern bacterial wilt, caused by Pseudomonas solanacearum, is a widespread and destructive disease of numerous crops in the warm climates of the world. It is a major disease of tobacco, tomato, potato, dahlia, geranium, hollyhock, hydrangea, marigold, nasturtium, zinnia and others. Southern bacterial wilt is a difficult disease to control. There are no chemicals that provide effective control before or after planting.

The only control is to avoid susceptible plants (as listed above) or to grow resistant cultivars. If it is necessary to grow a susceptible cultivar in an area where the disease has been a problem in the past, plant the susceptible cultivar in another part of the area or plant them in new soil or a soil-less media in planter boxes.

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