How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Pest identification and confirmation—Clubroot

Clubroot may often be confused with nematode damage. Aboveground symptoms of both disorders are similar--wilting or stunting of leaves. Digging up the plants and observing the roots is the only way to distinguish the two disorders. Roots with clubroot are heavily clubbed and may appear spindle shaped. Multiple infections of the same root cause extreme swelling and distortion. Nematodes cause distinctive galls or swellings to form on the roots, but they are not clubbed or spindle shaped. In some cases, small white or brown structures (bodies or eggs of some nematode species) may be seen.

Galls caused by root-knot nematodes
Galls caused by root-knot nematodes

Infected plants show significant root clubbing
Infected plants show significant root clubbing


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2014 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /PMG/GARDEN/VEGES/DISEASES/ID/idclubroot.html revised: April 25, 2014. Contact webmaster.