How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Seasonal development and life cycle—White mold

White mold develops most rapidly at 68° to 77° F and is generally more severe in gardens with heavy canopies. The black, irregularly shaped sclerotia survive in the soil for several years. After several weeks of moist and cool conditions, sclerotia within 2 inches of the soil surface are preconditioned to produce mushroomlike fruiting structures that form after one to several weeks of temperatures at 52° to 68° F in moist soil. Airborne spores are then released and germinate on plant parts, especially senescing flower parts. The fungus may remain viable in blossoms for a month. Plant surfaces in contact with blossoms must remain continuously wet for 48 to 72 hours for infection to occur.

Sclerotia and mycelium on bean plant
Sclerotia and mycelium on bean plant

Mushroomlike fruiting structures
Mushroomlike fruiting structures

 


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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