How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Phytophthora root and crown rot—Phytophthora capsici, P. parasitica

Above ground symptoms of rot on peppers or eggplants include rapid wilting and death of affected plants. Tap roots and smaller lateral roots show water-soaked, very dark brown discoloration of cortical and xylem tissue. Very few lateral roots remain on diseased plants and the tap roots may also be shorter compared with those of healthy plants. Stems are usually infected at the soil line and may girdle. Stem lesions are first dark green and water soaked, then later dry and turn brown.

Life cycle


Plant on raised beds with well-drained soil. In heavy soils that are poorly drained, root and crown rot may be reduced by carefully managed drip irrigation. The disease can be effectively prevented by a program integrating crop rotations of 2 years that excludes susceptible plants (corn, beans, or strawberries would be good rotation choices), with irrigation management, clean seed, and transplants. Some resistant cultivars may be available.

For more information, see the Phytophthora Root and Crown Rot Pest Note.

Phytophthora symptoms on fruit

Phytophthora symptoms on fruit

Lesions on pepper stem

Lesions on pepper stem

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/phytophrootpepper.html revised: April 25, 2014. Contact webmaster.