Succulents have year-round popularity, and many greenhouses have increased production due to demand for individual plants and decorative combination containers. Often when plants brown, collapse
and die, the root and crown rot pathogens of Phytophthora, Pythium, or Rhizoctonia are usually suspected. However, during a recent greenhouse visit, Zebra Haworthia (Haworthiopsis attenuata) was
collapsing and dying not from the usual suspects but from bacterial soft rot.
Bacterial soft rot is most often caused by the bacterium, Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum (formerly known as Erwinia carotovora). Other bacterial species causing soft rot include Pectobacterium atrosepticum and Dickeya chrysanthemi (formerly E. chrysanthemi). Bacterial soft rot disease is not common within greenhouses and nurseries; however, it is seen sporadically and can cause soft rots of crowns, corms, rhizomes, or stems on numerous ornamental plants, including cyclamen, hosta, osteospermum, and poinsettia.
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