Eggplant fruit rot: Treatment of eggplants against colletotrichum rot

The rotten fruit of the eggplants in his garden is a sad sight. You have fed your plants all spring and summer, and now they are infected and unusable. Colletotrichum fruit rot is a fungal infection that can cause serious losses in eggplant crops.

About Colletotricum fruit rot

This fungal infection is caused by a species called Colletotrichum melongenae . The disease is also known as anthracnose fruit rot, and is common in temperate and subtropical climates. Infection usually occurs on over-ripe or weakened fruit. Warm, moist conditions are particularly conducive to infection and spread.

What do eggplants affected by colletotrichum rot look like? Fruit rot in eggplants starts with small lesions in the fruit. Over time, they grow and coalesce to create larger lesions. They look like sunken spots on the fruit, and in the center is a colored area of the flesh that is filled with fungus spores. This area has been described as a fungal «ooze». If the infection becomes severe, the fruit will fall off.

Eggplant fruit rot control

This type of fruit rot is not likely to occur, or at least not seriously, if you give your plants the right conditions. For example, avoid top watering like a sprinkler when the fruit is ripening. Moisture from sitting can cause infections. You should also avoid over-ripening the fruit before harvest. Infection is more likely to take root in over-ripe fruit. This makes other fruits more susceptible.

At the end of the growing season, remove infected plants and destroy them. Do not add them to your compost or you may let the fungus overwinter and infect the plants the following year. You can also use fungicides to manage this infection. In the case of eggplant fruit rot, fungicides are usually applied preventatively when weather conditions are conducive to infection or if you know your garden may be contaminated with the fungus.

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