Fungal crown rot of Echinocereus and Agave

Disease Information

Fungal crown rot of



Soft rot of several species of Echinocereusis caused by a species of

Helminthosporium, a fungal pathogen that produces airborne spores

abundantly. These spores are easily disseminated in splashing water and windborne rain.


The first symptom of infection is dark, sunken areas that are soft and water soaked In Echinocereus, disease may begin anywhere on the upper part of the cactus and causes an internal soft rot  .In pad cacti, sunken soft-rotted areas appear on the pad surface.


Water management is probably important for prevention of this disease, but to date no research has been done to determine the optimum conditions for disease development.

Applications of fungicides such as thiophanate-methyl may help prevent infection where disease has been problematic. Infected plants should be removed so that they are not sources of spores that will infect nearby plants.


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