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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Vegetable > Onion > Soft or watery bulb

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Onion > Bulb > Soft or watery bulb

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  • Image: Fusarium Basal Rot 1
  • Image: Fusarium Basal Rot 2

Fusarium basal rot
Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cepae

  • Leaves turn yellow to brown from the tip down and wilt
  • Onion bulb has watery brown decay starting at the base and extending up into the bulb
  • Roots are rotted or absent and the bulb is often easily pulled from the ground
  • A white fuzzy growth can often be seen on the rotted basal plate
  • More information on Fusarium Basal Rot...
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  • Image: Soft Rot 2
  • Image: Soft Rot 3
  • Image: Soft Rot 1

Soft rot
Erwinia carotovora pv. Carotovora

  • Leaves of onions become pale and wilt
  • One or several bulb scales may appear water soaked, gray and soft
  • The entire bulb may be soft and watery
  • A foul smell may be present
  • Common on plants injured by onion maggot or other means
  • Disease develops in warm wet weather, often at the end of the season
  • More information on Soft Rot...
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  • Image: Stem and Bulb Nematode 2
  • Image: Stem and Bulb Nematode 1

Stem and bulb nematode
Ditylenchus dipsaci

  • Leaves are twisted and stunted
  • Leaves may have pale yellow to tan spots
  • Base of leaves and top of bulb becomes spongy, and may rot
  • Bulbs have cracks
  • In severe infestations, plant may wilt and die
  • More information on Stem and bulb nematode...

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