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Extension > Garden > Yard and Garden > Diseases > Clubroot

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Michelle Grabowski

Top five things to know about clubroot

G. Holmes, CA Polytech. State Univ. at San Luis Obispo,

Plants wilting due to clubroot.

Susceptible plants

All members of the cabbage family, brassicaceae, are susceptible to clubroot. This includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, kale, radish, turnips, rutabaga, mustard greens, collard greens, arugula, bok choy, and canola.

The clubroot pathogen can infect the roots of some common weeds without causing symptoms.


R. Wick UMass,

Stunting due to clubroot

Above ground

M. Grabowski, UMN Extension

Swollen, distorted roots caused by clubroot

Below ground

How clubroot spreads and survives

Clubroot is caused by the pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae. It will not spread on seed, but it can be brought into a garden on infected transplants. The pathogen forms thick walled spores in infected roots. Spores are released into the soil as roots break down and can survive for 20 years.

Clubroot spores can be brought into a new area on infested soil or compost. Tools like tillers and shovels can spread the pathogen if not cleaned after use in infested soils. Spores can be moved short distances on wind strong enough to blow soil particles.

Prevention and management

If clubroot is found in the garden

Once clubroot is found at a site, it is likely to be present at that site indefinitely. The management strategies below are designed to prevent the spread of the pathogen to a new location, and reduce the pathogen population to a low enough level to allow for some production. Heavily infested sites should not be planted with members of the cabbage family but can be used for other crops.

The use of trade names in this publication does not imply endorsement of the products named or criticism of similar ones not mentioned.


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