Correcting Bacterial Blight

Written by April Reinhardt (last updated July 26, 2017)


Bacterial blight is an infectious plant disease that attacks many varieties of plants. The symptoms of blight may include browning and spotting of leaves, leaves becoming yellow and withered, and possibly total death of the plant's leaves, fruit, flowers, and stems. In severe cases, an entire plant may die if it has blight. Whole orchards of American chestnut trees died in the early 1900's, virtually making the species extinct by the late 1940's. Bacterial blight was the cause of the Irish Potato Famine in the early 1700's.

Caused by bacteria, blight festers in moist, cool environments. Some measures taken to control blight proliferation are using disease-free seeds and stock, blight-resistant plant species, crop rotation, spacing for better air circulation, and application of fungicides. Making sure that you grow your plants in sanitary conditions can also help correct bacterial blight.

If you suspect that your plants or lawn have bacterial blight, it is important that you deal with it quickly in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Here are some tips to help you correct bacterial blight in your landscape:

  • Make sure that your plants have leaf blight before you treat the symptoms. You can test for blight yourself by placing a cutting of the plant into a test tube of water. If the plant's lesions from the cut end show bacterial ooze, then it is probably blight. You can also talk with qualified nurserymen or landscape experts to diagnose your plant's lesions to affirm the suspected blight.
  • If your plants do have blight, cut it away as soon as possible. If your lawn is infected, keep it mowed to about two inches.
  • Cut away infected leaves, flowers, fruits, or branches from trees and other plants.
  • Aerate your plants to control blight. Cut and prune large plants, removing inside branches to improve air and light circulation to the plant. De-thatch your lawn with thatching rakes.
  • Grow plants under sanitary conditions, using clean gardening tools and sharp blades.

While some fungicides may increase the growth of blight, others will inhibit it. Check with your state's Cooperative Extension office to discover remedies and suggestions to help control blight.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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What is two less than 3?

2017-01-06 07:35:53

mike ragan

I have trouble with blight on two or three of my flowing plants every year. I know the secret to having a more healthy plant is to jump on the problem early. What product can I use to spray the plant early and often to keep this
disease under control until after flowering season?


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