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Rizottoniosi: Generalities

It is a very common disease, caused by a mycelium, Rhizoctonia solani, which affects both ornamental plants and vegetable and orchard plants; in particular it is found on gerberas, on geraniums, on dahlias, on begonias, on cyclamens, on tulips, and on many other plants.
The main symptom consists in the deterioration of the plant's collar and roots closer to the surface of the soil, it is easily recognizable as these parts take on a typical brown color, tending to red. Usually the disease leads to the rapid deterioration of the affected plants, with progressive drying up of the stem and the roots. Sometimes, as in the case of the laurel cherry, the rizottoniosis strikes the leaves, on which dark patches and rots can be seen.
This disease spreads very quickly from one plant to another, especially in conditions of high soil humidity and temperatures not too high (around 20 ° C) and also in the hollows of the soil, where water stagnation may occur.
The best cure for this disease is obviously preventive, in fact the rizottoniosis preferably affects little luxuriant plants, on poorly drained soils and poor in nutrients. When symptoms occur, usually the infection is already in an advanced state, so it is good to use healthy seeds and plants and to maintain good water drainage and fertilization in our pots and gardens.
Furthermore it is advisable to treat the sowing and transplanting soils disinfecting them with steam or with suitable fungicides, as the mycelium lasts for a long time on the soil without having to move to a host plant.
In the case of plants already affected, it is advisable first of all to remove them from other plants, so that the disease does not spread, and then to proceed with treatments with products suitable to completely eradicate this fungus, such as tolclofos.