Pea Wilt

Fusarium and other soil-borne fungi

Pea fusarium wilt [Credit: Lyndon Porter]
Pea fusarium wilt [Credit: Lyndon Porter]
Pea fusarium wilt [Credit: S. Markell, NDSU]
Pea fusarium wilt [Credit: S. Markell, NDSU]

Host Plants:

On Crops: Peas and many other vegetables and flowers

Where Found:

Worldwide, wherever host crops are grown


Older leaves low down on pea plant begin to turn yellowish. If the disease advances, the roots rot which causes the whole plant to slowly wilt and die. Watering fails to perk up wilted plants. It is common for a few plants to show symptoms while others remain healthy.


When you pull up an infected pea plant, it will have a skimpy root system with most small roots missing. A dark area of decay may be present on the main stem near the soil line.

Preventing Problems:

Plant peas in soil that has been thoroughly cultivated, and do not plant peas after potatoes or beans. Some varieties provide genetic resistance. Do not weed peas after they begin to show flower buds, because physical injuries to the roots can provide openings through which fusarium fungi can enter the plants.

Managing Outbreaks:

Pull up affected plants and compost them if you can do so without injuring neighboring vines. Sometimes it is better to let the withered plants stay in place until the planting is ready to take down.

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