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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Groundnut stem rot

Sclerotium rolfsii

Recognize the problem

Germinating seeds infected by groundnut stem rot are covered with masses of black spongy fungi. This causes rapid wilting of the entire plant or its branches. The development of white fungal threads can be seen on affected plant tissue, particularly on the stem. The base of the plant turns yellow and then wilts down. Mature plants may also be attacked. Lesions develop on the stem below the soil and spread upwards along the branches. The whole collar region becomes shredded and dark brown. Dried, dead branches can be easily detached from the disintegrated collar region.


Groundnut stem rot is caused by a fungus.


  • Apply a deep covering of organic matter before planting
  • Carry out non-dirting cultivation by avoiding movement of soil up around the base of plants
  • Preventing accumulation of organic debris
  • Rotate the groundnut crop with wheat, corn and soyabean
  • Use a seed treatment of Trichoderma viride @ 4 g/kg seed and soil application of Trichoderma viride @2.5 kg/ha, mixed with 50 kg farmyard manure or with organic amendments such as castor cake or neem cake or mustard cake @ 500 kg/ ha
  • Alternatively, use a dry seed treatment of carbendazim or captan @ 2-3 g/kg of seed is effective.
  • A mixture of fungicides viz., quintozene (e.g. Terraclor) plus etridiazole (e.g. Terrazole) @ 20 kg/ha plus 40 kg/ha at pegging is also effective in controlling stem-rot diseases

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: India

Authors: T. Aruna
tel: 09894891020 email:
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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