Real World Gardener Dealing with Dieback in Soil Savvy

March 18th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.comREALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

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Phytophthera cinnamomi  or commonly called Dieback

If you’ve ever noticed some browning off of branches or limbs on your trees and shrubs, chances are you don’t have a pest but a fungal disease in your soil.

Phytophthera can be isolated if you notice it in one or more plants in your garden because it will affect plants individually.


Phytophthera in the landscape. photo M. Cannon

Although Phytophthera doesn't discriminate as to which plant it affects.

Let’s find out about you can do about it. I'm talking with Penny Smith, Horticultural Scientist, specialising in soils.


Dieback in Arbutus unedo photo M Cannon

The scientific name of this fungal dieback is phytophthora cinnamomi  and this fungus was probably introduced into Australia through European settlement.

It has now spread to affect hundreds of thousands of hectares of native vegetation, in just about every state in Australia.

Phytophthera also affects parklands and even Botanic Gardens.

So the big tip was if you think you have it in your garden when you’re watering your plants that have compost around it, the phytophthora fungus is less likely to spread through your garden because the organic matter is an inhibitor to that fungus.

If you have any questions about phytophthora or any other fungal disease, drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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