Soft rot of Ginger, a serious problem in Ginger crop

                     Soft rot diseases in Ginger crop

Ginger Zingiber officinale Rosc. (Family: Zingiberaceae) is an   herbaceous perennial, the rhizomes of which are used as a spice. India is a leading producer of ginger in the world and during 2012-13 the country produced 7.45 lakh tonnes of the spice from an area of 1. 56 hectares.

                     Ginger rhizomes

Ginger is cultivated in most of the states in India. However, states namely Karnataka, Orissa, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat together contribute 65 per cent to the country’s total production.

Major problems of Ginger crop growing.

1. Soft Rot diseases caused for Pythium aphanidermatum. Pythium vexans and Pythium myriotylum -- Fungi 

              Pythium Rot in Ginger   

2. Bacterial Wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum   

                Bacterial disease in Ginger

3. Leaf spot diseases are caused by Phyllosticta zingiberi, Helminthosporium, Colletotrichum, Pyricularia

                Leaf spot diseases in Ginger

4. Root knot Nematodes (Meloidogyne spp., Radopholus smilis, Pratylenchus spp.) also infests ginger crop in some areas and some seasons.

               Nematodes infestation on Ginger crop

5. Shoot borers (Conogethis punctiferalis) cause holes in the pseudostems leading to major crop losses

           Stem borers infestations in ginger crop

6. White grubs (Holotrichia spp.) are also major pests of ginger crop.

           Root grubs infestation on ginger crop

7. Rhizome Scale (Aspidiella hartii) sometimes attack ginger crop cause major losses.

          Rhizome scale infestation in ginger

Among them soft rot disease is more severe in high moist areas with little lower temperatures

Soft Rot disease is caused fungi Pythium aphanidermatum, Pythium vexans and Pythium myriotylum.

          Pythium soft rot in Ginger

        Symptoms of soft rot caused by Pythium spp.

Nature of Damage:

  • The fungi builds up along with the soil moisture especially during the monsoons.
  • Young sprouts are the more susceptible ones.
  • The collar region of the pseudostem affected by soft rot becomes water-soaked.
  • The rotting spreads reaching the rhizome.
  • The rhizomes grow soft and begin rotting and hence the name ‘soft rot’

                    Pythium Rot in Ginger leaves   Pythium Rot in Ginger leave

              Leaf symptoms of soft rot caused by Pythium spp.

Symptoms of the disease

  • Affected region becomes water soaked
  • Middle portion of leaves are green while margins turn yellow.
  • Yellowing spreads upward as well as downward to other regions.
  • Pseudostems dry and wither
  • The infected shoots are very easy to pull out from the soil.

                    Rhizome rot disease due to pythium infections  Pythium rot of Ginger rhizome

                    Rhizome rot caused by Pythium spp.

 Spreading of Disease

  • Spreads through rhizomes
  • Affected spores present in soil

Management of Disease

  • The most important step here is to select soil that does not hold water soil must drain off water quickly.
  • Seed rhizomes must be chosen from disease-free gardens.
  • Drench with Ridomet75 gm per litre and drench in dry conditions and 2-3 gm per litre in wet or rainy conditions.

                          Management soft rot disease of Ginger crop

  • After 6 days Neel Cu [Copper EDTA]5 gm per litre and drench in dry conditions and 1.5 - 2 gm per litre in wet or rainy conditions.

                          Management of  soft rot disease of Ginger crop

  • Seed treatment with Ridomet 1 gm/L of water and spray on the seed rhizomes stored in dry conditions spray should done uniformly on the cut seed rhizomes. This seed treatment may help prevent the disease at later stages.

                         Seed rhizome treatment with metalaxyl


Senior Agronomist, BigHaat.

 For more information kindly call on 8050797979 or give missed call on 180030002434 during office hours 10 AM to 5 PM

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