Ribes Spp. Possible root rot.

Asked September 13, 2017, 11:45 AM EDT

This plant was 11 years old. It had a lot of flowers this spring. I have 5 plants. All but one are doing well. I noticed the leaves turn brown and crispy and have fallen. The branches have berries and no fruit. The branches are not dry. After doing some reading on Ribes I thought it could be root rot so I dug up the plant this morning. I'm sending you some photos. I have the plant in a plastic bag. This is my first time, so I did not know how to get to the cambium. I saw the article on Ribes in ask an expert but could not click on the links successfully..

Jefferson County Washington

1 Response

Dear Client,

Sorry to hear of the dead 11-year-old Ribes. Your description of the death of the cane does suggest a problem with the roots providing water and nutrients to the rest of the plant. The dark color about the base of the cane would also indicate root rot. The lack of healthy feeder roots and dark colored roots also suggests rot root. The best way to confirm this as root rot would be to send the sample to the WSU Puyallup Clinic and see if the diagnostician can isolate the causal agent. I would not hesitate to call the office first to speak with the diagnostician about the condition of the sample. It may be too late to properly diagnose a completely dead specimen. If this is one of several Ribes plants in the same area, you need to keep extra vigilance to make sure these plants do not start to show symptoms of decline like this plant did. The earlier you catch a disease/disorder the better the chances that the Diagnostic Clinic can identify it.

Anyway, don't hesitate to contact the Clinic. I did have a commercial patch with symptoms of root rot, and they were able to confirm it . Their website and contact information is below:

https://puyallup.wsu.edu/plantclinic/plant-problems/

Hope this helps!