Collards rotting from the center

Asked September 22, 2019, 12:37 PM EDT

I'm seeing something that I've never seen in collard greens in my garden before - one of the plants is rotting from the center. What might be causing this and can it spread to the other plants? (I pulled the rotting plant - we have many collard plants.) The plants otherwise look healthy, but with some damage from insects, standard for this time of year. We use a drip irrigation system and the plants show no heat stress, and we do not use any insecticides. Bugs are controlled by using a dustbuster to suck up white flies and cabbage moth caterpillars.

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

1 Response

Hi- we cannot confirm one specific cause from the photo. However, the blackening of the vascular tissue inside the stems is consistent with black rot, a bacterial disease. Please read more about this disease on these web pages:

Black rot is seed-borne and can overwinter on crop debris. Remove of and dispose of all parts of all collards plants at the end of the season. If you suspect black rot don't try to overwinter the plants. Next year, find a seed company that treats collards seed with hot water treatment or other effective seed treatment and plant in a different part of your garden. All members of the cabbage family are susceptible.