Verticillium wilt on Yukon Golds?

Asked July 10, 2020, 4:14 PM EDT

I am seeing wilting on just my Yukon Golds since late June only. Actually, it started as lower leaves yellowing and then the leaves started to brown and shrivel and it has spread to more than one plant, and while some are still standing tall and green and strong, I'm writing to both help seek diagnosis and confirmation that's what this is and to see if I should ditch the entire planting and and toss every last bit of foliage. UGH! Anecdotally, I'm hearing from gardeners south of me in Minnesota and in other regions of the country that are also having similar problems with specifically YK while other potatoes seem nonplussed, also similar to what I'm seeing. As of this writing, about a dozen Instagram followers have responded reporting similar issues, and all solely on the YGs. Could they be more prone to drought stress? Could this have been an issue inherent in the seed potatoes? Obviously, the more likely answer is it's in my soil, assuming it is this fungal pathogen. Curious if the extension has been hearing reports of these elsewhere in the state or region. I know they are susceptible to blight and wilts, but the fact that it seems to be a national trend (based on the home gardeners who’ve replied) is very puzzling.

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

The potato plant in your second photo appears could have verticillium wilt. Another possibility is blight. Verticillium wilt is a fungus that once in the soil can be present for up to 7 years. If you identify this as wilt you should remove the plants currently affected and dispose of them in the trash. Do not plant potatoes or tomatoes in the same spot for 5-7 years, unless planting a resistant variety. In my research I could find nothing noting a high instance in Yukon gold potatoes. Below is a link to information on potato disease symptoms that show in the leaves. It specifies what to look for on the plant stems to ID verticillium wilt.