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Also known as Botrytis Blight, Gray Mold and Bud Rot


Botrytis is a fungus. The most obvious symptom of Botrytis is the fuzzy gray or brown growth that covers the leaves and stems of African Violets. Botrytis thrives in conditions of high humidity and poor air circulation. It is most likely to infest African Violets with dead or dying tissue. Botrytis will cause a tremendous amount of damage and will eventually result in the demise of your African Violet.

Distinguishing Symptoms

If your African Violet displays this symptom, it probably has a case of Botrytis. (Note: Do not confuse the fuzzy gray mold of Botrytis with the light gray powder of Powdery Mildew. The Botrytis fungus has a fuzzy appearance and is typically spotty in distribution over the plant. Powdery Mildew, on the other hand, leaves a fine powder that, in most cases, uniformly covers the affected parts of the plant.)

Other Symptoms


First, isolate infested plants in order to prevent the Botrytis from spreading. Next, remove all dead or dying tissue from the affected plants. Space plants to increase air circulation. Treat with a fungicide, such as Benomyl or Captan (as directed on label).


Always remove spent flowers and leaves as soon as you see them. Maintain good air circulation between your plants, especially where the air is damp and still. Keep your growing area and tools clean. Before repotting, disinfect used pots with a 10 percent bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water). If Botrytis is a recurring problem, you may want to try placing small containers of sulfur among your plants.

Important Note on the Use of Pesticides

Please note that almost all pesticides are formulated for specific uses and conditions. When applied incorrectly, pesticides can cause ill health or damage to plants. Therefore, when using any kind of pesticide or chemical treatment, always apply as indicated on the product label.

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