Pest of the Month August 2009 – Phytophthora Heart Rot

  • Hosts:  Primarily affects coconut palms (Cocos nucifera)
  • Symptoms:  Loss of young fruits, brown mottling on immature and mature green fruits, heart rot of plant evident when youngest spear leaf dies, leaf death, death of palm
  • Spread:  Via movement of infected nuts and palms, pruning with contaminated equipment, insects, rodents, wind-driven rain
  • Control: Remove and incinerate diseased nuts and palms

Source: Fungal Rot Killing Coconut Trees in Hawaii, Horticultural Digest #99, Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service, 8/24/2001.

Heart Rot in Coconut Palm. Photo by Dr. Scot Nelson, UH CTAHR