Verticillium Wilt

The Problem

  • Verticillium wilt is a particularly nasty fungal disease that lives in the soil.
  • It invades susceptible plants through their roots and spreads through the plant’s vascular system.
  • The list of plants affected by verticillium wilt is extensive and includes trees, shrubs, garden annuals, and perennials.
  • Vegetables commonly and severely affected by Verticillium wilt include tomato, pepper, eggplant, and cucumber.
  • Other vegetables such as bean, beet, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, chive, collards, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, and leeks are also affected but not as severely.


  • Verticillium wilt symptoms mimic those of other plant diseases and environmental problems, making it harder to diagnose.
  • The leaves wilt and curl and turn yellow or red.
  • They eventually turn brown and drop off.
  • Stems and branches die back.
  • It’s not unusual to see these symptoms on one side of the plant while the other side appears unaffected.

  • The symptoms of Fusarium wilt (as well as both kinds of blight) are almost identical to those of Verticillium. In either case, the recommended actions are the same.


  • There is no effective treatment for verticillium wilt.
  • You should remove and destroy infected plants in order to keep it from spreading your other crops or to your neighbors’.
  • It is virtually impossible to eradicate the fungus from the soil.
    • The disease remains in the soil for up to ten years, so don’t plant another susceptible species in the same area.

Do Not Compost Diseased Plant Material!

  • Catalogues use codes to identify varieties/cultivars that are resistant to wilt: V means the plant is resistant to Verticillium wilt  F indicates the plant is resistant to Fusarium wilt.
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