Home Fruit Gardening Strawberry Cercospora Leaf Spot: Prevention and Management for Healthy Plants and Bountiful Harvests

Strawberry Cercospora Leaf Spot: Prevention and Management for Healthy Plants and Bountiful Harvests

by Gregory
3 minutes read

Strawberry Cercospora Leaf Spot: A Guide for Prevention and Management


Cercospora leaf spot is a common fungal disease that affects strawberries, causing significant damage to leaves and reducing fruit production. Understanding the symptoms, causes, and prevention methods of this disease is crucial for maintaining healthy strawberry plants.

Symptoms of Strawberry Cercospora Leaf Spot

The initial signs of cercospora leaf spot on strawberries are small, round to irregular purple spots on the leaves. As the disease progresses, these spots turn tan to whitish gray at the centers with purple edges. The center of the spots becomes necrotic and dry, often falling out of the leaf. The undersides of the leaves develop spots that are blue to tan in color. In severe infections, leaf drop occurs, and the plant’s vitality is compromised, leading to reduced fruit development. The leaves on flowers may also turn yellow and dry up.

Causes of Cercospora of Strawberries

Cercospora fungi overwinter on infected or host plants, seed, and plant debris. The disease spreads quickly in periods of warm, humid, wet weather, especially when leaves remain damp for extended periods. Since strawberries are colony plants, their close proximity allows the fungus to spread rapidly. The fungi are dispersed by rain splash, irrigation, and wind.

Preventing Strawberry Cercospora Leaf Spot

Implementing preventive measures is essential to minimize the occurrence of cercospora leaf spot on strawberries.

  • Sanitation: Keep the strawberry bed free of weeds, as some are hosts for the disease. Regularly remove and dispose of infected plant debris by burying it deeply or raking it up.

  • Watering Techniques: Avoid overhead irrigation, which keeps leaves damp and creates favorable conditions for fungal growth. Water at the base of the plants to minimize leaf wetness.

  • Proper Plant Spacing: Ensure adequate spacing between strawberry plants to promote good air circulation and reduce humidity levels, which can discourage fungal growth.

  • Fungicide Application: An application of fungicide at blossom time and just before fruiting can help reduce the spread and incidence of the disease. Consult with a local garden center or agricultural extension service for recommended fungicides.

Additional Tips

  • Choose strawberry varieties that are resistant to cercospora leaf spot.

  • Rotate strawberry crops with other non-host plants to break the disease cycle.

  • Avoid planting strawberries in areas with poor drainage or heavy shade, as these conditions can promote fungal growth.

  • Monitor your strawberry plants regularly for signs of cercospora leaf spot and take prompt action to prevent its spread.


By implementing these preventive measures, you can effectively manage cercospora leaf spot on strawberries and maintain healthy, productive plants. Remember to monitor your strawberry plants regularly, address any disease issues promptly, and enjoy the delicious fruits of your labor!

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More