Blossom Blight of Stone Fruit

Monilinia laxa

Sclerotinia laxa


A fungal disease of stone fruit that causes the death of flowers and fruit and occasionally shoots. Fruit may be infected as it nears maturity and small brown spots rapidly spread and rot the fruit within a few days. The fruit may fall or dry out and remain on the tree as "mummies".

Species Affected:

Stone fruit.

Apricot, Cherry, Nectarine, Peach, Plum

Apples and Pears may be infected but it is rarely of economic consequence.


Favoured by humid wet weather with cool nights.

Insects spread the spores.

Life Cycle:

The fungus infects the blossoms that may then turn brown and die. It grows into the stem and may ring bark it causing the branch to die. Infection of fruit usually occurs as it approaches maturity and starts as small brown spots that rot the fruit within a few days. Infected fruit may dry to form "mummies" on the tree or may fall.

Origin and History:



Management and Control:

Remove and destroy fallen and infected fruit. Prune mummies and the infected shoots from the trees and destroy. Burn all infected material.

Control insects to reduce the spread of spores.

Avoid overhead watering when fruit are on the tree.

Prune to reduce growth in the centre of the tree so it dries more quickly and is easier to spray.

Apply fungicides.

Related and Similar Species:




Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 for more information.