NC State Extension Publications


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Abiotic disorder - drought Injury


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During plant establishment plants may wilt followed by death. Established plants will wilt during the afternoon when water demand is not met. Older leaves may die prematurely. Sunscald, small fruit and poor pollination may be observed.

Similar Problems

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Anthracnose crown rot, Phythophora root rot, Fusarium and Verticillium wilt are a few pathogens that cause plant wilt.

Additional Information

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Nutrient disorders such as calcium deficiency may result with insufficient moisture.

Diagnostic Tips

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Check soil moisture. You should be able compress the soil in your hand to form a round ball that will not fall apart if soil moisture is adequate.

Check irrigation system for proper function and design. Check ends of trickle tape for adequate pressure.

Corrective Measures

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Apply irrigation as soon as possible. Irrigate prior to warm dry windy days. When designing irrigation system have feeder lines connected at the highest point to the trickle tape to minimize pressure drop. Insure pressure is correct for the tape used by installing pressure gauges at the end of the feeder line.


Skip to Management

Provide adequate moisture throughout season. Monitor soil moisture closely during plant establishment and periods of rapid plant growth and fruit development. More water must be provided during periods of low humidity with high winds and elevated temperatures.

Funding Sources

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Funding was provided in part by the National Sustainable Agriculture Program: Sustainable Strawberry Initiative and the following sources.

University of Arkansas Division of Ag logo

Walmart logo


Department Extension Leader, Small Fruits Specialist & Associate Professor
Horticultural Science
Research Specialist
Horticultural Science

Find more information at the following NC State Extension websites:

Publication date: July 1, 2014
Revised: March 21, 2024

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