Q&As/Edibles Plant Diseases/Brown Rot on Peaches

Question

I wonder if you could tell me what is wrong with our peaches please. Also is there anything we can do naturally to help them?

Answer

The photo you provided is a perfect example of brown rot, Sclerotonia fruticola, a very common fungal disease in peaches. Garden hygiene plays a very important role in eliminating or at least controlling this disease. As the brown rot fungus can overwinter in the mummified fruit, removal of all shrivelled fruit at the end of the season is very important. Spraying with copper oxychloride prior to the blossoms arriving in spring is also critical in the control of brown rot. Winter pruning should create excellent air movement throughout the tree as well as enabling sunlight to reach all the branches. Carefully remove and burn all pruned material as well as any leaves that remain on the ground after early winter leaf fall. As climate changes continue, areas of NZ known to successfully grow peaches will reduce as brown rot thrives in a hot humid climate.

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Peach Mildew