Pieris (Andromeda): Root rot & dieback

categories: Ornamentals Pieris (Andromeda) Pieris (Andromeda) Diseases Shrubs

revision date: 2022-12-03 12:00

Pieris root rot and dieback.
Pieris root rot and dieback
Photo by: J.W. Pscheidt


Root rot and dieback of andromeda is caused by Phytophthora, a fungus which affects many ornamentals. Typically, plants appear unhealthy, with wilted or discolored leaves that may be stunted or drop prematurely. The fungus attacks the roots and progresses to the crown, eventually killing the plant. It is most frequently a problem in waterlogged or poorly drained soils. This disease can be spread by water movement or by root contact between diseased and healthy plants.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Plant only disease-free materials.
  • Do not plant in waterlogged, poorly drained, or frequently flooded areas.
  • Improve soil drainage by incorporating organic matter or by using raised beds.
  • Do not overwater.
  • Avoid soil compaction, which can reduce drainage. Construction, heavy foot traffic, or machinery can compact soil.
  • Remove and destroy infected plants and plant parts.
  • Plant resistant species or varieties where Phytophthora root rot has been a problem. Your county Extension agent or WSU Master Gardeners can make recommendations.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • None recommended