Sweet Woodruff Stems Turn Brown And Leaves Get Scruffy In August

Question From: M. Pietrangelo - MICHIGAN
Q: I've been growing sweet woodruff for about 4 years. For the first 2 years it did wonderful. Last year come August the stems turned brown and the leaves got scruffy and I thought for sure I'd have to give up on it. This year it came back very nice but now, August, the same thing is happening. I've attached some pictures. There is only small cluster that looks fresh.
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A: Rapid die-off  of sweet woodruff is often an indication of some kind of blight, and a little research into this symptom in sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) turned up the disease called Rhizoctonia web blight. It’s caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani. It often attacks in August when the weather is hot and humid. Thinning of plants before it strikes is helpful as is the prompt removal of infected  leaves. Clean up any mulch and plant debris.. Using an organic fungicide prior to infection will help ward off infection.  Best Nancy