How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Botrytis rot (Gray mold)—Botrytis cinerea

Gray mold may appear at any stage of fruit development. Lesions are usually seen first near the stem end or on the side of the fruit touching other decayed fruit, soil, or standing water. Affected areas turn pale or light brown at first and may spread over part or all of the fruit surface. Diseased tissue is covered with a velvety gray growth when the fungus begins to produce spores. Berries may become cottony white. Affected flower parts turn brown.

Identification | Life cycle


Fruit decay can be kept to a minimum by using raised beds, plastic mulch to keep fruit from touching the soil, and drip or furrow irrigation to keep water off the foliage and fruit. Make sure the plants are spaced far enough apart so that there is good air circulation around the fruit. Using stepped planter boxes that allow fruit to hang down over the sides may help improve circulation. Remove moldy fruit to reduce disease inoculum. If sprinklers are used, water in the morning so that plants will dry off during the day.

Gray mold infection on fruit
Gray mold infection on fruit

Flower killed by Botrytis
Flower killed by Botrytis

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2016 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /PMG/GARDEN/FRUIT/DISEASE/strgraymold.html revised: June 24, 2016. Contact webmaster.