How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Root rot and damping off of peas

Seedlings that are affected by damping off develop water-soaked lesions on their stems and fall over. Stems may be girdled and plants may die or recover. Roots may be rotted or absent. Seeds may rot before germinating or emergence.


Planting at a temperature optimum for the plant and in soil that is moist but not overly wet is the first line of defense. Avoid wet soil or low areas where water may collect. Use light sprinkler irrigations to encourage germination and emergence, but do not overwater. Prepare raised planting beds so that the soil has good drainage. Plant shallowly to minimize exposure of susceptible areas of the hypocotyl.

For more information, see the Damping-off Diseases in the Garden Pest Note.

Damping off of seedling
Damping off of seedling

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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