Damping off and seed rots—Pythium spp., Fusarium spp., and Penicillium oxalicum
Seed rot causes the corn seed to rot before germination and damping off causes the seedling to die soon
after it emerges. Infected tissue may be watersoaked (Pythium), white to pink (Fusarium),
or bluish (Penicillium). The stem of infected seedlings becomes brown and soft near the soil line.
Aboveground symptoms include yellowing, wilting, and death of the leaves.
Seed rot and damping off are more common in poorly drained, cold soils. Plant on well-drained, raised
beds. Planting in warm soil (above 55° F) can help prevent the diseases. Be sure not to plant too deep.
Some varieties may be more susceptible to rots than others.
For more information, see the Damping -off Diseases in the Garden Pest Note.