Blossom End Rot

Class: Physiological Disorder
Common Name: BER, Blossom End Rot
Potential Host:

Tomatoes, peppers, apples, eggplants, and watermelon

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Who Am I?

Blossom end rot is a name given for a disfiguration in the fruits of several plants and is a common physiological disorder. It starts as a small, wet looking spot at the blossom end of the fruit. Over time, it increases the surface area it covers, eventually leading the part of the fruit affected to darken with brown or black color and become stiff. It is not a disease nor is it a result of insect activity.

Blossom end rot happens when something goes wrong in the growth process. Part of the cells within the fruit stop functioning, turn black, harden, and eventually die. The occurrence is usually blamed on a shortage of calcium, but things are a bit more complex. While it is true that fruits that exhibit blossom end rot symptoms are found to be low on calcium, soil calcium shortage is not always the cause for this disorder. The problem is more often related to the mobility and availability of calcium inside the plant.

Blossom end rot can occur at any time, but tends to be more common at the beginning of the growth stage, appearing on the first fruits of the season.

Control Measures

Most of the time, the situation does not require intervention from the grower. Blossom end rot will disappear naturally and won’t show on fruits later in the season.

Caution and careful notice should be taken when using any plant protection products (insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides). It is the grower’s sole responsibility to keep track of the legal uses and permissions with respect to the laws in their country and destination markets. Always read the instructions written on labels, and in a case of contradiction, work in accordance to the product label. Keep in mind that information written on the label usually applies to local markets. Pest control products intended for organic farming are generally considered to be less effective in comparison to conventional products. When dealing with organic, biologic, and to some extent a small number of conventional chemical products, a complete eradication of a pest or disease will often require several iterations of a specific treatment or combination of treatments.