Ganoderma Butt Rott

COMPLETE Multi Purpose Plant Spray is the Solution to fight against Ganoderma Butt rott. If you are having any of these symptom with you palms,  COMPLETE is the solution


This following article is an excerpt from  the University of Florida IFAS/Extension. It provides detailed desciption of many of the typical palm problems facing Florida. COMPLETE has been shown to be effective in protecting and rejuvinating your palms from this devestating fungus

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EDIS – Electronic Data Information Source of UF/IFAS Extension

Publication #PP-54
Topics: Plant Pathology |  Lawn and Garden Plant Diseases | Broschat, Timothy K |  Palm Diseases | Elliott, Monica Lynn | Ganoderma spp.

Ganoderma Butt Rot of Palms1

Monica L. Elliott and Timothy K. Broschat2


• Ganoderma butt rot is caused by the fungus Ganoderma zonatum. This fungus degrades or rots the lower 4-5 feet of the trunk
•All palms are considered hosts of this fungus. This fungus is not a primary pathogen of any other plant family.

•Symptoms may include wilting (mild to severe) or a general decline. The disease is confirmed by observing the basidiocarp (conk) on the trunk. This is a hard, shelf-like structure that will be attached to the lower 4-5 feet of the palm trunk. However, not all diseased palms produce conks prior to death.

•A palm cannot be diagnosed with Ganoderma butt rot until the basidiocarp (conk) forms on the trunk, or the internal rotting of the trunk is observed after the palm is cut down.

•The fungus is spread by spores, which are produced and released from the basidiocarp (conk).

•Conditions that are conducive for disease development are unknown.

•Because the fungus survives in the soil, planting another palm back in that same location is not recommended without special precautions.

Ganoderma butt rot is a lethal disease of palms, both in the landscape and natural settings. While the disease is more prevalent in the southern half of the state, where palms are in greatest abundance, it is certainly not restricted to that area. The fungus that causes the disease is distributed throughout Florida, from Key West to Jacksonville to Pennsacola. It is also known to occur in Georgia and South Carolina.

Pathogen and Hosts

The fungal genus Ganoderma is a group of wood-decaying fungi that are found throughout the world on all types of wood — gymnosperms, woody dicots, and palms. There are many different species of this fungus in Florida, but only one is a pathogen of palms. That fungus is Ganoderma zonatum. Another fungal name that was associated with this disease in the first half of the 20th century was Ganoderma sulcatum. Recently, these two species have been grouped together as one, G. zonatum.

While there are a few reports of G. zonatum on non-palm hosts, these reports are very limited. Therefore, palms are considered the primary hosts of this fungus. In general, if you observe a basidiocarp (conk) on a palm trunk, especially if it is still living, it is probably safe to assume it is G. zonatum and not some other Ganoderma species. Likewise, the Ganoderma species often observed on hard-wood trees, such as oak, are rarely observed on living palms. These other Ganoderma species may occur on dead palm trunks and stumps, but they are present simply as saprobes (fungi that live off dead plant material).

All palms are assumed to be susceptible to this disease. While not all palms growing in Florida have been documented with Ganoderma butt rot, at least 65 species of palms have. Those not documented with this disease are not commonly grown and have thus far escaped. The only possible exceptions would be palm species that do not form woody trunks — e.g., Sabal minor and some Chamaedorea spp. Since G. zonatum kills by degrading wood, these palm species may not have any suitable tissue to serve as a substrate for the fungus.

Symptoms, Signs and Diagnosis

Ganoderma zonatum is a white rot fungus that produces numerous enzymes that allow it to degrade (rot) woody tissue, primarily lignin and cellulose. As the fungus destroys the palm wood internally, the xylem (water-conducting tissue) will eventually be affected. Therefore, the primary symptom that may be observed is a wilting, mild to severe, of all leaves but the spear leaf. Other symptoms can best be described as a general decline – slower growth and off-color foliage. However, these symptoms alone should not be used for diagnosis of Ganoderma butt rot, since other disorders or diseases may also cause these symptoms.

Selected References

Elliott, M. L. and T. K. Broschat. 2001. Observations and pathogenicity experiments on Ganoderma zonatum in Florida. Palms 45:62-72.

Flood, J., P.D. Bridge, and M. Holderness, eds. 2000. Ganoderma Diseases of Perennial Crops. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, U.K.

Gilbertson, R.L., and L. Ryvarden. 1986. North American Polypores. FungiFlora A/S. Oslo, Norway.

Miller, R.N.G., M. Hoderness, P.D. Bridge, G.F. Chung, and M.H. Zakaria. 1999. Genetic diversity of Ganoderma in oil palm plantings. Plant Pathology 45:595-603.

This document is PP-54, one of a series of the Plant Pathology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date November 2000. Revised June 2012. Visit the EDIS website at
Monica L. Elliott, professor, Plant Pathology Department, and Timothy K. Broschat, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center–Fort Lauderdale, FL; Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county’s UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.
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