Bacterial Wilt a.k.a. Stewart’s Disease in Corn

Bacterial Wilt is, as stated in the title, a bacterial disease. The heirloom garden plants mainly affected by Bacterial Wilt are Beans, Corn, Cucurbits, Eggplant and Corn. In the U.S.A., Bacterial Wilt occurs in Corn in Central, South and Eastern area’s. Cucurbits in the Northeast and North Central States, where some cucurbit wilts like moist soil and soil temperatures above 75°F. Bacterial Wilt occurs in Solanaceae in the South.

Bacterial Wilt is spread by several different ways. In Heirloom Beans, it is transmitted by the seeds. In cucurbits by the cucumber beetle and in Corn by the Corn flea. The pathogen that affects Beans and Tomatoes will overwinter in debris.

Bacterial Wilt will show itself in a couple of different ways. Young Heirloom Bean seedlings will usually die before reaching 3 inches tall. Mature Cucurbits vines wilt, especially in midday and die.