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There's a new ginger disease in Minnesota

By: Michelle Grabowski, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

A new wilt disease of edible ginger has been found in Minnesota on several farms in 2023 and 2024. Edible ginger (Zingiber officinale) is not a common field crop in Minnesota but has been planted by growers in high tunnels as a high value crop to use in rotation with tomatoes. In 2023, several ginger growers reported plants with yellow wilted leaves and soft rotten rhizomes. Infected plants were unmarketable. Lab diagnosis revealed the culprit to be Ralstonia pseudosolanacearum, the bacterial plant pathogen responsible for ginger wilt.
Lower leaves of ginger plants infected with ginger wilt turn yellow then wilt. Photo: MDA
This was the first report of ginger wilt in Minnesota. The disease is common in tropical and subtropical areas in Africa, Asia, and South America and is known to occur in Hawaii. The bacteria can infect ginger, turmeric, and other plants in the Zingiberaceae plant family. Ginger wilt can spread on contaminated seed, soil, or water.

Plants infected with ginger wilt eventually turn completely yellow, wilt, and fall over. Photo: MDA

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is working with the United States Department of Agriculture to address this emerging disease problem. If you grow ginger and have seen wilt or rot in your crop or if you would like to participate in a survey for ginger wilt in Minnesota, please reach out to Michelle Grabowski ( or 651-279-4608.)

Ginger wilt – Rhizomes and the lower stem of ginger plants infected with Ginger Wilt. Photo: MDA

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