Phytophthora Dieback - Common Myths
Myth - Jarrah is the only affected plant species.
Fact - Phytophthora Dieback affects a huge diversity of native and exotic plant species including. Of these, over 2,300 (40 %) native plant species from South West WA are at risk. (inc. Banksia, grass-trees, woolly bush, zamia palms).
Myth - Phytophthora Dieback is only in the Jarrah forest.
Fact - Phytophthora Dieback is found across the south west including the Perth metropolitan area. Along with the Jarrah forest, the disease has a major impact in Banksia Woodlands and coastal heathlands.
Myth - Phytophthora Dieback only affects plants.
Fact - Phytophthora Dieback reduces the populations of native animals through loss of food and habitat.
Myth - Phytophthora Dieback is only a problem in bushland.
Fact - Phytophthora Dieback affects many garden plants (inc. roses, azalea’s, fruit trees, pines).
Myth - Plants “dieback” from the top down.
Fact - Plants affected by the disease die due to the fact their roots are infected by the pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi. They then die due to the inability to draw water and nutrients from the soil and ultimately die of “root rot”. The above ground symptoms of Phytophthora Dieback therefore resemble those of drought and nutrient deficiency and may be very quick or more gradual depending on the plant species and level of water and nutrient stress the plant is under.